Tuesday, June 15, 2010

29: A Novel by Adena Halpern

On the day of her 75th birthday, Ellie Jerome blows out the candles on her cake and wishes to be 29 years old for one day. When she awakes the next morning, her body is firm and youthful, there are no wrinkles on her face, she can see clearly, and her hair has no traces of gray. It takes her a while before she truly comes to believe that her wish came through. Unsettled by what has happened, she soon comes the realization that this is a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity and she must seize and make the most of this one special day.

With the help of her granddaughter, Lucy, Ellie is determined to reach out and experience everything she can. First, she gets a new hairstyle and then dons a spectacular new gown.  When she looks in the mirror, she can scarcely believe that she is the youthful beauty reflected therein.

As she maneuvers through her special day, a gift beyond her wildest dreams, she attracts oodles of attention and soon finds herself in the arms of a handsome young man.

While Ellie is enjoying her new freedoms, Ellie’s daughter and her best friend are worried about her and desperate to find her and make sure she's safe.  Meanwhile, Ellie begins to understand the meaning of life and learns powerful lessons about the true value of a husband, family, friendship, and comes to appreciate the wisdom that can only come with age.

At times hilarious, and at other times sad, this chick-lit novel is truly an entertaining read. Duty, family, and tradition conflict with modern social freedoms to make this tale not only hilarious and engaging, but poignant. Adena Halpern does a marvelous job of giving the reader insight into the thoughts and behaviors of three generations of women in the various stages of life. A definite fun summer read for women of all ages.

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