I’ll admit, the first time I became acquainted with Rebecca “Becky” Bloomwood I found her a tad, ridiculous; a caricature of perhaps, myself and many of my friends for whom shopping is more than retail therapy but a sport at which to excel. But, as I waded deeper into the world author Sophie Kinsella (a.k.a. Madeleine Wickham) had created I found myself becoming more and more enchanted with this flawed young woman. Because while her bank account is habitually empty, her heart is full of love for the people in her life.
Travelling, in the literary sense, from Becky’s life in London as financial journalist to her ideal career as personal shopper in New York and around the world on honeymoon with her husband PR guru Luke Brandon, watching her learn and grow along the way; by the time this latest instalment reached my eager hands I felt as though we were old friends. Picking up where Mini Shopaholic had left off, Shopaholic to the Stars sees Becky, Luke and their young daughter, Minnie land in LA, city of dreams, celebrity and new age thinking.
Set on transforming her career to become a professional stylist to the stars – case in point, Luke’s big celebrity client, Sage Seymour – Becky will stop at nothing to see her dreams come true. Seemingly oblivious to how her plans for stylist superstardom may be affecting her family and friends, there are many lessons and truths to be realised along the Hollywood walk of fame before Becky will remove her “red-carpet tinted glasses” and see that though it looks pretty from the outside, Hollywood may not be so glittery within.
Prompting laugh out loud moments, as Becky’s notions stretch so far as to include a security detail on the back of her fifteen minutes of fame, not to mention Luke’s ever-endearing affection for his wife’s idiosyncrasies; Kinsella has crafted my favourite women’s fiction series to date. Becky can be silly and selfish, not unlike most of the population, but she is also generous, kind and loyal. Her struggle to achieve the future she sees for herself is one I personally can relate to, easy as it is to become blinded by our goals in the face of what really matters. The question is, will she choose the right future for herself and the people she cares about?
Becky’s journey takes centre stage though behind the scenes trouble is brewing among the cast of supporting family members and friends. Her homely Mum and Dad, the latter of whom appears to be hiding some rather big secret, her long-time best friend, Suze, whose aristocrat husband Tarquin is being led further and further astray by a possible cult-leader while she herself has been befriended by Becky’s arch nemesis, Alicia Bitch Long-Legs, and Luke whose long-awaited reconciliation with his Chanel-toting mother has been pushed onto his priority list. All this and more will lead the fearless fashionista on a new journey into the Las Vegas desert as our favourite shopaholic takes a gamble on life, love and the luck of the draw… but what will transpire we do not know as Kinsella’s comic genius leaves us hanging with baited breath until Becky returns.
Please Sophie, don’t keep us waiting for too long, the suspense is killing me…! Viva Las Shopaholic anyone??