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Published by lizetbot

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Published by: lizetbot on Oct 19, 2010
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CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC 2000Rebecca Bloomwood lives in a flat in fashionable Fulham, London, thanks to her flatmate, Suze, beingwealthy. Becky works as a financial journalist for the magazine Successful Savings, a job she says that noone who works there is very excited about, and they all say that they just "fell into," while in fact beingunable to get better jobs. The job bores her. Becky admits to actually knowing very little about personalfinance as she is thousands of pounds in debt as is evidenced by a run through of her Visa card bill. Shebecomes deeper in debt by uncontrollably spending on designer homeware, clothes and beautyproducts. The book emphasises that her cycle of debt is not easily broken, as, even as she is thousandsof pounds in debt, Becky still receives letters offering her credit and department store cards. She oftenrationalises her overspending, for instance by referring to items as an 'investment' or necessary.Unfortunately for Becky, she considers things such as birthday presents for her friends as necessary.On her way to a press conference held by Brandon Communications, Becky notices a sale sign in thewindow of the Denny and George shop. She sees that the scarf she has long craved for is on sale at adiscount of 50%. Becky sees this as a unique opportunity but realizes that she has left her Visa card atthe office and asks the shop assistant to reserve the scarf until she can retrieve her credit card. Theassistant reluctantly agrees to hold it until the end of the day only.Upon arriving at the press conference, she is greeted by a staff of Brandon Communications, whomentions that there's been some surprising news in the banking field and asks Becky her opinion on thenews. Becky has no idea what the woman is referring to and has to feign knowledge. After the stafferleaves, Luke Brandon, head of Brandon Communications, realizing that she was feigning knowledge of what was happening, tells her that one financial group recently bought another, and it was recentlyrumored that Flagstaff Life was going the same way.Halfway through the conference Becky is given another errand by her employer and realizes that she willnot have time to return to the office for her credit card, but only needs twenty pounds more to buy herDenny & George scarf. She asks her friend Elly Granger if she can borrow some money, but Elly hasnone. Luke hears Becky ask for twenty pounds, and stops the whole Press Conference just so he canhand a twenty pound note to her, once she has made up a story of needing the money to buy a presentfor her aunt who is in hospital. Right after she has bought the Denny & George scarf she bumps intoLuke Brandon and has to make excuses to leave, before he finds out that she's lied.Later on during the week, Becky's flatmate Suze asks her to go to a restaurant with her and her cousins,including Tarquin. There, Becky sees Luke and his parents having dinner. The mother comments on
Becky's scarf, and she blabs about getting it as a bargain. Then she realizes her mistake, and abruptlytells a suspicious Luke that her aunt died. Becky is mortified.Luke runs into Becky after that and asks her to come shopping with him at Harrods. Initially she reallyenjoys shopping with him for luggage and goes up and down the shop wheeling around the luggageplayfully, helping Luke choose the best purchase. After he reveals that the luggage is actually for hisgirlfriend -Sacha, Becky is very upset, telling Luke that she feels he's used her and not treated her withrespect.Throughout the story, a man named Derek Smeath, who is the manager of Becky's bank, is constantlytrying to get ahold of her so he can set up a re-payment schedule for her overdraft. Becky always hassome excuse as to why she cannot send a check or meet with Mr. Smeath and his assistant, Erica. Theexcuses range from a broken leg, a dead aunt, etc, etc, until it becomes obvious to Mr. Smeath thatBecky is quite unable to repay the overdraft. He becomes quite insistent upon setting up a meeting withher.Suze and Becky happen to be flicking through a magazine and see a list of eligible millionaires. Tarquin isthe fifteenth richest there, but also on the list happens to be Luke Brandon. Tarquin asks Becky out,while there Tarquin compliments Becky on her scarf and she continues the pretense that it's from herdeceased aunt. She further embroiders that her aunt had set up a charity for children abroad to be givenviolin teachers. Tarquin writes out a check for £5000, which would solve Becky's financial problems, butshe feels she can't possibly accept it, and painfully