SHOPAHOLIC & SISTER
Sophie Kinsella, , read by Katherine Kellgren. . Random House Audio, $29.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-7393-1573-6
England is a land of plentiful shopping opportunities and colorful regional accents, and actress Kellgren nails the latter in her charming rendition of Kinsella's newest Shopaholic novel. Just home from her honeymoon, Becky Bloomwood, now the wealthy wife of Luke Brandon, learns she has a long-lost half-sister. The news delights Becky, who fantasizes about late-night sisterly chats and shared cappuccinos. But Jess turns out to be not at all what Becky expected. In a dour Cumbrian accent that contrasts deliciously with Becky's posh inflections, Jess berates Becky for her irresponsibility and belittles her addiction to shopping. Their verbal battles leave little hope for reconciliation, until serious marital troubles brought on by Becky's shopping habit find her turning to Jess for guidance. Things get worse before they get better, and Kellgren's vivacious reading never fails to plumb the depths of Becky's despair. How will Luke forgive her for setting him up with a criminal client all in the name of a coveted Angel bag? Will Jess ever speak to Becky again after she expounds on her sister's faults in front of Jess's entire small village? Ultimately, the hilarious mayhem winds down to an inevitable happy ending, avoiding deep thought in favor of pure fun.
Reviewed on: 11/01/2004