Twenties Girl (Kinsella)

Book Reviews
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.
Publishers Weekly


Struggling Londoner gets the shock of a lifetime when the meddlesome ghost of a recently deceased relative haunts her. Between relationship woes, work dramas and the day-to-day life of a city gal, Lara could probably be excused for having minimal contact with Great-Aunt Sadie during the last years of her life. The woman was, after all, 105 and confined to a nursing home. Still, Lara feels guilty when hardly anyone shows up to the old lady's funeral. Her sadness quickly gives way to confusion, though, as first the voice and then the form of a 1920s flapper appear before her. It's Sadie in her youth, and Lara is the only one she can communicate with directly. Opinionated, loud and self-absorbed, Sadie is primarily interested in retrieving a lost necklace before moving on to her final rest, but she's also determined to squeeze in a bit more action. To this end she sets her sights on a handsome young American named Ed who reminds her of Rudolph Valentino. Using her supernatural powers, Sadie gets into Ed's head and convinces him to ask out Lara, who is still hung up on her ex, the unworthy Josh. This results in an understandably awkward first date during which Sadie dictates, Cyrano-style, what Lara should do to seduce Ed. Lara, for her part, gets a lead on the missing piece of jewelry and uncovers Sadie's tragic past as an artist's muse, unjustly separated from the only man she really loved. In spite of their differences (the whole living vs. dead thing) the two grow close, and Lara takes some steps in her personal and professional life that she probably would not have taken without the freewheeling flapper by her side. Kinsella (Remember Me?, 2008, etc.) is in her element with scattered, wisecracking Lara, and Sadie (and her outfits) are fabulous. But this one goes on a bit longer than necessary. 
Kirkus Reviews

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