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Twenties Girl Hardcover – July 21, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: The Dial Press; 1st edition (July 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385342020
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385342025
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.9 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (494 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #443,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Exclusive: Sophie Kinsella on Twenties Girl

Sophie Kinsella is a former financial journalist and the author of the best-selling novels Confessions of a Shopaholic, Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, Shopaholic Ties the Knot, Shopaholic & Sister, Shopaholic & Baby, Can You Keep a Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, and Remember Me?. She lives in England, where she is at work on her next book.

Writing Twenties Girl was like going on my own magical mystery tour. My U.S. editor Susan Kamil had once said casually, "You should write a ghost story one day." This comment stayed with me for years. I loved the idea, but didn't know who my ghost could be. I've always loved the glamour and spirit of the 1920s, and the idea came to me of a flapper ghost. A feisty, fun, glamorous girl who adored to dance and drink cocktails and get her own way. I wanted her to be a determined character who would blast into the life of someone with no warning and cause havoc. I then decided she should haunt a thoroughly modern girl, with all the culture clashes and comedy that would bring.

Having come up with this idea I loved it, so it then remained to plunge myself into 1920s research, which was no hardship at all, as I find the era fascinating. I researched vintage make-up, vintage dresses, read fiction from the period, investigated 1920s slang, and tried to channel as much I could of those feisty flappers who cut their hair short (shock!), smoked cigarettes in public (shock!), had sex (shock!) and generally rebelled in all the outrageous ways they could.

The book isn't a period piece though. It's a modern story about two girls and their sparky friendship, right here in the 21st century. One of them just happens to be a ghost from the 1920s. It's a quest, a romance, and a coming of age... and above all a comedy. It's no exaggeration to say that writing the character of Sadie made me look at life differently, and I hope some readers feel the same way. —Sophie Kinsella

Sophie Kinsella on Jewelry in Twenties Girl

When I was at college I had a bicycle which I rarely used and which sat, week after week, in the bike racks. One day I went to get it out--and found a diamante necklace twined round the spokes of the front wheel. It was an old, vintage-style necklace, one of the prettiest things I’d ever seen. On my bike! How had it got there? Had someone borrowed my bike and dropped it? Was it a romantic gift from a secret admirer? (Ok, unlikely...)

I put up a notice in college--but got no claimers. It was mine! I wore that necklace over and over--and felt as though it had somehow magical qualities. Would it have felt so magical if it were a scarf or a hat or a purse? I don’t think so.

Jewelry has a magic all its own. Precious stones have always attracted legends, myths, crimes, lust. Quite sane women will go to pieces at the sight of a big enough diamond. Even as a tiny child I was fascinated by beads, jewels, tiaras...anything that glittered. And, like books, I find it hard to give pieces of jewelry away, even after I’ve stopped wearing them.

The biggest symbol of jewelry is love. Whose heart doesn’t stop on being presented with a little velvet box? Who secretly doesn’t crave a diamond, however teeny? Of course true love is putting out the rubbish every night...but that won’t make you gasp and tilt your hand to catch the facets of light.

When I was writing Twenties Girl I knew I needed to give Sadie, my ghost character, a mission. There was something in the world she still wanted--and it didn’t take long to decide on jewelry. A ring seemed too obvious...bracelets too inconsequential...but a necklace was perfect. I wanted it to be tactile, romantic, and the kind of piece you could imagine wearing with anything. Guided by research into jewelry of the 1920s, I conjured up in my head a long necklace of glimmering yellow glass beads, with a dragonfly pendant set with rhinestones. Not priceless....but special. I could imagine Sadie twirling the beads as she danced, I could imagine her gathering them and letting them drop. I could see it as an iconic, timeless piece.

A dragonfly seemed a perfect emblem for Sadie, too--beautiful, fragile, and darting around like quicksilver. The dragonfly symbol has different meanings for different cultures--for some it’s a symbol of change, for others it represents the subconscious. In Japanese paintings, dragonflies can mean new light and joy. To some Native Americans they’re the souls of the dead. All of these interpretations are perfect for the character of Sadie--a ghost who needs to "move on" and for whom the dragonfly necklace has a meaning all its own.

The more I wrote about Sadie’s dragonfly necklace the more it came to mean to both her and me--and I hope it does to readers, too.

From Publishers Weekly

Think Topper, that impossibly sophisticated and goofy 1937 ghost tale of blithe spirits bugging the only living soul who can hear them. Kinsella creates an equally vexing and endearing shade, Sadie, a wild-at-heart flapper with unfinished earthly business who badgers 27-year-old great-niece Lara into doing her bidding. Predictable mayhem and the most delicious and delightful romp a ghost and girl-at-loose-ends could ever have in 21st century London ensue. Sadie discovers just how loved she really is, and Lara channels her inner '20s girl to discover the difference between wanting to be in love and finding love. Kinsella, a master of comic pacing and feminine wit (see: the wildly successful Shopaholic series), casts a bigger net with this piece of fun and fluff, weaving family dynamics and an old-fashioned mystery into the familiar chick lit romance. And there's a sweet nod to old folks (All that white hair and wrinkled skin is just cladding.... They were all young, with love affairs and friends and parties and an endless life ahead of them). It's a breath of crackling fresh air that may well keep readers warm right through winter. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Sophie Kinsella is the author of the bestselling Shopaholic series as well as the novels Can You Keep a Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, Remember Me?, Twenties Girl, I've Got Your Number, and Wedding Night. She lives in England.

