Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Twenties Girl: A Novel
Twenties Girl: A Novel
By: Sophie Kinsella
Published by The Dial Press, 2009
Sophie Kinsella, the popular author from the even more popular Shopaholic series, is back with a new novel. This novel contains everything Kinsella readers have come to expect and enjoy: humorous and culturally relevant commentary, the girl-next-door type(read: pretty and relatively smart, but a bit clumsy, flustered, and says whatever pops in her head; do now, think later), the "prince charming," and of course, the crazy and almost unbelievable situations. But this novel has a twist, ...more Sophie Kinsella, the popular author from the even more popular Shopaholic series, is back with a new novel. This novel contains everything Kinsella readers have come to expect and enjoy: humorous and culturally relevant commentary, the girl-next-door type(read: pretty and relatively smart, but a bit clumsy, flustered, and says whatever pops in her head; do now, think later), the "prince charming," and of course, the crazy and almost unbelievable situations. But this novel has a twist, and it ain't the living kind folks.
The story follows Lara Lington, a twenty-seven year old woman, who is visited by the twenty-three year old ghost of her great aunt, Sadie Lancaster. Sadie can't "move on" until she can find her greatest possession, a necklace she's had for years. She enlists the help of Lara, and together both women try to solve the "mystery," while simultaneously forging a friendship and learning about one another, something neither could have anticipated (except, of course, the audience).
Is the book good? Yes, it's an easy read, and a fun diversion, something that fans of chic-lit have come to understand and appreciate. Is it predictable. Oh yes, yes it is. A few chapters into the book, I was already aware of how the "mystery" was going to end (ie the culprit). However, to Kinsella's credit, while the general direction of the story may seem predictable, Kinsella always manages to twist the actual events around somehow. So while the ending is not exactly as we imagined it, its still an ending that we see coming.
Is this the fate of chic-lit books? Perhaps, but Kinsella has such charm and humor in her books that its no surprise millions are willing to read what she has to write. Myself included; I have read every single one of her books, under the pen-name of Sophie Kinsella that is.
In general, the book seemed a little too long for me. There were many scenes that I think she could have edited to make shorter, or just plain cut out, and it would not have detracted from the overall plot.
As for the two main characters, I found Sadie to be a bit annoying and rude. It was hard at times to imagine that this is a twenty three year old, albeit ghost, because she seemed like a bratty teenager. But as the story progressed, their friendship deepened, I came across my favorite underlying theme in the book: the importance of family and the disillusion of old age. I've always had tremendous respect for elderly people. Too often they are swept under the rug, their wisdom and experiences deemed irrelevant. Through Sadie and Lara's relationship, Kinsella is able to show the reader that old age does not mean decrepit. Sure, the body weakens, the physical appearance of youth disappears, but the mind is still fresh, young, still in its twenties :) The spirit of those who are older is one that is constantly saying, wow i'm old, how did that happen?! I think Kinsella does a marvelous job in showing that youthfulness, but also illuminating the fact that the old have gone through some extraordinary situations, if only people looked beyond the physical to truly appreciate it.
Overall, if you are a Kinsella fan, then I hardly need to sell you on reading it; you probably have already read it, planning to check it out from the library, or plain buy it. For those new to the Kinsella scene, this may not be the first book I would recommend of hers to read, but it has Kinsella's signature voice, so you can get a feel for who she is as an author.
Not as good as her other books, but a fun and easy read that will keep you entertained.