“Shopaholic on Honeymoon” by Sophie Kinsella is a fun short story that takes place between the third (Shopaholic Ties the Knot) and the fourth (Shopaholic & Sister) shopaholic books. I know I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a huge fan of short stories, but I was pretty pleased with this one. This is also a rare situation where I wouldn’t recommend this short story as a way to get a taste of Sophie Kinsella’s writing. The main reason being that the entirety of the shopaholic series is a lot of fun and I feel like starting in the middle would just be a bit crazy. As an alternative, I would point a potential Sophie Kinsella fan to one of her stand-alone novels to get a sense of her writing. They’re all wonderfully entertaining and reading one book is not as much of a commitment as starting an entire series.
SPOILER ALERT: THERE ARE REFERENCES TO THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE SHOPAHOLIC SERIES THROUGHOUT THIS REVIEW. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED
The premise of the short story is all in the title, “Shopaholic on Honeymoon”. The story opens up on Luke and Becky in the very beginning of their honeymoon. At the conclusion of “Shopaholic Ties the Knot” Becky reveals that she returned all the gifts they received as wedding presents and used the cash to buy round-the-world tickets for the two of them. The proposed plan is to take a year off and spend it traveling. In “Shopaholic on Honeymoon”, Luke is having difficulty coming to terms with not working for any period of time. “The truth is, Luke’s not brilliant at going on holiday. He doesn’t really get the whole chilling-out-and-doing-nothing thing.” (Shopaholic on Honeymoon, loc 109).
Most of the story is dedicated to Becky trying to get Luke to relax and enjoy himself rather than rushing back into work. She finds herself trying to balance between getting Luke to relax and enjoy the honeymoon and getting him to understand the importance of souvenirs. Of course rather than hauling all their goodies around for the whole trip, Becky has been sending things back home. ““Won’t it be fun when we get home and open everything we’ve bought?” I turn to Luke. “It’ll be like Christmas!”
“Yes.” Luke looks a little doubtful. “Becky, we must keep track of everything we send back.”
“Of course we will!” I say, a bit impatiently. “I’ll remember everything.” Luke has such a way of inventing problems that don’t exist.” (Shopaholic on Honeymoon, loc 78). I liked this reference to “Shopaholic & Sister” where Luke and Becky return home to find that they ordered quite a lot during their honeymoon. It is one thing that Luke is less than happy about when they return home.
Would I recommend this book? Yes, I thought it was a fun addition to the Shopaholic series. It was nice to have a short visit to Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood)’s world while I wait for the next book in the series to come out. I do highly recommend Sophie Kinsella’s work. She provides a great blend of problems and humor to keep you coming back again and again to the worlds she creates. I really enjoy her sense of humor. This one quote discussing museum visits I just have to share: “…There’s just the right amount of art. Enough that you can nod and go “Mmmm” and appreciate it and everything, but not so much that your eyes start to blur over and you start wanting to die.” (Shopaholic on Honeymoon, loc 117).