Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

December 29, 2012

Plot summary (from the publisher): Lara Lington has always had an overactive imagination, but suddenly that imagination seems to be in overdrive. Normal professional twenty-something young women don’t get visited by ghosts. Or do they?

When the spirit of Lara’s great-aunt Sadie-—a feisty, demanding girl with firm ideas about fashion, love, and the right way to dance-—mysteriously appears, she has one request: Lara must find a missing necklace that had been in Sadie’s possession for more than seventy-five years, because Sadie cannot rest without it.

Lara and Sadie make a hilarious sparring duo, and at first it seems as though they have nothing in common. But as the mission to find Sadie’s necklace leads to intrigue and a new romance for Lara, these very different “twenties” girls learn some surprising truths from and about each other. Written with all the irrepressible charm and humor that have made Sophie Kinsella’s books beloved by millions, Twenties Girl is also a deeply moving testament to the transcendent bonds of friendship and family.

Warning: Spoilers below!

Liked:

  • This was my very first Sophie Kinsella novel, and I have to say that I enjoy her writing style quite a bit. It’s sophisticated and breezy at the same time, if that makes sense. I could just tell that I wasn’t dealing with an amateur here.
  • I had no idea this story featured a “ghost”, so I’m glad I didn’t read the back cover before checking it out from the library (as a Kindle download). When I discovered the supernatural elements early on, I was a bit put off. But Kinsella handled the angle so well that I just kept going — and I’m glad I did!
  • I usually don’t get caught up in love stories, but the whole Sadie/painter boyfriend subplot was fantastic! The twist about Sadie’s portrait being a famous work of art in the national gallery was a great one, and really made me feel good about Sadie’s life. Was it realistic? Hell, no. But then how “realistic” was it to have this ghost wandering around London in the first place?
  • The Lara/Ed romance was tolerable as well. It took up just enough space in the story, IMO. There was enough of him so that I felt like I knew him and wanted Lara to land him in the end, but he didn’t overwhelm the action or detract from the main storyline in any way.
  • The ending, where Lara finally recovers the dragonfly necklace so that Sadie can rest in peace, had me in tears. I don’t cry that easily over books, but man, I just couldn’t help it this time. Lara and Sadie’s goodbye was very emotional and moving. It was truly well done.

Disliked:

  • I couldn’t really get into the evil uncle bit. I had him pegged as not quite aboveboard from the start, so the “reveal” that he had sold Sadie’s painting for half a million pounds to start his coffee biz wasn’t a big shocker for me.
  • Sometimes Sadie came off was way too annoying and petulant, which made me wonder why Lara bothered listening to her. I mean, forcing Lara to wear weird ’20s style clothing or dance in the middle of a bar that is not in any way a dance club? Come on. Kinsella was obviously trying to go for some humor here, but she fell short.

Rating:

Despite the problems listed above, I found myself enjoying Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella quite a bit. It was an easy, interesting read with a relatable main character and an engaging storyline. This was my first Kinsella novel, but certainly won’t be my last. I give it 4 stars out of 5.

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