Sophie Kinsella’s books have been on my TBR pile for a long time but last September when I moved to London (I have never been here before), I thought that it would be nice to read a local author. I started with the Shopaholic Series (I watched the movie but, as usual, the books is so much better) and immediately fell in love with her stories. She makes me feel so related to her heroines that Sophie has become one of my favorite authors.
This past weekend I was in need of a new “Sophie’s Girl” adventure and decided to read one of her stand-alone novels (you have to read Can you keep a secret? Is soooo funny!) I read Twenties Girl and yes, Sophie did it again! This book delivered as I expected, is a sweet story that will make you more sensible about your older relatives and how they feel when they are getting old. You are going to have a good laugh through the entire book and it will make you think about Sadie every time someone says “There is a voice in my head!”
Twenties Girl is the story of 27 years old Lara and her 105 year old Great Aunt Sadie. It begins with Sadie’s funeral when any of her relatives can say a thing about Sadie’s life. She had a stroke in the 80’s and since then she lived in a Nursing Home –for 29 years-. Her 23 year old ghost is aghast because she can’t find her necklace and she is going to be cremated without it, she needs it to find peace and “move on”, that’s when she discovers that there is someone that can hear her: her great niece Lara.
Lara is a daydreaming 27 year old girl whose life is falling apart, her business partner and best friend fled to Goa and let her with a business that she doesn’t know how to run, her boyfriend broke up with her without any explanation and her family is breathing down her neck all the time worrying about her life. Obviously, when Sadie starts talking to her and demanding for her to search for her necklace she thinks that she is going mental. From that point on Kinsella takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions: you go from annoyed because you feel like you want to murder Sadie (a Ghost) and her childish demands, to melancholic because you wish for Sadie to get her HEA.
I have -almost- anything but praises for the characters of this book, Sadie is beautiful, vibrant, openly honest and yes annoying; her inner strength goes beyond death and teaches you how to live wholeheartedly. Lara is like every other Sophie’s heroine, extremely funny, with dancing problems and a tendency to lie. Sometimes it felt like I was reading a new Becky’s (from the Shopaholic Series) story and this got on the way of my enjoyment of the book, but then you turn the page and find yourself laughing out loud and forgetting about the annoying parts.
Lara’s family was filled with fun characters. Her Dad is a sweet guy, full of good advises and a heart of gold. And her mom, oh God her mom! I wish there were more scenes with her, she is hilarious, is the kind of person that is really apprehensive about life in general, take this part of the book when Lara in phoning home:
“I dial the number, lean back, and wait for Dad to pick up. (Answering the phone makes Mum anxious, because it might be kidnappers.)”
Then we have Uncle Bill, the multimillionaire entrepreneur that started a Café’s franchise like Starbucks with only two coins, he now has a book and runs seminars coaching people on how to start a business from scratch, needless to say he is a self-absorbed ugly person that I’m sure you won’t like.
Both Lara and Sadie have love interests in this novel, some of them from the past and a particular one from the present. Sadie led Lara to discover a new and healthy relationship that made her realize that life just happens and some things are not meant to be. Ed, their “Daddy-O”, is a big part of the story, in some ways he is a bridge to more heartbreaking and wonderful things
In general, the plot is interesting but the narrative is what makes this a wonderful story. Is a quick read full of scenes worth re-reading, is a story about love, family and doing something worthwhile with your life. I could give it a 5 but there are some parts where I really wanted to kill Sadie because of her selfish behavior and Lara because of her attitude toward Josh; and sometimes Lara felt too similar to Becky. If there is something sure about this novel, is that you are going to have a whole range of feelings for these characters.
Review By Marie
SynopsisLara has always had an overactive imagination. Now she wonders if she is losing her mind. Normal twenty-something girls just don’t get visited by ghosts! But inexplicably, the spirit of Lara’s great aunt Sadie – in the form of a bold, demanding Charleston-dancing girl – has appeared to make one last request: Lara must track down a missing necklace Sadie simply can’t rest without. Lara’s got enough problems of her own. Her start-up company is floundering, her best friend and business partner has run off to Goa, and she’s just been dumped by the love of her life. But as Lara spends time with Sadie, life becomes more glamorous and their treasure hunt turns into something intriguing and romantic. Could Sadie’s ghost be the answer to Lara’s problems and can two girls from different times end up learning something special from each other?
Bantam Press; July 16, 2009