A word of warning, and I know this from personal experience: do not read Sophie Kinsella’s Twenties Girl while eating, unless you are around someone who can perform the Heimlich manoeuvre. I was lucky this time.
From the second page, Twenties Girl is laugh-out-loud funny, poking gentle fun at everyday annoyances like family, the elder generation’s paranoia over modern technology, and funerals. Yes, I said funerals. It was a line within the first twenty-two pages during a funeral that nearly packed me off to my own.
The memorial service in question is that of Lara Lington’s great-aunt Sadie, who has just died at the age of one hundred and five, and this seems to be all that the family know about her. However, when Sadie appears to Lara in the middle of the service as a twenty three year-old ghost, Lara quickly learns that her relative was not just some old lady who liked knitting.
Lara is coerced by Sadie to halt the funeral and accuse the kindly nurses at her care home of murder, all so that Sadie can find a necklace. However, this is just the start of Lara’s humiliation at Sadie’s hands. Yet, having a ghost around can prove to be fruitful for Lara, too; and she and Sadie are quickly pairing up on matters of love, work and revenge.
During her quest to find Sadie’s necklace, Lara uncovers a family secret that proves her great aunt was not simply someone famous for receiving birthday cards from the Queen.
Sadie is a feisty, tenacious, strong willed, opinionated woman who knows how to have a good time, and will go to any lengths to have one. She and Lara exchange amusing banter on everything from fashion, music and television, and shows that although the elder generations may not care for the current trends, even their twenty year-old selves would not have approved.
Joyously heart-warming and hilarious one moment, guiltily heart-breaking and tearful the next, and sometimes both at the same time, Twenties Girl is a delightfully witty story with a moral centre. I’m off to track down the rest of Kinsella’s novels.