Friday, August 7, 2009

Book Report: Shoe Addicts Anonymous by Beth Harbison


Last night I put The Tote Trove on the back burner and devoted myself to reading Shoe Addicts Anonymous by Beth Harbison. I'm about halfway through, and it's hilarious. It's about four very different women, their deep, dark secrets, and the one thing they have in common: an obsession with designer shoes. It's a little bit Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella and a little bit The Nanny Diaries by Emma Mclaughlin and Nicola Kraus, but still original. One of the characters, Lorna Rafferty, is reminiscent of Shopaholic's Rebecca Bloomwood and has a story line that expertly explains why it's so much fun to acquire stuff:

"Her first purchase had been a pair of red Keds. She'd seen them on the Lucite stand and immediately pictured herself dockside at the Chesapeake Bay with friends, her skin a deep bronze from the sun, her blonde hair gleaming like the front of a box of Clairol Hydrience 02 Beach Blonde, her new boyfriend -- the son of a wealthy family who owned car dealerships all across the D.C. Metro area -- so enamored of her that he would propose and they'd live happily ever after . . . Unfortunately, . . . the boyfriend had dumped her a few weeks later, after cheating on her rather spectacularly with her best friend at her own birthday party; she'd spent the summer working miscellaneous temp jobs indoors, so the tan had never materialized; and her hair had grown out to a light brown that was lank and flat from the artificial environment of office buildings, rather than the spun gold she'd pictured blowing fetchingly around her face as she stood on the bow of the boat, sailing toward happily ever after." (Harbison 10)

Lorna, I hear you. I can't tell you how many times I've bought something to wear because it made me feel like I was buying possibility. Like maybe a great party, concert, or vacation would materialize if I had the right outfit waiting. Usually I end up layering the clothes to make them work appropriate or wearing them (gasp) to the mall. This book got me so wrapped up in the glamour of shoe shopping that I almost stopped by Macy's on my way home from work the other day to snag a pair of patterned Carlos Santana pointy-toed pumps (50% off!) that I'd been eyeing. Almost. So, if you like shoes and zany yet eerily realistic characters, then pick up Shoe Addicts Anonymous. It's great fun!

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