Excerpt: 'Twenties Girl'

Summer reading roundup - Twenties Girl

Lara Lington has a lot going on in her life: Her best friend and business partner has fled to Goa, her start-up company is in trouble, and her boyfriend has just dumped her. In the midst of her quarter-life crisis, Lara is visited by the ghost of her great aunt Sadie, making a bizarre request: that Lara find the missing necklace Sadie owned for more than 75 years.

The quest to find the neckless leads to intrigue and a new love for Lara in "Twenties Girl."

Read an excerpt of the book below and head to the "GMA" Library for more good reads.

ONE

The 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.

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