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Twenties Girl Hardcover – July 21, 2009
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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 KinsellaSophie 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)
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Top customer reviews
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I loved the ghost aspect of the book, and the interplay between the two main characters. It's an enjoyable read all the way through, leaving me wanting even more Supernatural Sophie.
I felt a connection especially because I just visited my 101 year old aunt, who is in a nursing home. I remember her as taking care of everyone, so full of humor and so full of life. It is sad to see her old. Even in her 90's she was full of life and worried about how her hair looked. All her family and friends that she grew up with have passed. When I see her, it is hard to reconcile her with the Aunt that I knew and loved. She is nothing like her anymore age has taken away her youth and vigor. I certainly identified with a major component of the plot- that people who are very old, have had wonderful brilliant pasts.... even though age has taken away their vigor.
This book was a wonderful fun book full of laughs and events that make us look more into our own lives. I loved the connection to the past and the discoveries that the protagonist makes. The path that the characters take and their growth is also very well done, and balanced- not preachy. I was disappointed that the book came to an end.
The story was original and very unlike anything I'd ever read before. If you had told me beforehand it was a "ghost story" I probably wouldn't have picked it up. After seeing all the 5 star reviews on Amazon, however, I decided to give it a try as I have enjoyed Sophie Kinsella books in the past. The beginning of the story was a little crazy and chaotic and I wasn't sure I was going to like where the book was going, but once I got a few chapters into it I could hardly put it down. It was something a little different than the norm and definitely an entertaining read!
To find all the answers you will have read this delightful, funny, witty book by Sophie Kinsella. In my opinion Ms. Kinsella's books the best Brit Chick Lit books on the market today. Her characters and storylines are thoroughtly enjoyable from the first to the last word.
Sophie's work is definitely easier on the purse than a vacation and just as much fun. No packing, no waiting in lines at the airport, no lost luggage and no surly hotel staff. They are a wonderful respite from the stress of everyday life!
Enjoy the read!
Most recent customer reviews
What a wonderful read. Fast paced and engaging, deals accurately with so many issues: aging, professional...Read more