Sunday, May 5, 2013

29 by Adena Halpern

What if you closed your eyes, blew out the candles, and your wish came true? Ellie Jerome is a young-at-heart seventy-five-year-old who feels she has more in common with her twenty-nine-year-old granddaughter, Lucy, than her fifty-five-year-old daughter, Barbara. Ellie’s done everything she can to stay young, and the last thing she wants is to celebrate another birthday. So when she finds herself confronted with a cake full of candles, Ellie wishes more than anything that she could be twenty-nine again, just for one day. But who expects a wish like that to come true?   29 is the story of three generations of women and how one magical day shakes up everything they know about each other. While Ellie finds that the life of a twenty-something is not as carefree as she expected, the sheer joy of being young again prompts her to consider living her life all over. Does she dare stay young for more than this day, even if it means leaving everyone she loves behind? Fresh, funny, and delightful, 29 is an enchanting adventure about families, love, and the real lessons of youth.

My take: 3 looks
As far as straight-up chick-lit goes, this was entertaining. Having an entire book center around one person for one day was just a bit of a stretch, but overall, it was a very easy and enjoyable book.

Ellie is in a unique position to shed 46 years for one day, which is almost ruined by her daughter and best friend. I loved that it was not just her "little secret", but won't say more to spoil it. She lived it to the fullest, and seemed to have the option of whether or not to return to her advanced age, or stay where she was. That was my only question: COULD she really have stayed if she had truly wanted to? Wouldn't she have been terrified every single day of her (new) life that she would awaken one morning wrinkled, saggy and stiff?

If I could go back to any year and live it for just a day, I may go back to high school and give the girls who tormented me a piece of my grown-up mind. Or I may return to my early 20s and enjoy a day in the life of a free spirit. Or I may go back to a fateful day in 1993 when I should have said, "I don't think so," instead of "I do". However, I am who I am because of what I did, when I did it. Would I really want to change that? I kind of like who I am, and am perfectly content to tweak a little here and there.

If I knew that one wish I made on my birthday would come true, I would probably wish for health and happiness for my children, close my eyes and blow.

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