Culture

BOOK REVIEW – Shopaholic and Sister doesn’t win

Shopaholic and Sister, Sophie Kinsella’s fifth novel and fourth installation in her Shopaholic series, showcases her ability to write enjoyable, humorous chick-lit.

The novel features Kinsella’s lovable heroine, Becky Brandon (formerly Bloomwood), a young English woman with a penchant for spending. The reader first meets Becky on a blissful tour-of-the-world honeymoon on which she has amassed an incredible array of souvenirs. Although she has enjoyed her honeymoon, Becky finds she yearns for home as she receives an invitation to the christening of her best friend Suze’s second child.

Becky finds her London life in disarray after her long honeymoon: Suze has a new best friend, her marriage is imperiled after her husband Luke discovers her haphazard spending on their honeymoon, and her father has discovered a long-lost daughter, Jessica, a fuddy-duddy geology freak who dare I say, “hates shopping!”

Fresh problems continue to arise for Becky, who must learn to face her problems-while looking fabulous with her Stila lipgloss and coveted Angel bag in tow, of course.

The real problem is this: Shopaholic and Sister is not Kinsella’s best writing. The plotline smells suspiciously of a soap opera and seems to have the same dashed-off quality of Shopaholic Ties the Knot, the worst of the series. For those who have never read Kinsella, stick to Confessions of a Shopaholic, Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, and her next-most-recent novel, Can You Keep a Secret? Those seeking substance needn’t pick up Shopaholic and Sister at all. However, Shopaholic-faithfuls will agree Kinsella has delivered a novel that glitters in a sea of poorly-written girlie trash that litters contemporary fiction shelves.

Hannah Bae can be contact at h.bae@umiami.edu.

January 28, 2005

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