Review by The Quidnunc
Sophie Kinsella’s books have been on my LML pile for a long time ever since last September when I moved to London, I thought that it would be a nice touch to read a local author.
Twenties Girl is one of her stand-alone novels: 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.
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:
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“I dial the number, lean back, and wait for Dad to pick up. (Answering the phone makes Mum anxious, because it might be kidnappers.)”
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. Although, I was quite sceptical about this novel - being a chick-lit I had my prejudice- I admit I was wonderfully surprised by the way it touched me. Sadie reminded me so badly of my best friend that I couldn't but shed a tear when she finally found her rest. If there is something sure about this novel, is that you are going to have a whole range of feelings for these characters.