Customer Reviews for

29: A Novel

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2012

    So good i shared it

    I read the whole book in one night and laughed and cried the whole time. It made me miss my Grandmothers and value all the things they always told me to do. I made my best friend read it the next day! Very fun read!

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  • Posted August 5, 2012

    This is such a sweet, fun and adorable story about a seventy-fiv

    This is such a sweet, fun and adorable story about a seventy-five year old grandmother who wishes to be 29 again... Ellie is young at heart and no one can tell her that she isn't. Although she does realize that it is struggle to keep that bounce in her step. So when her wish to be 29 again comes true! She is over the moon about it and she can't wait to live it up.

    But times have changed and her feelings are all askew, she is at a loss as to what to do.
    While trying to figure out to do and seeking out her granddaughter for help, Ellie begins to question and evaluate her past and present relationships - was her deceased husband her true love? Why is she not close with her own daughter? Why was her daughter so angry and strict all the time? Why was her best friend so content in settling and growing older?

    It was so heartwarming and endearing to see Ellie's reaction. Having to depend on her own granddaughter to not only help her how to dress appropriately, but also, how to behave and what the new rules are to meeting and talking to boys. They both run around the whole city trying to cover up who Ellie really is while also trying to be sure that Ellie gets to experience being 29 again.

    A fast, relatable and adventurous read to be shared with all the girls in your life!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2011

    Recommended to read

    This book was interesting and funny to read. It had advice as how to live life not to regret it later in life. It gave simple advice such as not to sit out in the sun or to moisturize daily. Also, it gave complex advice about not having regrets in your life and trying to find the real person within. The story is written in a three-person point of view which helps you better understand each character. Each character had their own set off problems, but all due to the main character Elie. While trying to physically find their friend and family member, Elie, two of the characters discover things about themselves that they had not known before causing their lives to further change. The story gives a good idea about how certain 75 year old think since the author had interviewed a few 75-year-old women.
    Many of the advice in the story probably came from these women. The author chooses the setting to take place in Philadelphia which is a major city with which many people may relate to or have an easier time imagining this truly taking place. This is a good book for 20 year olds to read so they can understand or see what mistakes they should try and avoid throughout life. Also, it gives people a chance to better understand the opinions of a certain 75 year olds. This book also shows how much a person can consider family in their life choices, even though they may not quite know it. I believe that the writing style of the author is easy to read and understand. I believe this book falls into the category of identification of oneself. The character in the book tries to discover who they truly are. Most definitely recommended to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2010

    Read This Book!!!

    I am in love with this book! I never share books with my mom but after I read this one I passed it off to her insisting she read it too. It appeals to all age older lady at my work enjoyed it too. I laughed out loud and cried at certain parts. You must read this book.

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  • Posted August 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by hoopsielv for

    On her seventy-fifth birthday, Ellie takes the time to reflect on her life. She realizes that to the average onlooker, she's had it pretty good. She married a prominent lawyer and spent her days playing bridge at the country club and raising their daughter, Barbara.

    Her husband passed away a few years ago and now Ellie lives in an apartment on her own. She goes out with friends and enjoys sitting on her porch. Yet Ellie longs for the life she never had, a life like her granddaughter, Lucy, has now. Lucy is a free-spirited fashion designer who's constantly on the go.

    Barbara could only fit twenty-nine candles on Ellie's birthday cake, so it's only appropriate that Ellie wishes to be that age again just for a day. Wishes do come true! She wakes up in the body of a much younger woman! She lets Lucy in on her amazing transformation and together they hit the bustling streets of Philadelphia.

    Naturally, she needs a hip new wardrobe to accent her figure, a makeover, and a sleek, modern haircut. She uses the alias of Lucy's cousin and meets many of Lucy's friends throughout the day. The evening would not be complete without meeting a wonderful man who takes her home for a night of passion! What a wonderful time!

    Meanwhile, Barbara is extremely worried when she can't reach her mother and enlists Frida's help. Frida is a sensible old woman and together they hunt for Ellie. Where could she be?

    What happens when the clock strikes midnight? Will Ellie be able to keep the happiness that she's longed for, or is it too late?

    This is a terrific book full of laughs, thoughtful moments, and reflections. I found it inspiring in the sense that we all have the opportunity to make moments worth living for. I highly recommend this novel!

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  • Posted July 24, 2010

    Good Read

    This was a heartfelt book, made me reflect on alot of things going on in my life! What a fun read and tear jerker!!!

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  • Posted July 22, 2010

    Close your eyes and make a wish

    Adena Halpern has written a warm and delightful book. I have not read any of her other books. This one captured me from the very beginning. Really, when we were 10 we wanted to be 13. At 13 we wanted to be 18 and at 18 we dreamed of being 21. But who at 29 dreamed of being 75??? SO it is not hard to believe Ellie on her 75th birthday might want a "do over". Who hasn't wondered if only we had chosen a different path? I liked the family dynamics and felt the characters were genuine, funny and touching.

