Twenties Girl: A Novel by Sophie KinsellaTwenties Girl: A Novel by Sophie Kinsella

Twenties Girl: A Novel

bySophie Kinsella

Hardcover | February 22, 2011

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Lara Lington has always had an overactive imagination, but suddenly that imagination seems to be in overdrive. Normal professional twenty-something young women don’t get visited by ghosts. Or do they?

When the spirit of Lara’s great-aunt Sadie–a feisty, demanding girl with firm ideas about fashion, love, and the right way to dance–mysteriously appears, she has one last request: Lara must find a missing necklace that had been in Sadie’s possession for more than seventy-five years, and Sadie cannot rest without it. Lara, on the other hand, has a number of ongoing distractions. Her best friend and business partner has run off to Goa, her start-up company is floundering, and she’s just been dumped by the “perfect” man.

Sadie, however, could care less.

Lara and Sadie make a hilarious sparring duo, and at first it seems as though they have nothing in common. But as the mission to find Sadie’s necklace leads to intrigue and a new romance for Lara, these very different “twenties” girls learn some surprising truths from each other along the way. Written with all the irrepressible charm and humor that have made Sophie Kinsella’s books beloved by millions, Twenties Girl is also a deeply moving testament to the transcendent bonds of friendship and family.
Sophie Kinsella is the author of the bestselling Shopaholic series as well as The Undomestic Goddess, Can You Keep a Secret?, and Remember Me? She lives in England.
Title:Twenties Girl: A NovelFormat:HardcoverDimensions:448 pages, 8.56 × 5.5 × 1.45 inPublished:February 22, 2011Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385342020

