|Genre||Comedy, Chick lit|
Mini Shopaholic (2010) is the sixth book of Shopaholic series. It is a chick-lit novel by Sophie Kinsella, a pen-name of Madeline Wickham. It focuses on the main character Rebecca (Becky) Bloomwood, her husband Luke Brandon and their daughter Minnie.
Rebecca Bloomwood and her husband, Luke Brandon, want to buy a home of their own so that they do not have to live with Becky's parents anymore. Their young daughter, Minnie, exhibits behavioural problems and seems to be incapable of being controlled by either parent. For example, she has been banned from four different Christmas grottos because of her naughty behaviour. Minnie's inability to behave properly gives Luke doubts about having a second child. He tells Becky that they are already having trouble controlling Minnie and is unable to even contemplate having another child.
In addition to the difficulties of raising Minnie, Becky is also planning a surprise party for Luke. In her efforts to keep it a secret from Luke, she encounters several obstacles. At first, several of her friends and members of her family doubt Becky's ability to keep such a colossal secret and she faces the financial problem of throwing a grand party. This includes the hardships in a potential lawsuit between Luke's company and the Arcodas group(which Luke claims will just be a settlement), the excessive shopping(which Becky solves by giving up shopping for new clothes to wear the clothing she hasn't warn for months) and struggling to find a proper home for their family so they can finally move out of the Bloomwoods' house in Surrey. She must also deal with Elinor, Luke's biological mother, who wants to get to know her granddaughter, Minnie. Becky keeps her encounters with his mother a secret from Luke as they have a hard time getting along. She expressly misses Annabel, Luke's stepmother who was more of a real mother to him than Elinor. Yet Becky is starting to see their own behavior is resembling that of his birth mother, which they're being cold in keeping Minnie away from her. Luke staunchly denies it, admitting he was offended for an insult Elinor made about Annabel before her death and the mistreatment that she gave Becky over the years. Later on, Becky also faces estrangement from her own parents after an argument she has with them. One such argument involve a disagreement that she had with Graham and Jane while discussing Minnie's behavior. They both suspect that Becky is being selfish in not accepting responsibility for her own actions that lead to Minnie's bad behavior, that of which she denies. Graham and Jane also thinks she's interfering with their lives by inviting herself when they want privacy with each other.
In a subplot, Jess and Tom have secretly gotten married in Chile. They are considering adopting their first child, but Janice is against it and insists they get a biological child first before adopting. Becky is unhappy about her behavior and defends their decision to adopt. She tells Janice off not to interfere their lives and be more open minded with their choice. Her words offends Janice as Tom is her son and tells Becky that she wants them to have a birth child first. However, Becky remains adamant in her stance because Jess is her sister and respects both her and Tom's decision adopt first.
Becky is about ready to give up on the surprise birthday party, which is in shambles. Elinor steps in and offers an unconditional gift, the one real mothers would've made and reconciles with her when she accepts responsibility for her actions. She is stunned that she would help her, but accepts it so Luke can have his birthday party. In the moment of vulnerability, Elinor apologizes for insulting Annabel and realizes she was a real mother to Luke than her. Becky reaches out for her help in finding the source of Minnie's behavioral problems and Elinor agrees to help her.
Still concerned over Minnie's naughty behavior and without consulting Becky, Luke hires Nanny Sue from her own T.V. show in secret to help them become better parents. After coming home, she finds out and is infuriated with him for not consulting her about it. Becky admitted she had been talking to Elinor about similar behavioral problems with Minnie and this angers Luke. Before an argument can unfold, Nanny Sue makes a surprise assessment and identifies Luke's fears with having another child along with his own issues with his mother, Elinor. She admitted that before she was called in, she went undercover and had observed the family's behavior at the mall. While relieved he had nothing to do with Minnie's bad behavior, Luke is shocked when Nanny Sue reveals she was actually in called by Graham and Jane(Becky's parents) to confront Becky as a favor to them. After observing her behavior at the toy store, Nanny Sue is convinced that Becky is responsible for Minnie's naughty behavior. She is the first person to ask Becky if she considered that she may have a shopping addiction. Becky tries to deny this, but Minnie's comments of items doesn't help dissuade the matter. Becky finally admits to Nanny Sue that she does and everything else in the matter. She reveals it was because of her addiction to shopping, inability to take responsibility for herself and fighting with Minnie for an expensive toy pony she wanted are the real reasons they had been banned from previous Christmas grottos. Becky realizes the woman she had been talking to at the mall had been Nanny Sue with children of her own. Nanny Sue suggests that she and Luke begins Minnie on a strict regime of discipline(similar to what Elinor had told Becky). After Becky agrees with Nanny Sue to seek help and undergo "Shopaholics Boot Camp", she asks Luke to reconsider about having a second child and he does. They however must deal with the surprise birthday party along with the two million people who know about it and of which Becky had tried to keep a surprise. Now reformed, she reconciles with Graham and Jane and apologizes for her behavior. The book ends with Luke asking Becky if she would like to come to L.A with him for 3 months.
- The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic (2000) also published as Confessions of a Shopaholic (2001)
- Shopaholic Abroad (2001) also published as Shopaholic Takes Manhattan (2002)
- Shopaholic Ties The Knot (2002)
- Shopaholic & Sister (2004)
- Shopaholic & Baby (2007)
- Mini Shopaholic (2010)
- Shopaholic to the Stars (2014)