I was being sulky a few weeks ago, and chose to counteract it by re-reading two of the Shopaholic books by Sophie Kinsella that I have. I hence re-read Shopaholic Abroad (where she shopped till dropped in NYC) and Shopaholic & Baby (that was really really cute!). Then I pondered why I liked this series so much, because… it’s actually about a very consumptive girl who can’t stop herself shopping. It’s very non-academic, not so enlightening (or is it), and seriously, I have lots of tings to do. But as a girlfriend of mine said, hey, it’s okay to read no-brainer chick-lit once in a while!
And you know what? She’s right! I don’t think writing a good chick-lit like the Shopaholic series is a no-brainer; Sophie Kinsella was clearly very smart and knowledgeable to be able to write a very captivating series. But reading the (seemingly) no-brainer theme of a shopaholic is, well, no brainer. It’s an escape from day-to-day academic world. The Shopaholic series is definitely one of my favourite series. The books, I mean. Not the movie. Isla Fisher did a good job as a Yankee Becky. But I couldn’t relate to the Hugh Dancy’s version of Luke Brandon, the beau, tho Dancy is also an Englishman. I picture Luke Brandon as taller, better framed, and also a bit more reserved, but funny at the same time…
Anyway. Book-wise, I can identify myself with Rebecca Bloomwood, the main character. I mean, I am NOT a crazy shopaholic like her, but I do enjoy shopping and once in a while cracked in Ebay and oh those kind of things… But the point is, I can relate to Becky. Particularly after I gained an unexpected passion for shoes (particularly pump shoes) recently (don’t ask!) and have to steer my friend’s conversation to non-saving themes every time she ask about it (cos I am saving for my mortgage. Really, I am!). Ahem. Anyway. I can see why shopping is really a distracting activity, including online shopping (I have love and hate relationship with eBay…).
But most of all, what I admire from Becky is her innate ability to bounce back after crisis. True, she usually caused her own crisis, but she never ran away from it. Well, yeah, getting sulky for days or weeks… but eventually she came around and overcame it pretty well. Selling most of her stuffs to pay for her astronomical debt in Shopaholic Goes Abroad is the best example. Also running up the hill with high heels to make amend with her long-lost sister, that’s another thing.
Becky is so relatable. She’s not flawless, but she learns from her mistakes. She is also a girl with golden heart who truly cares for others. There’s another thing I admire from Becky. Well, a bit jealous too, perhaps. For she has an excellent husband called Luke Brandon that was so compatible with her. Well, of course the prim Englishman Luke doesn’t agree with Becky’s shopaholic habit, and Becky is often pissed off with Luke’s policy of ‘don’t tell your girlfriend/wife about your businesses’… but they truly love and support each other.
And they learned from their ups and downs. Luke seems to be more mature by the end of the Baby story. He involves Becky in his decision makings, including preparing her with the possibility of bad financial prospects for the months to come. Becky is also better at managing their finances and she grows out her habit of listening to other people’s gossips and jumping to conclusions (the last one she shares with me too; I also am trying not to jump to conclusions now…).
And one of the most important things that made me love Becky (or rather, Kinsella for writing her so well) the most is what she said in Shopaholic & Baby. It was after she and Luke had a talk about the possibility that Luke had an affair with Venetia, Becky’s celeb obs-gyn), and of course Luke denied that wholeheartedly. Which was true anyway. Luke was acting weird for months because Brandon Communications was in trouble, and he didn’t want to worry Becky and baby in the womb.
So this is what Becky then told us the audience (p. 286):
“In the end, you have to choose whether or not to trust someone. And I do choose. I do.”
And you know what? She’s right. In the end, I choose to trust. Period.
Pic: Shopaholic & Baby from Amazon UK