29 by Adena Halpern
Published by Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster
Growing old sucks.
At least that is what Ellie Jerome thinks. She is turning 75, but she sincerely wishes that she wasn’t. She does everything possible to not look 75, and she doesn’t, but looking like she’s in her 50s or 60s doesn’t really do it for her. Ellie wishes she was young and glamorous, like her granddaughter Lucy, a 25-year old fashion designer. At Ellie’s party, when her daughter Barbara can fit only 29 candles on her cake, she decides to make a wish that she really could be 29, if only for one day. When Ellie’s wish comes true, she has no idea just how being young again will change her.
I expected that “29” would be a fun, light sort of book, based on the title and description. And it was, of course, but there was also a surprising amount of depth throughout the book, but particularly in the end. One thing that I thought Halpern did particularly well was to keep Ellie consistent as a 75 year old woman in the body of a 29 ear old. By that, I mean that she kept Ellie in the mindset of a woman raised in her generation, while allowing her a bit of adaptability and keeping her mindset from becoming just a gag.
While it may not be my favorite book I read all year, it was definitely well-written and engaging. Recommended.