Have baby, still buy­ing

Our Becky, of Shopa­holic se­ries fame, has a mini me as well as a man in her life now but she’s still as love­ably scat­ter-brained and ad­dicted to buy­ing as she ever was.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - BOOKS - Mini Shopa­holic Re­view by ELAINE DONG

Author: So­phie Kin­sella Pub­lisher: Ban­tam Press, 392 pages

THE book starts off in (where else?) a depart­ment store, with Becky Bloom­wood (now Bran­don) en­gaged in a ma­jor bat­tle of wits with her two-year-old mon­ster, erm, I mean daugh­ter.

It seems lit­tle Min­nie has in­her­ited mum’s shop­ping prow­ess and none of dad’s re­straint. And that sets the stage for most of the book – Becky try­ing to out­smart and out­shop lit­tle Min­nie, to no avail.

Then Becky lands smack in the mid­dle of a fi­nan­cial cri­sis. When all her per­sonal shop­ping clients have to cut back, it means she has to get cre­ative to save her depart­ment, and ul­ti­mately her job. Fac­tor in a sur­prise birth­day party she is plan­ning on a bud­get, and the ad­ven­ture with the Shopa­holic con­tin­ues.

Becky is still as scat­ter-brained in ev­ery­thing but scout­ing out the per­fect pair of shoes. She is still lousy at fi­nances though she does try to think her way through some hare-brained mon­eysav­ing schemes.

Her long-suf­fer­ing hus­band makes short grumpy ap­pear­ances through­out, mainly to sigh re­signedly, shake his head in ex­as­per­a­tion, scold oc­ca­sion­ally, and most of the time suc­cumb­ing help­lessly to the charms of his wife and daugh­ter, to­tally obliv­i­ous to the chaos the two lady Bran­dons are swirling in.

The main star of this book, as ev­i­dent from the ti­tle, is lit­tle Min­nie Bran­don, whom at two, seem to pos­sess the fine mo­tor skills of a five-year-old, the oral skills of a one-year-old and the shop­ping in­stinct of a 25-year-old. I find it quite lu­di­crous that she man­ages to get on eBay.

She can­not string a sen­tence to­gether (her vo­cab­u­lary com­prises mainly of “Mine!” and “No!”), but she can go on­line. Hmmm.

Then of course there is a cri­sis: Luke’s beloved step­mother passes away.

To cheer him up, Becky de­cides to throw him a sur­prise party, but risks the whole thing be­ing ex­posed when Min­nie can­not keep a se­cret. Well, she is two years old, af­ter all. And then she finds out Luke is keep­ing a se­cret.

There is noth­ing new in this book that you haven’t read in the last five in the se­ries. You ei­ther love Becky Bloom­wood or you don’t. So­phie Kin­sella does try to ex­plore moth­er­hood and mar­riage, but the crises and is­sues pre­sented seem a lit­tle sur­real in the con­text of an un­re­pen­tant spend­thrift who gets into one fi­nan­cial scrape af­ter an­other.

She still grap­ples with the same is­sues that she was grap­pling with in the last five books. Many times while read­ing the book, I was tempted to yell “Grow up, Becky!” I do feel Kin­sella should have stopped at Shopa­holic & Baby.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.