This is one amazing book, which got converted to a film as well. It talks about an average girl named Rebecca working in a financial research firm in London. She is not well suited for the job as her interests are very different but it gives her a good salary. The salary is good but is always at depleted levels as she loves shopping.
The book takes you through various situations she encounters like attending press conferences, facing questions about her line of business she is not ready to answer, running into her favorite store to find it on a big discount, her relationship with her roommate which is fabulous as she appreciates her shopping habits to the core. On the other hand she seems to be constantly bombarded by endless bank letters to pay her credit card bills as she is always over-drawn.
The emotions displayed are expressed so well that you wish the book never ends.
So basically there is this childish immature part of her that feels that shopping can conquer all battles she is faced with. She keeps throwing the bank letters to pretend that she never received them. The funniest is how she tries to apply the strategy of cut back but ends up spending a lot more and realizes it’s not her cup of tea. Next she tries to employ the strategy of earn more to maintain her lifestyle and ends up with these part time jobs. In one of them she works as a salesgirl in a clothing store and gets fired in half a day as she is trying to keep a garment from shopping as she wants it badly.
She gets hopeless on how to bring her bank balances from negative to positive and her life back to normal. In a fury she leaves home and goes to her parent’s home to escape from reality. While she is relaxing there she continues to get calls from the bank as her balances is depleting faster than she would realize.
She bumps into her neighbor there who she had once advised to switch funds from one plan to the other. Apparently the news came around that the company was at fault and had wrongly suggested the switch and the poor neighbors lost out on a huge lump sum they would have received had they not switched.
Free from the hustle and bustle, distractions of shopping from her daily life, Rebecca thinks about this issue and realizes that the company has been a big fraud to do this. She decides to investigate and submits an article to a friend who publishes this the next day. This becomes her turning point. She worked from her heart to bring justice to the neighbors she loved dearly. Her article gets a lot of attention and she gets covered by the TV. She does a talk show with the company’s PR against her. It shows how she wins in the end to bring justice and prove the company wrong. The entire incident becomes life transforming for her. She is able to detach herself from shopping and becomes focused on producing real work that matters to her. Once in a while though shopping is calling her…
This book is such an eye opener for people who keep collecting things. Things never give you the same satisfaction as doing a good piece does. That work will matter from people to people. It would vary from a corporate job for someone to teaching, banking, selling, creating music, writing, raising family, acting etc.
What matters is that you are giving back something to the society and at the same time, give yourself some added depth and meaning. Rebecca was working before but it lacked interest from her side making that job totally meaningless. It resulted in frivolous rounds of shopping and a life which was in a BIG MESS.
At last the message I took back was, that it is important to indentify your passion and follow it whole heartedly. It will add that spark to your life.