ISBN - 13:9780385342025

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from super witty and funny! such a funny and witty book by Sophie Kinsella! loved the dialogue between the two main characters! would recommend!
Date published: 2017-11-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from love This book was so funny such a light read!
Date published: 2017-06-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So Good! Quirky and a laugh out loud story. I love Sophie Kinsella and her humour. This one is up there as one of her better ones.
Date published: 2012-05-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful! (CONTAINS SPOILERS) I absolutely love Sophie Kinsella. When I read the entire Shopaholic series, I knew I would love anything Kinsella wrote. That has definitely remained true. Yes, she’s probably more chick lit than most writers, but she’s smart about it. She’s a great writer and her heroines are very likable (ever seen the movie ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’? That was a definite unlikable character for me. I’ve never read the book, so I’m not sure what she was supposed to be like, but I hated her from the beginning. Not good.). I knew I had to give her latest book, Twenties Girl, a try. Lara is definitely a likable character. She’s down to earth, honest, and I could relate to her. Working in a job she spent her entire savings on, Lara can’t believe what has transpired. Her work partner, Natalie, talked her into the business of headhunting and had big dreams for them, claiming that they would instantly be the greatest headhunters in London. Unfortunately, Natalia has slipped away to Goa leaving Lara and her assistant Kate in charge of the company. The other unfortunate thing? Lara knows nothing about headhunting because Natalie failed to teach her anything. Top that off with the fact that Lara just broke up with her boyfriend, Josh, for whom she’s still pining for in a definite crazy person way, and we have a very fragile main character. But this book isn’t just about Lara’s woes, but about her great-aunt Sadie who recently died at the age of 105. Her family attends the funeral but everyone is preoccupied. Lara’s uncle, Bill Lington, creator of a Starbucks-type coffee chain, is way too up on his high-horse to think that his great aunt mattered an ounce. Among the discussion before the funeral, Lara finds out that no one in her family had even visited her great-aunt at the nursing home she was housed at. Lara hadn’t even been there since she was 6-years-old. No one knows anything about the great-aunt, there aren’t any flowers, no one else even comes to the funeral, and no one thinks anything of any of this – until Lara starts seeing the ghost of a 23-year-old Sadie who is talking about a necklace that is missing. The necklace, a beautiful beaded gem with a dragonfly on it, made Sadie feel beautiful and she won’t rest until that necklace is returned to her. From this point forward, Kinsella takes the reader on a heartfelt journey through Lara’s work life, love life, home life, as she learns more about this great-aunt (who turns out to be great in so many ways) and helps her find the missing necklace. She learns a few life lessons from her great-aunt, for whom she is truly grateful for having as a friend – even if she is a ghost. Sadie can be annoying and stubborn at times, but it is all because she thinks she missed out on something great in her 105 years of life – finding true love. Twenties Girl is a great addition to Sophie Kinsella’s repertoire and if you are a fan of her writing, or even any of the writers deemed as chick-lit authors, you will love this book. It has romance, mystery, drama – and is even a bit of a ghost story. I really enjoyed this novel and look forward to reading more Sophie Kinsella in the future!
Date published: 2012-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE LOVE LOVE Just thinking about this book makes me want to read it again! It was fun and exciting! I recommend this book for any girl at any age!
Date published: 2011-11-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good break! I read this book between some heavy subject and it was a great summer escape. I found myself giggling and sharing some passages. I enjoyed Sadie's character alot. I prefered this story to most of Sophie Kinsella's book since the story kept moving.
Date published: 2011-07-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of her best!!!! I am a fan of Kinsella`s. This book is very different from the others which I found to be totally refreshing and had me laughing out loud. Could not put it down and finished it in 2 days!
Date published: 2011-06-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Just okay If you think this book is going to be as engaging and entertaining as Sophie Kinsella's other isn't. It's not bad by any means, but I didn't rush through it the way I have with her other books.
Date published: 2011-02-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Really different from usual Kinsella This was a bit far out there. I really tried to enjoy this novel as I loved all of Sophie Kinsella's other books. It was a hard sell.
Date published: 2010-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It! This book actually made me laugh out loud a few times!
