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Spent is the author's personal account of being addicted to shopping for clothes. The author, Avis Cardella, has written about fashion, photography, and culture; she lives in Paris. An “Author's Note”, at the book's front, describes it as a work of nonfiction, with certain names and identifying details changed. Crafted beautifully by the skilled writing hand of Cardella, the book is poignantly candid and emotionally riveting. Strong behavioral and psychological currents flow through the raging river of shopping addiction described anecdotally by Cardella. As diagnosed by Cardella, her addiction to shopping was bittersweet: shopping gave Cardella pleasure; but Cardella's compulsive, financially unaffordable shopping also caused her emotional, psychological, and financial pain. Cardella's frankly revealed battles with her personal demons instructively focuses readers' attention on shopping addiction.
The book, substantively, is written as a personal memoir, replete with selected, anecdotally described, autobiographical details. There is a thematic emphasis on Cardella's addiction to shopping for clothes.
The keen eye of Cardella, for spotting details, is evident across the full area of the book. Cardella's remarkably well detailed descriptions of clothes exemplify her sharp vision for details.
The book's corpus is populated fairly densely with anecdotal quotes of a substantively enlivening nature.
Following the “Epilogue' are some “Notes”, which, on a selected chapter basis, provide citations and accompanying annotated comment regarding substantively germane research materials.
Cardella's self-described addiction to shopping for clothes garners carefully, and candidly, detailed attention throughout the book. The sharp and wide spanning eye of Cardella for details, in this regard, ranges to: the ritual, of shopping; carefully recounted details of particular stores where she shopped, and recollected details regarding some of the salespersons she encountered; attending “sample sales”; very finely detailed descriptions of particular clothing items she purchased; expert comment, concerning various fashion labels and designers; post purchase storage and care of clothes; Cardella's “hoarding” ritual, regarding clothes; and choosing suitable clothes from her wardrobe, to appropriately suit particular occasions.
Congruently, there is detailed, and frank, comment regarding the financial side of shopping for clothes.
Over the book's course, Cardella likewise forthrightly supplies many details with respect to her personal relationships, and with regard to her career trajectory.
Cardella's very open, and insightful, revealing of her feelings and emotions, and perceived flaws and vulnerabilities, are an importantly defining part of the book's composition.
Many of the personal demons Cardella has battled with, as recounted in the book, are linked to her shopping addiction. As Cardella explains openly and insightfully, her self identity, for many years, was based on her outward appearance. But, as Cardella explains further, defining her vulnerable self image by means of the clothes she wore proved to be highly self destructive to her emotionally, and financially.
Critics may caution that Cardella's personal account makes a valuable contribution, albeit anecdotally, to the existing body of research information pertinent to shopping addiction.
But certainly, in a manner highly absorbing of readers' interest, Cardella shines a brightly illumining spotlight on the area of addiction to shopping.
The book's absorbing contents may greatly engage the interest of lay readers.
The powerful writing arm of Cardella may also firmly grip the professional attention of many professionals, including: mental health experts, marketing and advertising professionals, fashion experts, and financial advisers.
© 2011 Leo Uzych
Leo Uzych (based in Wallingford, PA) earned a law degree, from Temple University; and a master of public health degree, from Columbia University. His area of special professional interest is healthcare. Twitter @LeoUzych