First, let me be up front: I'm a Sophie Kinsella fan. I discovered Confessions of a Shopaholic when it first came out and was instantly hooked. Becky has a charm all her own, and in this latest installment, she's a mom, there's a recession and she's trying to save money, plan a party for her husband, Luke, and do a little detective work. Of course, hilarity ensues.
The addition of her daughter, Minnie, who has acquired her mothers acquisitive ways, is entertaining, if over the top, though watching Becky rationalize Minnie's pin money is familiar and fun. The real magic here is the way Luke can read Becky like a book, even as she tries to shop less. Her attempts at bartering are quite entertaining. I don't want to spoil the book too much but will say that Becky's relationship with her family and most everyone she knows wind up extremely strained by her sneaking around ways. Kinsella works in the financial woes of the world and tries to put Becky on a budget. Zany fun that'll have Becky surely winning over new readers and wooing old ones. The only thing I didn't think was on par with previous books were Becky's formal letters; they were very Becky, with suggestions to government leaders about the economy, but didn't quite have the zing of the early ones to her bank managers. That's a very minor quibble in what could be called recession chick lit, or just plain page-turning escapism.