Shopaholic & Baby
By Sophie Kinsella
Oh don’t judge me for picking this one. Once in a while a chick lit serves as an escape from the grim realities of the world – like the scorching summer heat! I read this while sipping in some really cold ice tea and before I could realize, I was done with it in about 2 hours!!!
This is Sophie Kinsella’s fifth offering in the popular Shopaholic series. And here we see our beloved shopaholic Becky Bloomwood (now Becky Brandon) pregnant. Becky teams up with her friend Suze and ends up “baby shopping” for everything that she thinks the baby will use, while conveniently relegating the gory realities of impending childbirth to the back of her mind. Becky goes all out buying baby stuff from chic baby boutiques, orders online and from the glossy upscale catalogues, invests in “antiques of the future” for her baby’s portfolio. Becky feels that her obstetrician Dr. Braine needs to be replaced and thus begins her hunt for the “A-List” obstetrician, the choice of all the glam people, and she ends up picking the latest celebrity obstetrician from London, Venetia Carter. But there is a wee bit of twist. It turns out that Venetia and Luke used to be lovers and Venetia still as a soft spot for him.
What follows next are panic attacks, hormones going haywire, paranoia and nightmares because Becky feels she would have to raise the child alone as Luke and Venetia will end up living “happily ever after”. She wants a new house with a Shoe Room; she wants to be on the cover of Vogue magazine as one of London’s “Yummiest Mummies-to-be”; so will she get all that she desires? That I’d leave for you to read and find out. Though Becky has grown and matured in certain ways, she still is the same old shopaholic and will be one forever! Btw, we also see Becky reuniting with her long-lost sister Jess.
The book is an easy read with a lot of “laugh out loud” and entertaining moments. Her first pregnancy jitters, her decisions, her quirkiness, her mood swings – were all very well presented by the author. Becky is a charmingly air-headed, vivacious, upbeat, resourceful, good-hearted, optimistic, shopping maniac we have come to love, but sometimes she comes across as a shallow, fashion-obsessed, materialistic, irresponsible chic. But I guess it’s her naivety that makes the readers love her all the more. Luke is the rich, loving husband that almost every girl would desire. He tries his best to balance his professional and personal life with the wacky “needs and desires” of his wife. Kinsella (Madeleine Wickham) has a subtle charm in the way she effortlessly pens her story and characters. Not to forget, a good sense of comedy and hoards of romance in her heart.