refuses. While Tarquin goes the bathroom, Beckysneaks a look at his checkbook, wondering if a millionaire gets to buy a lot of lavish items. The contentisn't extraordinary. Tarquin returns and Becky is sure he saw her looking at the checkbook.Becky gives up trying to date Tarquin, as he is just not her type, even if he is very rich.At this point her bank manager is trying desperately to arrange a meeting. Unable to come up with anymore excuses, Becky goes back home to hide at her parent's house, lying to them when he calls andsaying he is a stalker, Becky learns that her next door neighbors made a financial decision based onadvice that Becky had absentmindedly given them and stand to miss out on thousands of pounds in awindfall resulting from a bank takeover. The bank had sent an offer of a carriage clock to people whowould get the windfall, if they change their account to a different plan. The bank knew of the plannedtakeover and upcoming windfall, while the customers do not, but if they accepted the plan for whichthey are offered a gift, the customers will not receive the windfall. Becky is horrified by being partly
culpable for her kindly neighbors losing out, and sets out to make things right by writing an article thatexposes the bank's duplicity. The article is a success, and leads to Becky appearing on a daytimetelevision show called The Morning Coffee. Unfortunately, Becky did not know that the bank was a clientof Luke Brandon's PR firm. Luke became very angry with her, and thought she wrote the article just toget back at him for treating her poorly. Becky and Luke square off during her appearance on TheMorning Coffee. After arguing with Becky Luke conceded that she was right, the bank had frauded theircustomers. So Luke Brandon announces that Brandon Communications will no longer be representingthat bank. Becky gets a regular slot on the show.Luke Brandon invites Becky out for a seeming business dinner at the Ritz Hotel. When Becky arrives attheir meeting, business is not on the agenda and instead they eat their fill of the food, including aselection of all the puddings they liked the sound of, and then end up spending the night at the Ritztogether. Becky has to miss yet another meeting arranged with her bank manager, but he writes andtells her this can be postponed, as due to her regular slot on television, her finances are now rosy. Butthe bank manager, Derek Smeath, will continue to keep an eye on her account.SHOPAHOLIC ABROAD 2001Life looks good for Becky Bloomwood. She has a great relationship with boyfriend Luke, a steady jobgiving financial advice- on TV! And is actually getting along with her bank manager, Derek Smeath. Butwhen Mr. Smeath retires from Endwich Bank and Luke announces he wants to make it big in New York,big changes are in store (literally) for Becky. She takes to New York like an angel to heaven. Becky hasnever been happier and the reader is treated to Becky seeing the Guggenheim in a unique way, winningthe attention of employees at Barney's and discovering sample sales. Becky is spending a lot, but is sureshe's financially secure, with the job offers on TV piling up. But an article in the Daily World reveals herhigh debts, calls her a fraud for telling people how to manage their money when she is herself feckless.This causes a fight between her and Luke, as there are current rumours about that his PR company,Brandon Communications, will lose Bank of London as their client, and her being revealed as in debt(and Luke not even knowing about it) doesn't help situations. More and more opportunities are ruledout, when more and more people read the article. She even loses her current job on Morning Coffee,and is replaced by her former co-worker Clare Edwards, who Becky never liked, being boring and smug.She returns home to her roommate and best friend Suze, while Luke remains in New York, and theirrelationship comes to an apparent end. Becky and Suze go to Becky's new bank manager to ask for abigger overdraft, but are met with nothing but hostility and disgust. A woman who worked for herformer employers Morning Coffee contacts her and asks her to lunch, Becky becomes hopeful, but itturns out she only wants Becky to come on and be told off by Clare for TV. Becky becomes depressed.On a trip to Luke's office to collect a package for her delivered there, she overhears a conversationbetween 'Alicia Bitch Long-Legs', Luke's employee, and another Brandon C. worker, which confuses her.She discovers Alicia and the worker are planning to steal Luke's clients, along with Bank of London, andset up on their own. She contacts Luke's colleague Michael Ellis and tells him, but asks him not to letLuke know it was her. Suze suggests for a healing and empowering exercise that Becky throw out all her

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