22/04/2012

Shopaholic ties the Knot (by Sophie Kinsela)

I only started reading books by Sophie Kinsella a little over four years ago, when I finally got over my prejudice against so-called 'chick-lit'. This is an excellent author, who writes well with humour and (in places) depth, and whose plots, if unlikely, are very cleverly done.

'Shopaholic ties the Knot' is the third in the series which started with 'The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic', and continued with 'Shopaholic Abroad'. The books star Becky Bloomwood, who acts as narrator. She's materialistic, and a compulsive shopper... and yet, somehow, she's also quite delightful in her compassion and naiveté.

This particular volume isn't about Becky's spending habits as such but about her wedding to the wealthy businessman Luke. Or, at least, the plans for her wedding. Unfortunately, she finds herself in a horrendous situation, with her mother planning a wedding in her home town, and Luke's mother planning one in New York. The further these two divergent plans proceed, the more difficult it becomes for Becky to cancel either one - and when she attempts to do so, she finds herself in potentially an even worse situation.

There's a wonderful contrast shown between the perfectly planned extravaganza with strangers and an ice-cold sponsor in New York, and the gentler home environment where nothing is tasteful, but where there is a lot of love.  Becky loves glitz and glamour, and being the centre of attention... but she also loves her family dearly, and - as is shown clearly in this book - is very much in love with Luke.

There are some amusing moments in the book that made me chuckle out loud; there are also one or two quite moving scenes with a great deal of depth as Luke starts to come to terms with some unhappy circumstances from his childhood. There's an inevitable happy ending that, of course, worked out just as Becky had hoped... and, along the way, it becomes clear that although she appears shallow on the surface, she has a deeply caring and understanding side.

Definitely recommended... at least, if you don't mind suspending reality a little and entering into the silliness of the plot.

Review copyright Sue's Book Reviews, 22nd April 2012

1 comment:

maryom said...

I know people love to knock chick-lit but I think the Shopaholic series is wonderful. My elder daughter even bought one of them back for me from a business trip to Paris - L'accro du shopping attends un bebe. Fortunately, I've got an English version copy as well.