The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic
by Sophie Kinsella
Published: 3rd March 1999
Publisher: Black Swan
Meet Rebecca Bloomwood.
She has a great flat, a fabulous wardrobe full of the season’s must-haves, and a job telling other people how to manage their money.
She spends her leisure time… shopping.
Retail therapy is the answer to all her problems. She knows she should stop, but she can’t. She tries cutting back, she tries making more money. But neither seems to work. The letter from the bank are getting harder to ignore. Can Becky ever escape from this dreamworld, find true love, and regain the use of her credit card?
The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic… the perfect pick-me-up for when it’s all hanging in the (bank) balance.
I’d actually seen the film adaptation years ago, not knowing at that point that it came from a novel (I will do a separate review for the movie adaptation). When I finally figured out that it was an adaptation, I made a mental note to read this book. I’d added it to my wish list and was gifted this book from Stewart for our anniversary. I finally picked this book up, after it staring at me for a year on my bookcase, and read it for the #boutofbooks readathon recently. I’m mentally kicking myself that it took me so long to give this book some time because I loved it.
Despite the fact that I have several Sophie Kinsella books in my bookcase, this is actually the first one I have read from this author. I bought her books on faith, and knowing that she was a popular chick-lit author. After reading this I can see why. The book jumps straight into the action with a letter to our main protagonist, Rebecca Bloomwood. That letter explains that she is into her overdraft and she needs to pay back her debt. I learnt a lot about this character from the first few pages, and learnt straight away that she is obsessed with shopping and material items – so much so, that her financial situation is dire. It’s quite ironic actually, as she works for a magazine that gives financial advice – I liked that touch.
Rebecca wasn’t a character I liked immediately though, she rubbed me the wrong way at first until I got used to her sense of humour and the way she sees things. I felt she was a bit ditsy and rude at times, whether or not she intended to be is another matter. However, with all that being said, I felt her character development was strong and I found her likeable and even relatable by the time I’d finished the book.
One thing I appreciated about this novel was the pace, and the way it was written. It’s very easy to read, and before you know it you’ve read several chapters and you can’t put the book down. This is a book I would consider a ‘beach read’, which is perfect for this time of year – because you can escape into the world with a light hearted, witty read.
I found it quite refreshing that this book doesn’t revolve around a romance. Don’t get me wrong, it does have a romantic interest but it’s more like an added bonus in this story. It’s a great change to read a ‘chick-lit’ novel that focuses on the female protagonist and her journey to better her prospects and overcome hurdles in her life. I’ve grown slightly bored lately of the on-off again relationships. Also, sick of reading about a female protagonist that feels the need to change herself to make the romantic interested. Rebecca isn’t ashamed to be herself, and she’s unapologetic for the way she feels about things – and I love that about her.
Overall, I rather enjoyed my first glimpse into the world of Sophie Kinsella’s writing. I will absolutely carry on with the series, and I’m interested to see how this character will develop in the rest of the novels. It was quite a quick read, and a refreshing light read that came at the perfect moment for me.
Recommend to those looking for a feisty, funny, female protagonist and a light hearted beach read.