Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
In Confessions of a Shopaholic, author Sophie Kinsella uses a conversational, first-person writing style to put the reader straight into the life of Rebecca Bloomwood. Rebecca is bored with her job as a financial journalist. She would rather be writing about fashion. Her obsessive love with shopping has helped Rebecca develop a good eye for fashion, no matter the price. Every purchase she makes is another investment in her future or a reward to herself for trying hard to improve her life. She also turns to shopping to feel better after being utterly humiliated, which happens to her fairly often. Her perpetual shopping without regard to her own financial funds sends her into financial ruin. Instead of addressing the situation, she decides to avoid it by ignoring calls and hiding letters. Eventually, her financial situation and ignoring her job both catch up with her in this humorous, character-driven novel.
This book was a quick read, but I didn’t particularly like the main character. I found Rebecca Bloomwood to be extremely annoying, except for the short portion near the end of the book where she seemed to genuinely take interest in improving her own life instead of avoiding her problems and whining about it. I also found the streaming consciousness writing style to be particularly difficult to take in when it led from one obsessive consumerist idea of the need to shop to another. I had difficulty connecting with the main character, as I really couldn’t understand the extent to which she shopped despite her growing debt.
Warning: this paragraph contains a spoiler.
On the other hand, I can see how this book may be really appealing to someone. The book reminded me of sitcoms on television where the humor is developed by the main characters continuously embarrassing themselves. Rebecca Bloomwood went from one embarrassing situation to another. Despite her change of heart near the end of the novel, she proves within the last few pages that she really hadn’t changed at all. The only real difference is she gained enough confidence in herself to get the guy (finally, it only took 300 pages out of 310!).