Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld
Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
“’Tis the season for change and Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) is embracing it, returning from the States to live in the charming village of Letherby and working with her best friend, Suze, in the gift shop of Suze’s stately home. Life is good, especially now that Becky takes time every day for mindfulness . . . which actually means listening to a meditation tape while hunting down online bargains.
But Becky still adores the traditions of Christmas: Her parents host, carols play on repeat, her mother pretends she made the Christmas pudding, and the neighbors come ’round for sherry in their terrible holiday sweaters. Things are looking cheerier than ever until Becky’s parents announce they’re moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch—unable to resist the draw of craft beer and smashed avocados—and ask Becky if she’ll host this year. What could possibly go wrong?
Her sister demands a vegan turkey, her husband insists that he just wants aftershave—again, and little Minnie demands a very specific picnic hamper: Surely Becky can manage all this, as well as the surprise appearance of an old-boyfriend-turned-rock-star and his pushy new girlfriend, whose motives are far from clear. But as the countdown to Christmas begins and her big-hearted plans take an unexpected turn toward disaster, Becky starts to wonder if chaos will ensue, or if she’ll manage to bring comfort and joy to Christmas after all.”
October 15th, 2019
I have such wonderful reading memories of the Sophie Kinsella Shopaholic books and it was one of the first series that I really got into as an adult reader in the early 2000s. It was so fun to reconnect with Becky in Christmas Shopaholic and see what she is up to now all these years later. Becky Bloomwood (now Becky Brandon) has matured and grown in many ways and is now juggling life as both a wife and mother.
While Becky has changed in many ways, her shopping habits and overthinking just about everything has not… which always was part of the charming appeal of these lighthearted booked. Christmas Shopaholic was a wonderful addition to this collection and it was the perfect weekend read to curl up with on the couch. We get to see Becky take on hosting Christmas for the very first time and there was plenty of laugh out loud moments.
Becky is flawed but completely lovable and you can’t help but root along for her while also being highly entertained. While this is part of a series, Kinsella created a book that can also be read as a stand-alone book, although it might intrigue you to read the rest of them after.
Thank you to NetGalley, Random House, and The Dial Press for an advanced copy.