Thursday, May 27, 2010

SPENT -Memoirs of a Shopping Addict
By Avis Cardella

OVERVIEW: What happens when someone is consumed by the desire to consume? In this candid and visceral memoir, Avis Cardella details the shopping addiction that took over her life--and writes about her road to recovery. From an early age, Avis Cardella was entranced by the transformative powers of clothing, and shopping. Her role model was her dazzling mother, who always seemed dressed for a party. As a teenager, Cardella obsessed over fashion magazines. She memorized the names of models and the styles of fashion photographers. The images held the allure and promise of a glamorous life. Later Cardella would become a model herself and then a fashion  journalist. But what was once glamorous changed in tenor after her mother's unexpected death left her shopping away countless afternoons in order to avoid her grief. Set to the beat of New York City in the 1990's, Cardella's shopping odyssey took her from fabulous luxury boutiques to sample sales. Her wardrobe was brimming with designer fashions: Prada, Armani, and Jil Sander. But as the millennium drew to a close, so did her grand lifestyle. As her credit card debt grew like the pile of unworn clothing in the back of her closet, she had to confront the real reason behind her compulsion to buy, and the truth about this thoroughly modern addiction.

AUTHOR: After spending her formative years reading fashion magazines voraciously, Avis Cardella found her calling writing about photography, fashion, and culture. She has written for British Vogue, American Photo, and Surface, among other publications. She lives in Paris with her husband.

MY REVIEW: The addiction to shopping is a need that must be addressed in today's society. Many women I know, my wife included, like to shop. But this book is not just about shopping--it is about addiction to shopping! I read and review many books each year. Most of them are well written. But Cardella's book surpasses almost all of them. I agree with the publisher, this book is "written in gorgeous, jewel-like prose." This woman is a writer! If you enjoy good writing you will enjoy this book even if you are not interested in the subject. My reading of this book was interrupted by many things and I had to put it down. But I came running back as soon as possible. "Spent is an incisive exploration of our cultural need to spend and a timely, deeply personal and shockingly dramatic story of addiction and recovery."

(I received my copy of this book from the generous people at Hachette Book Group in return for an honest review)


Loren said...

great review Clif! I love to shop and am thankfully not addicted to it :)

Blessings to you my friend