Date published: 2010-04-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous Another great book by Sophie Kinsella! Once again she has dazzled me. The characters are lovable, the humor is witty, and the story is incredible! I couldn't put it down. I enjoyed the 20's vibe throughout the story, and appreciated the research that went into it.
Date published: 2010-02-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Slow at first, great by the end At first I could not get into this book. The scenerios were a bit far-fetched for me. It took about 150 pages before I really got into the book. Then I could not put it down. A great page turner. I loved Sophie Kinsella's other books as well. Hang on past the first part - it is a good read. I really enjoyed it.
Date published: 2010-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unsure... At first, I was not sure that I would enjoy this book. Generally Sophie Kinsella's books draw me in, and make me relate to the characters within the first chapter. This book was different... It took me much longer to begin to relate to the characters, however, once I began to relate, I couldn't put the book down! With lovely characters and an intriguing story line, I think this is my favorte Kinsella book yet!
Date published: 2009-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Could NOT put it down! I have read everything Sophie Kinsella has written and I think that this is her best work to date. I found Lara to be a less vapid and silly character than many of her other heroines. I'm usually not into anything ghost-related, but I could not put this book down. I wouldn't call it a "ghost story", just a Kinsella with a really good twist!
Date published: 2009-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from loved loved loved it!!!! What can I say? Sophie Kinsella has out done herself again! Lara is loving and so sweet and while her great aunt sadie is hilarious and make the read so much enjoyable.It is a really good read and its hard to put down, I would definatly recommend this book.If you love comedy ,and ghost stories then you would love this!!
Date published: 2009-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down! I laughed! I cried! Anyone who like Sophie's books or ChickLit in general will enjoy this book. Easy read and grabs at your heartstrings!
Date published: 2009-09-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Storyline is different but the heroines are always similar. I love Sophie and the way she writes but I can't help to notice that most of the heroines are very similar. They all have supportive family, a struggle with career, and land themselves with the ideal boyfriend. I am a fan, but reading one is like reading all.
Date published: 2009-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A real great read I am a great fan of Sophia Kinsella's books. I think this is her very best book yet. I loved the humour and the story line. I 've got a lot of my friends to read Kinsella's books and I would certainly recommend this one to them.
Date published: 2009-08-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of Kinsella's Best! I really loved reading this book, it was such a pleasure! I found this book much more entertaining than her last book Remember Me, but not as good as Can You Keep A Secret? Sophie Kinsella's characters are very funny and entertaining and always seem to have a certain wit about them that I just love. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a fun, light read or is a fan of chic lit.
Date published: 2009-08-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great..... I love all of Sophia Kinsella books....i think that this was one of the best ones.
Date published: 2009-08-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! I am a Sophie Kinsella fan and found this book to be just as much as a page turner as her others! I highly enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to any friend who is looking for a light hearted fun read.
Date published: 2009-08-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Chick lit that warms your heart Sophie Kinsella is best known for her Shopaholic series (and recent movie). But she has written 'stand alone' novels, such as this new release from Random House Canada 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
Date published: 2009-08-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I loved this :) At first, I thought I was ripped off, because the first couple of chapters were sooo boring ! And then it felt kind of annoying because Lara wouldn`t stop obsessing over her ex. But near the middle of the book, it definitely rose to what I thought the book was really like - an awesome book. The last couple of chapters were so sad I almost started crying ): I hope Sadie is in a better place now that she has her necklace back :) 4.5/5
Date published: 2009-08-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from She's outdone herself. This is the best book I have read from Sophie Kinsella. Even her writing seems to have improved greatly. And it is by far one of the best ghost stories I have ever read. It is really one of those books that you cannot put down. You really become invested in the characters and come to love them. Especially Sadie, she is so amazing. And the mystery is sure to keep you hooked. It is quite shocking if not somewhat predictable to guess if you are paying attention. I definitely recommend this book.
Date published: 2009-08-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from So so...good beach read All I have to say is BARNEY MUGGING !!!!!!!!!!!! ha ha ...cute but not my favorite Sophie K. book. I'm hoping Ms. Kinsella will keep the shopaholic series going ...shopaholic and toddler maybe?
