Sophie Kinsella is best known for her comedic heroine Becky Bloomwood in the beloved Shopaholic Series . However, in recent years she has branched out to create a charming line of stand-alone novels such as Can You Keep A Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, and Remember Me? Now, she can add a new novel to her outstanding record, Twenties Girl.
It's a standard Hollywood story: a spirit who is earthbound, trapped in the physical plane, looking for help in the one person that can still see its existence. As generic as the plot may be, Kinsella brings forth her casual and classic humor to what would normally be a frightening paranormal experience.
Lara, a contemporary 27-year-old London woman, has just been dumped by someone she believes to be the perfect man, and, to make matters worse, she has to attend the funeral of her Great Aunt Sadie, someone she has never known. During the ceremony Lara is caught up with her own love troubles and her dull life, until the spirit of her Great Aunt comes towards her shouting, "Where is my necklace?" Sadie is the complete opposite of Lara; free-spirited, charmingly rebellious, and at times frivolous — the epitome of a 1920s girl. She insists that she cannot cross over to the next spirit dimension without her beloved vintage necklace and will continuously haunt Lara until she complies with her last wish. The story unfolds within their journey to uncover the necklace's whereabouts, but the real underlining touch is what the two characters learn from one another.
Many would argue that Twenties Girl lacks Kinsella's natural enthusiasm; the feel that she usually embodies in her strong central characters. Unlike her other works, Lara is the modern vision of everyday women who are caught up with society's limitations, whether they be on money, physique, or love. Then she introduces another primary character who counteracts today's modernism: the vintage bohemian spirit that belongs to Sadie.The clashing eras at the beginning of the story combine into a learning experience by the end.
On a deeper level, Kinsella's gift for storytelling prevails. During their humorous bickering on fashion, lifestyle, and mannerisms (a hilarious scenario when Sadie forces Lara to go on a date for her), the one thing that the two characters share is their vulnerability towards human affection. Each has had a heart-wrenching tale of love from their pasts, but it is this classic emotion that catapults each girl from their respective eras and ties them together like a Ying and Yang spectacle. Kinsella's ability to express the importance of human love and timeless joy on the written page is uplifting, resulting in a great novel of escape.
Despite early plot holes, Twenties Girl ultimately reveals something of worth. Kinsella fans won't be disappointed with the outcome. The author has taken a piece of metaphysical content and twisted it with her natural Kinsella charisma, all the while making you feel at ease after finishing the last sentence.