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Sophie Kinsella's 'Twenties Girl' is a fun read

| Sunday, Sept. 6, 2009

In "Twenties Girl," chick-lit queen Sophie Kinsella introduces readers to Lara Lington, a 27-year-old Brit who sees something no one else can see: a ghost.

Lara's great-aunt Sadie shows up at her own funeral -- as a young woman in her prime, from the 1920s, with one last request. Sadie needs to find a missing necklace, and she wants Lara's help.

The plot is far-fetched, but "Twenties Girl" isn't all detective work. The story also follows Sadie and Lara -- who have great chemistry on the page -- as they relate as women from different eras. This is the best part of the novel. Although they bicker back and forth, Sadie and Lara also perform tender acts of love and generosity toward one other.

There's a laugh-out-loud scene where Sadie makes Lara go on a date with a man she fancies so that she can experience it vicariously. She dresses Lara in full 1920s garb, including a flapper dress, headband with a feather and long, beaded necklaces. Lara begrudgingly agrees to do whatever Sadie says, which includes greeting her date with an enthusiastic "Hello, Daddy-O!" and then getting him to dance in the middle of a crowded bar.

If there's one complaint, it's that Kinsella's main characters tend to be neurotic, self-conscious, down-on-their-luck women who find themselves in absurd situations (like being able to see a ghost). It would be nice to see Kinsella, author of the popular "Shopaholic" series, step out of her comfort zone and write a character who is completely different, with a unique voice.

"Twenties Girl" is a light, fun read. With the right cast, it could even be a fun movie.

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