Date published: 2009-08-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Average and strongly disappointing. I was unaware of this book until I saw it on the shelf and picked it up without even reading the back. This is usually how it works between myself and Ms. Kinsella's books. With 'Twenties Girl' I was strongly disappointed. Sophie has created an empire in strong leading ladies, charming leading men and quirky plot twists. 'Twenties Girl' while, holding true to the formula, feels a little bit too forced for my tastes and, in my opinion, would have worked much better if the whole ghost elements had been sidelined for a more realistic premise. I enjoyed the elements of family discovery and betrayal but think that the story would have been better served with a more earthy reason for embarking on the quest and a less fictional method of discovery.
Date published: 2009-08-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from a fun read It took a while to interest me, normally Kinsella is a intanst attention grabber. A cute read, but not one of Kinsella`s best works.
Date published: 2009-08-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Iffy at first..... When I first read the synopsis of this book, I was really iffy. When I started to read it, I became even more iffy about the book. Eventually I got drawn in, and once I let go of how sometimes foolish this book was, it turned out to be quite cute, and enjoyable. Laugh out loud funny at times....
Date published: 2009-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best book by Sophie Kinsella! Just finished the book in one seating - it's absolutely amazing! On top of being just another cheerful story like her other ones, I was thoroughly touched by Twenties Girl while Sophie still kept it very light and funny. Love it!
Date published: 2009-08-07
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not so good! I wasn't impressed with this book at all and couldn't even finish it! I guess I just deal with reality more. Too much ghost stuff. An odd appearance every now and again would be fine, but I think that Sophie needs to go back to her usual good stories. This is just my opinion.
Date published: 2009-08-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Fun Light Breeze (REAL NAME) I wasn't so sure about this book after the first couple of chapters. It reminded me a bit of "Can you keep a secret?" at times. I eventually reached a point where I literally COULD NOT put the book down! The character development of Sadie is so beautiful and intense. I lost all track of time while engulfed in another of Kinsella's heroine tales. Sadie's zest for life, spunky attitude, open mind, and free spirit kept me turning the pages. This is THE beach read of the summer.
Date published: 2009-07-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from One of her Best! Loved this cute new book by Sophie Kinsella. It was funny and smart and I couldn't put it down. I've read most of her other books and Twenties Girl is one of her best novels! I adored the characters - especially Sadie who had me laughing out loud numerous times! Quality chick-lit and a great summer read!
Date published: 2009-07-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Roaring Twenties!!! Lara has problems: her new business partner has left on extended vacation, her soulmate dumped her, and the ghost of her Great Aunt Sadie has begun haunting her. Sadie agrees to help Lara with her problems if she will help Sadie find her lost favourite necklace. Lara agrees and chaos ensues. I loved the banter between Lara and Sadie, they talked, argued and whined at each other exactly as my friends and I do. I also really enjoyed how Sadie dealt with her problems at the first of the book: she whined, she lied to her parents, she ignored them, and she drank: just like anyother person would. On the whole, a great book. The first few chapters were a bit tough to get through but after that it was smooth sailing. And one last bonus: I now know what barney-mugging is, do you?
Date published: 2009-07-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome as usual ~ I really enjoyed reading this book, although getting past the first few chapters were difficult. At the beginning of the novel, we get introducted to her ghostly great-aunt, Sadie, who doesn't know why she's come back or why she looks like herself in her twenties. She is quite annoying at the beginning, but when she finally calms down (a bit), you begin to really love her and admire her energy and spunk. There are many parts where you might go "did she really do/say that?" and there are parts that will make you laugh out loud. What I really liked most about this book was the contrast in time periods between the two woman. One is from the 1920s and the other is from 2009. You will see that even though two women are from different generations and different circumstances, but they have more in common than one may think and it's maybe due to this difference that they are able to help each other out and console one another. As well, there seemed to be an overall message in the novel to me,which was to live your life to the fullest and trying to make your mark on the world, whether it is small or on a grand scale. (This would make a great movie!!) ♥ ENJOY!
Date published: 2009-07-19

