It’s basically the story of a young woman called Lara who attends her 105-year-old great-aunt Sadie’s funeral who she barely knew. There, she is confronted by the great aunt’s ghost – a 23-year-old version of her anyway – and is tasked with tracking down a special necklace while dealing with the 21st century everyday problems – she’s finding it hard to let go after a messy breakup, and her colleague left her in the lurch to go to Goa. Oh, and she also stops her great-aunt’s funeral by claiming that she was murdered.
I thought at first that it was going to be difficult to get into, story-wise, as I expected yet another Shopaholic-edque book. My assumptions were wrong.
It was a good story over all. There was, naturally, the rich uncle keeping secrets from Lara and the spoiled cousin (there are always one of these in books somewhere if you look) who has her own fashion brand because of her father’s wealth. There were also amusing moments when Sadie spoke to people other than Lara, and would try to manipulate them into saying things while they would think it was just a voice in their head. Lara also uses Sadie to spy on people, such as when she wanted her to stalk her ex-boyfriend, Josh.
But primarily, what I liked most about the book was it reminds you that old people are young on the inside. This is often a hard lesson to learn, but it is put forward here especially when Lara brings in some jazz music for the residents of her great-aunt’s retirement home.
And lets not forget the obvious love interest – Ed Harrison, a steely American who Lara asks out on a date in the middle of a conference. I had a feeling that the character of Luke Brandon from the Shopaholic series must’ve been a springboard for that. Naturally there’s a romantic complication thrown in the way for good measure, and Sadie tries to convince Lara that SHE should go out with Ed. Sadie also gets the chance to do things that she missed from her youth, such as dancing the Charleston and choosing vintage clothes.
I found myself shedding a tear at several points later on in the book. Which is strange. Because to me it was a moving story, but I don’t know what others may think about it. Further and further on we see less of Sadie’s viewpoint because her last wish is nearly granted and she would naturally have to pass on.
I think that the primary message of the book (if there is supposed to be a message) is to care about your relatives and think of old people as people who are still young inside.
If I was scoring this book, I would give it 4.5 / 5, the only downside being that to begin with I had very low expectations. I was pleasantly surprised, although I’m not going to be reading any more Kinsella books for a little while and I’m going to read other authors too.
Thank you for reading my summary/ review. Hope you enjoyed it.