“Shopaholic and Baby” by Sophie Kinsella

Another great entry in the Shopaholic series. To her delight, Becky is pregnant–but it turns out being a mother-to-be isn’t always blissful. Especially when, in your quest to be seen by the hottest OB-GYN in Britain, you find yourself throwing your husband in the way of his super-hot ex-girlfriend. There are the usual Becky hijinks–honestly, can’t the woman ever try telling the truth for a change?–that are hilariously over-the-top, but are also an examination/critique of “baby culture,” with mothers trying to outdo each other in trendy virtuousness and pram superstores selling ATV prams for thousands of pounds. Seeing all this through Becky’s eyes is effective precisely because she gets so sucked up in it–we get the interior thoughts of someone who really does believe, at least in part, that having the perfect pram and the hottest, trendiest birth experience will make everything perfect, even though we (and, if she’s honest with herself, Becky as well) know that that isn’t quite true. The narrative irony is one of the things that make this series a delight, and it holds strong even as Becky matures, inasmuch as she can.

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