Read from the Book

ONEThe thing about lying to your parents is, you have to do it to protect them. It's for their own good. I mean, take my own parents. If they knew the unvarnished truth about my finances/love life/ plumbing/council tax, they'd have instant heart attacks and the doctor would say, "Did anyone give them a terrible shock?" and it would all be my fault. Therefore, they have been in my flat for approximately ten minutes and already I have told them the following lies:1. L&N Executive Recruitment will start making profits soon, I'm sure of it.2. Natalie is a fantastic business partner, and it was a really brilliant idea to chuck in my job to become a headhunter with her.3. Of course I don't just exist on pizza, black cherry yogurts, and vodka.4. Yes, I did know about interest on parking tickets.5. Yes, I did watch that Charles Dickens DVD they gave me for Christmas; it was great, especially that lady in the bonnet. Yes, Peggotty. That's who I meant.6. I was actually intending to buy a smoke alarm at the weekend, what a coincidence they should mention it.7. Yes, it'll be nice to see all the family again.Seven lies. Not including all the ones about Mum's outfit. And we haven't even mentioned The Subject.As I come out of my bedroom in a black dress and hastily applied mascara, I see Mum looking at my overdue phone bill on the mantelpiece."Don't worry," I say quickly. "I'm going to sort that out.""Only, if you don't," says Mum, "they'll cut off your line, and it'll take ages for you to get it installed again, and the mobile signal is so patchy here. What if there was an emergency? What would you do?" Her brow is creased with anxiety. She looks as though this is all totally imminent, as though there's a woman screaming in labor in the bedroom and floods are rising outside the window and how will we contact the helicopter? How?"Er . . . I hadn't thought about it. Mum, I'll pay the bill. Honest."Mum's always been a worrier. She gets this tense smile with distant, frightened eyes, and you just know she's playing out some apocalyptic scenario in her head. She looked like that throughout my last speech day at school; afterward she confessed she'd suddenly noticed a chandelier hanging above on a rickety chain and became obsessed by what would happen if it fell down on the girls' heads and splintered into smithereens?Now she tugs at her black suit, which has shoulder pads and weird metal buttons and is swamping her. I vaguely remember it from about ten years ago, when she had a phase of going on job interviews and I had to teach her all the really basic computer stuff like how to use a mouse. She ended up working for a children's charity, which doesn't have a formal dress code, thank goodness.No one in my family looks good in black. Dad's wearing a suit made out of a dull black fabric which flattens all his features. He's actually quite handsome, my dad, in a kind of fine-boned, understated way. His hair is brown and wispy, whereas Mum's is fair and wispy like mine. They both look really great when they're relaxed and on their own territory-like, say, when we're all in Cornwall on Dad's rickety old boat, wearing fleeces and eating pasties. Or when Mum and Dad are playing in their local amateur orchestra, which is where they first met. But today, nobody's relaxed."So are you ready?" Mum glances at my stockinged feet. "Where are your shoes, darling?"I slump down on the sofa. "Do I have to go?""Lara!" says Mum chidingly. "She was your great-aunt. She was one hundred and five, you know."Mum has told me my great-aunt was 105 approximately 105 times. I'm pretty sure it's because that's the only fact she knows about her."So what? I didn't know her. None of us knew her. This is so stupid. Why are we schlepping to Potters Bar for some crumbly old woman we didn't even ever meet?" I hunch my shoulders up, feeling more like a sulky three-year-old than a mature twenty-seven-year-old with her own business."Uncle Bill and the others are going," says Dad. "And if they can make the effort . . .""It's a family occasion!" puts in Mum brightly.My shoulders hunch even harder. I'm allergic to family occasions. Sometimes I think we'd do better as dandelion seeds-no family, no history, just floating off into the world, each on our own piece of fluff."It won't take long," Mum says coaxingly."It will." I stare at the carpet. "And everyone will ask me about . . . things.""No, they won't!" says Mum at once, glancing at Dad for backup. "No one will even mention . . . things."There's silence. The Subject is hovering in the air. It's as though we're all avoiding looking at it. At last Dad plunges in."So! Speaking of . . . things." He hesitates. "Are you generally . . . OK?"I can see Mum listening on super-high-alert, even though she's pretending to be concentrating on combing her hair."Oh, you know," I say after a pause. "I'm fine. I mean, you can't expect me just to snap back into-""No, of course not!" Dad immediately backs off. Then he tries again. "But you're . . . in good spirits?"I nod assent."Good!" says Mum, looking relieved. "I knew you'd get over . . . things."My parents don't say "Josh" out loud anymore, because of the way I used to dissolve into heaving sobs whenever I heard his name. For a while, Mum referred to him as "He Who Must Not Be Named." Now he's just "Things.""And you haven't . . . been in touch with him?" Dad is looking anywhere but at me, and Mum appears engrossed in her handbag.That's another euphemism. What he means is, "Have you sent him any more obsessive texts?""No," I say, flushing. "I haven't, OK?"It's so unfair of him to bring that up. In fact, the whole thing was totally blown out of proportion. I only sent Josh a few texts. Three a day, if that. Hardly any. And they weren't obsessive. They were just me being honest and open, which, by the way, you're supposed to be in a relationship.I mean, you can't just switch off your feelings because the other person did, can you? You can't just say, "Oh right! So your plan is, we never see each other again, never make love again, never talk or communicate in any way. Fab idea, Josh, why didn't I think of that?"So what happens is, you write your true feelings down in a text simply because you want to share them, and next minute your ex- boyfriend changes his phone number and tells your parents. He's such a sneak."Lara, I know you were very hurt, and this has been a painful time for you." Dad clears his throat. "But it's been nearly two months now. You've got to move on, darling. See other young men . . . go out and enjoy yourself . . ."Oh God, I can't face another of Dad's lectures about how plenty of men are going to fall at the feet of a beauty like me. I mean, for a start, there aren't any men in the world, everyone knows that. And a five-foot-three girl with a snubby nose and no suntan isn't exactly a beauty.OK. I know I look