Review

Shopaholic & Baby

by Sophie Kinsella

Shopaholic goddess Becky Bloomwood Brandon is dying to know the gender of her unborn "bump," conceived on her honeymoon. The suspense doesn't stop her from shopping 'til she drops for everything from designer prams to a Circus Tent Changing Station and 400-thread-count linen sheets for the baby. Her biggest purchase by far is a new dream house in a posh London suburb, complete with a customized shoe cupboard for herself, his and hers nurseries and a built-in electric sushi maker. Becky negotiates with her Archie Swann cowboy boots in calfskin with the leather drawstring to seal the deal. The defining factor: the boots were featured in Vogue under "Most Coveted." What man wouldn't make that kind of deal? Becky's rationality for outrageous purchases is laugh-out-loud funny and endears you to indulge a first-time mother.

Sophie Kinsella, the New York Times bestselling author of the Shopaholic series, has written a designer pregnancy manual for a new generation of moms-to-be. Those who have had children will be jealous of Becky's designer wardrobe, as well as hospitals with double beds and wine lists. Only our pampered shopaholic would think to hire an aromatherapist, a reflexologist and a homeopath for the birth of her baby. Best of all, Becky would "make it OK for pregnant women to have cocktails. In fact, I'd make it healthy to have cocktails. And your arms wouldn't swell up. And there wouldn't be any morning sickness. And labor wouldn't exist..." This is why fantasy is so appealing....

Becky's pregnancy sails along smoothly due to her new mantra: "shopping cures morning sickness." Her cravings appropriately include "a pineapple and pink cardigan." Best friend Suze is always there to shop with her and offer these encouraging words: "...you'll be the best dressed one (mom) in the playground." Becky's mother tells it like it is: "They have better drugs these days. My advice is take everything they've got." Suze and Becky realize together that you can have the same lust in your eyes for a new pushchair as for a new dress. Pregnancy is really just another excuse to shop for a new wardrobe and baby clothes and nursery items.

Becky's fantasy pregnancy continues as she is the featured mommy-to-be in a Vogue photo shoot --- in an Oscar de la Renta maternity dress. Every woman should experience the luxury of having a makeup artist and a hairdresser transform you into a goddess during the eighth month of pregnancy. There's nothing like a team of experts to enhance that so-called "glow" that accompanies it.

The most unnerving event of Becky's pregnancy is the fact that her celebrity must-have obstetrician, Venetia Carter, turns out to be the ex-girlfriend of her handsome, "squillionaire" rich PR husband. Suddenly, celebrity tea parties and water birth with lotus flowers pale as Becky realizes that Venetia is making a play for him. Like most men, Luke doesn't see through the lies that the jealous Venetia has told to Becky until it is nearly too late. Venetia is no match for Becky's hormones and love for her husband.

"Some things are best left a blur. Births and Visa bills." No truer statement has ever been written. Becky makes pregnancy a shopping experience like no other. For a woman who doesn't know any nursery rhymes or how to change a nappy, she sure figures out quickly that the best use for a stroller is carrying mountains of purchases instead of a baby.

You will laugh and cry with Becky and Luke as they prepare for the new arrival. Their visit to Pram City is a warm repartee between a loving couple expecting their first child. Ugly surgical stockings to prevent varicose veins are not fashionable and reduce Becky to tears. Becky is a visionary when it comes to finances. Her selections are unique and her desire for a designer future for her unborn baby are the bulk of her portfolio. Baby number one is a willing shopaholic devotee. Prams have one key benefit --- they allow shopaholics to maintain their habit after the baby arrives. Shopaholics have more fun!

Reviewed by Hillary Wagy on January 23, 2011

Shopaholic & Baby
by Sophie Kinsella

  • Publication Date: February 27, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: The Dial Press
  • ISBN-10: 0385338708
  • ISBN-13: 9780385338707