Customer Reviews

Her books are just fun to read, I had a great time reading it, laughed at basically every page.
Renata
The plot and characters were terrific and the story wraps up several loose ends in a very satisfying manner.
Chipmunk Paw
My number came up so I put the other book I was reading at the time to the side and I am glad that I did.
Emily Clark

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 56 people found the following review helpful By J. Burns on September 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have read each of the Sophie Kinsella NON-Shopaholic novels, and liked each one more than the last. This one, however, had me completely smitten. I truly lapped up every word, every new twist and turn. I laughed out loud for pages at a time, and I cried huge tears at the end, partly for the story, and partly because I had to leave these characters behind.

The unfolds almost perfectly. Every detail becomes, in some way, important to the plot and to the characters. Not only has she crafted a fine romance and nice little mystery (perfect for grown-up fans of Nancy Drew books), but she has also created a unique and wonderfully grounded vision of what it must be like to live with a ghost who can only partly interact with our world.

Clever, funny, and genuine, this book has all of the characteristics of basic "chick lit" (first person storytelling, female protaganist, kissing) but it is so much more. Like another fantasy classic, this novel is practically perfect in every way.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Allyson Yagi on September 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Sophie Kinsella is well-known for her easy-to-read-breezes and hilarity throughout the novel -- this exactly what is brought to the table in her new novel Twenties Girl. Lara plays a very familiar role for those familiar with -- Sophie Kinsella novels -- Lara is sincere, resourceful, and a bit naive. The plot is rather far-fetched and a atd silly at times, but we've come to expect that from Ms. Kinsella...and that is what we're fans of - a light-hearted, smooth flowing story, that is fun to read.

Lara and Sadie (the ghost of her aunt) make a great odd couple and compliment each other well. When Lara comes across a hurdle, Sadie is there to add to her difficulties. While this set-up is a perfect setting for humor, they story is more about values, family, friends, honesty, and trust. But what Sophie Kinsella novel would be complete without romance? Well, Ed, fills that role...and with his kind and caring nature, the romance adds to the pleasantry of the novel. In short, Twenties Girl is a fun, light breeze, that all fans Sophie Kinsella will absolutely love. And for those new to the author, I would compare it to JoAnna Wylde's novel: Price of Freedom (highly recommend) if you haven't read it yet.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By K. Flegal on March 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
"Twenties Girl" by Sophie Kinsella (author of "Confessions of a Shopaholic," among others), is the story of Lara Lington and her great-aunt Sadie. The catch? Sadie is a ghost, and Lara barely knew her in life. Through Sadie's persistent haunting, Lara gets to know her--and in the process, learns quite a lot about herself.

We first meet Lara at Sadie's funeral. Sadie, 105, passed away recently, and Lara's parents pressure her to go to the funeral. Lara would rather be anywhere but at the boring funeral for an old lady she didn't know. Her desire to be elsewhere increases when she starts hearing a voice no one else can hear. She tries to escape, but Great Aunt Sadie's ghost won't leave her alone. To satisfy Sadie, Lara must stop the funeral in progress. This entails an accusation of murder. The ensuing hysteria is made more comic by Sadie nagging Lara to find Sadie's missing necklace--she won't leave without it.

In the process of searching for the special necklace, Lara learns just what a fascinating person her great aunt was, and learns how she wants to live. Sadie teaches Lara about relationships, having fun, and moving on. In the process, she leads Lara to step beyond her boundaries and live life fulfilled. And, this being Chick Lit, she finds The Man for her--who is not at all who she expected!

"Twenties Girl" was a fun and satisfying read. It took me 50 pages to really get into it, but it was worth it. The ending is more sweet than bitter, and I closed the book feeling like it had ended right.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Chipmunk Paw VINE VOICE on July 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I've enjoyed all of Sophie Kinsella's books but the author really outdid herself with Twenties Girl. It succeeds on every count -it is great chick-lit but SO much more. The plot and characters were terrific and the story wraps up several loose ends in a very satisfying manner. The book was funny, suspenseful, interesting, and really touching - I was surprised to find myself choking up more than once. Fantastic book!!!!! Definitely movie material.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cherie Manzano on October 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
I would have given this book 5 stars if the ending would have been written a little differently. Without giving away the ending, I will just say that I have read and love ALL of Sophie Kinsella's novels, and this one started out a little different but OK, the middle is really good and lots of fun, but when I get to the end of a Sophie Kinsella novel, I want to be laughing and feel good, not crying my eyes out saying "Damn that Kinsella! Why did she do that!" I could have thought of a better ending than she gave this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Luanne Ollivier TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Sophie Kinsella is best known for her Shopaholic series (and recent movie). But she has written 'stand alone' novels, that are just as captivating.

Twenties Girl introduces us to Lara Lington. She's attending the funeral of her Great Aunt Sadie, who has passed away at the ripe old age of 105, with her family. None of the family really seems to have known or visited Sadie. When a voice shouts out in the middle of the funeral "Where's my necklace?", Lara is taken aback. it seems that no one else can hear the voice - or see the beautiful young woman, dressed in twenties flapper style, doing the shouting.

Lara is stressed - she's still in love with her former boyfriend and is having work issues and money woes. Is she losing it or is she really seeing the ghost of her Aunt Sadie? Yes, she really is..... Lara reluctantly agrees to help Sadie find her lost necklace.

Kinsella has created not one, but two characters that you immediately fall in love with. Lara is scattered, but warm hearted and the kind of person you'd love to have as a friend. Sadie is by turns exasperating, funny, loving and tragic. Their combined story is comic and heartwarming. The interaction between Sadie and Lara is priceless.

I enjoyed this story very much. It combined the best of Kinsella's warm writing with a little bit more. My grandmother is 95 and I so enjoy hearing stories of her life. Twenties Girl will entertain you, but will hopefully make you think about an older person that you know who may have some amazing stories to tell.

Destined to be another bestseller and a five star read for me - highly recommended
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