all right sometimes. I have a heart-shaped face, wide-set green eyes, and a few freckles over my nose. And to top it off, I have this little bee-stung mouth which no one else in my family has. But take it from me, I'm no supermodel."So, is that what you did when you and Mum broke up that time in Polzeath? Go out and see other people?" I can't help throwing it out, even though this is going over old ground. Dad sighs and exchanges glances with Mum."We should never have told her about that," she murmurs, rubbing her brow. "We should never have mentioned it-""'Because if you'd done that," I continue inexorably, "you would never have got back together again, would you? Dad would never have said that he was the bow to your violin and you would never have got married."This line about the bow and the violin has made it into family lore. I've heard the story a zillion times. Dad arrived at Mum's house, all sweaty because he'd been riding on his bike, and she'd been crying but she pretended she had a cold, and they made up their fight and Granny gave them tea and shortbread. (I don't know why the shortbread is relevant, but it always gets mentioned.)"Lara, darling." Mum sighs. "That was very different; we'd been together three years, we were engaged-""I know!" I say defensively. "I know it was different. I'm just saying, people do sometimes get back together. It does happen."There's silence."Lara, you've always been a romantic soul-" begins Dad."I'm not romantic!" I exclaim, as though this is a deadly insult. I'm staring at the carpet, rubbing the pile with my toe, but in my peripheral vision I can see Mum and Dad, each mouthing vigorously at the other to speak next. Mum's shaking her head and pointing at Dad as though to say, "You go!""When you break up with someone," Dad starts again in an awkward rush, "it's easy to look backward and think life would be perfect if you got back together. But-"He's going to tell me how life is an escalator. I have to head him off, quick."Dad. Listen. Please." Somehow I muster my calmest tones. "You've got it all wrong. I don't want to get back together with Josh." I try to sound as if this is a ridiculous idea. "That's not why I texted him. I just wanted closure. I mean, he broke things off with no warning, no talking, no discussion. I never got any answers. It's like . . . unfinished business. It's like reading an Agatha Christie and never knowing whodunnit!"There. Now they'll understand."Well," says Dad at length, "I can understand your frustrations-""That's all I ever wanted," I say as convincingly as I can. "To understand what Josh was thinking. To talk things over. To communicate like two civilized human beings."And to get back together with him, my mind adds, like a silent, truthful arrow. Because I know Josh still loves me, even if no one else thinks so.But there's no point saying that to my parents. They'd never get it. How could they? They have no concept of how amazing Josh and I were as a couple, how we fit together perfectly. They don't understand how he obviously made a panicked, rushed, boy-type decision, based on some nonexistent reason probably, and how if I could just talk to him, I'm sure I could straighten everything out and we'd be together again.Sometimes I feel streets ahead of my parents, just like Einstein must have done when his friends kept saying, "The universe is straight, Albert, take it from us," and inside he was secretly thinking, "I know it's curved. I'll show you one day."Mum and Dad are surreptitiously mouthing at each other again. I should put them out of their misery."Anyway, you mustn't worry about me," I say hastily. "Because I have moved on. I mean, OK, maybe I haven't moved on totally," I amend as I see their dubious expressions, "but I've accepted that Josh doesn't want to talk. I've realized that it just wasn't meant to be. I've learned a lot about myself, and . . . I'm in a good place. Really."My smile is pasted on my face. I feel like I'm chanting the mantra of some wacky cult. I should be wearing robes and banging a tambourine.Hare hare . . . I've moved on . . . hare hare . . . I'm in a good place. . . .Dad and Mum exchange looks. I have no idea whether they believe me, but at least I've given us all a way out of this sticky conversation."That's the spirit!" Dad says, looking relieved. "Well done, Lara, I knew you'd get there. And you've got the business with Natalie to focus on, which is obviously going tremendously well. . . ."My smile becomes even more cultlike."Absolutely!"Hare hare . . . my business is going well . . . hare hare . . . it's not a disaster at all. . . ."I'm so glad you've come through this." Mum comes over and kisses the top of my head. "Now, we'd better get going. Find yourself some black shoes, chop chop!"With a resentful sigh I get to my feet and drag myself into my bedroom. It's a beautiful sunshiny day. And I get to spend it at a hideous family occasion involving a dead 105-year-old person. Sometimes life really sucks.As we pull up in the drab little car park of the Potters Bar Funeral Center, I notice a small crowd of people outside a side door. Then I see the glint of a TV camera and a fluffy microphone bobbing above people's heads."What's going on?" I peer out the car window. "Something to do with Uncle Bill?""Probably." Dad nods."I think someone's doing a documentary about him," Mum puts in. "Trudy mentioned it. For his book."This is what happens when one of your relations is a celebrity. You get used to TV cameras being around. And people saying, when you introduce yourself, "Lington? Any relation to Lingtons Coffee, ha ha?" and them being gobsmacked when you say, "Yes."My uncle Bill is the Bill Lington, who started Lingtons Coffee from nothing at the age of twenty-six and built it up into a worldwide empire of coffee shops. His face is printed on every single coffee cup, which makes him more famous than the Beatles or something. You'd recognize him if you saw him. And right now he's even more high profile than usual because his autobiography, Two Little Coins, came out last month and is a bestseller. Apparently Pierce Brosnan might play him in the movie.Of course, I've read it from cover to cover. It's all about how he was down to his last twenty pence and bought a coffee and it tasted so terrible it gave him the idea to run coffee shops. So he opened one and started a chain, and now he pretty much owns the world. His nickname is "The Alchemist," and according to some article last year, the entire business world would like to know the secrets of his success.

Editorial Reviews

“Laugh-out-loud.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“[Kinsella] continues to tickle funny bones and touch hearts.”—USA Today
“[A] most delicious and delightful romp.”—Publishers Weekly

“Like everything [Kinsella] writes, it’s warm and lively.”—Time

From the Trade Paperback edition.