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  • Posted July 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    To be young again

    Ellie Jerome has regrets. Moments before blowing out the candles on her birthday cake, she realizes she has regrets. And not small, trivial regrets. No, they're big. Did she marry the right man? Was she a good mother? What if she made different choices? What would her life be like now as she's celebrating her 75th birthday?

    If only she could go back in time. To her younger self.when she was full of life and the whole world was at her feet. Yes, if only she could rewrite her past. These are her last thoughts prior to blowing out her candles.

    The morning after her party, Ellie wakes up and feels different. She can't put her finger on it, but she knows something is a bit off. Imagine her surprise when she sees herself-her 29 year old self-in the bathroom mirror. And so begins 29 by Adena Halpern.

    Ellie is delighted her birthday wish came true. She's 29 again and can make a new life for herself. She's having the time of her life and a bit leery when her granddaughter Lucy finds out the truth. Lucy is initially stunned to see her grandmother as a young, vivacious woman. She quickly recovers and together the women decide to have a girls' fun-filled day.

    Problems arise when Barbara, Ellie's daughter, and Frida, Ellie's best friend, become suspicious of Ellie's whereabouts. The two women team up to find the missing Ellie, both with concerns about what may have happened to her.

    I absolutely loved this book! Ellie is a cute, delightful character as a young woman and at 75. Readers can't help but to love her. I did feel for Ellie as she's among family and friends and all she can think about is the life she could have had. Many of us would like to turn back time and choose a different path, but instead of looking back, we continue to move forward vowing to make better decisions in order to have the life we still dream of.

    Despite the lightheartedness and humorous plot, Ms. Halpern does a great job with character growth and reflection regarding Lucy, Ellie, Barbara and Frida. Themes include mother and daughter relationships, being true to oneself, living your life without holding on so tightly and accepting that you're where you're supposed to be.

    29 is a great way to spend a day at the pool or reading outside on the deck. I highly recommend this novel.

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  • Posted June 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I thought it was just ok.

    It was entertaining and easy to read. Very quick to read since it is not very long or challenging. Most of the characters are pretty likeable but not always believable.

    The grand-daughter character should be one of the main supporting characters but is not very fleshed out. You want to fall in love with her but end up falling short. You will find her mildly pleasant at best.

    The daughter character is the villainess of story. She is bossy and mean and no one seems to like her not even her mother and daughter. She is the only main supporting character completely left out of the loop as to what is going on in the story. She was really the only character I felt much sympathy for.

    The best friend character is not very likeable. She is rather pitiful though allowing me to forgive her for saying to always tip the hired help so they feel guilty when they are stealing.

    The husband character is the only main supporting character who is dead before the story begins. At the beginning of the story we are supposed to feel sorry for Ellie because she married him even though she did not love him because he was rich. By the end of the story she realizes she loves him even though he cheated on her. We don't really know why. This realization is enforced by the finding of a stash of cards and letters from Ellie. I guess adultry is forgivable as long as men save the Hallmarks and buy expensive gifts.

    The young boyfriend character is completely unreal. A good looking, rich and successful man in his late 20's who is ready to fall head over heels in love with a women he knows nothing about and get married and settle down after a couple hour long date. He pines for weeks if he has no further contact with a girl he has a one night stand with. Ri-ight. Hey, girls! That's not a guy, it's a girl.

    Finally the main character. I did like Ellie and even though the plot was hard for me to buy her story was entertaining. I was really rooting for her to stay young even though you are never really sure it's an option. I do not buy her reasons for going back to her life. Her husband is dead, her grand-daughter and her best friend know who she is and her daughter could be convinced if they can. Who would rather be old and worn out than young and beautiful?
    I also totally knew she was going to end up at a guys house in the moring, back to being old with no clothes that fit to put on. I think it would have been really funny if the guy had woken and found himself in bed with the old woman instead of the young hottie.

    Overall I found the book fluffy and silly but harmless. I can see it being made into an ABC family movie. I did not hate it but if I had never read it I would not be missing anything.

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  • Posted June 18, 2010

    Fun and Meaningful Book

    29 is a quick and fun book to read. Hard to put down and quite funny at times. I think that all ages of women can relate to this story. I mean who hasn't wished that they could go back in time and change things that have happened or at least do some things over again.
    Ellie, Barbara and Lucy are the prime example of 3 generations of a family, with Frida's funny antics making 29 a great read.
    I finished 29 in less than 2 days!
    I will definitely look for other Adena Halpern's books.

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  • Posted June 18, 2010

    You only live twice - if you're lucky

    What woman of a certain age hasn't wondered what it would be like to be young again, knowing what we know now? That is the premise of Adena Halpern's delightful book "29". Ellie Jerome makes a wish as she blows out the candles at her 75th birthday party - that for 24 hours she is 29 again. When she wakes up the next morning, she is astounded to see that her wish has come true. She is 29 and beautiful and eager to make up for all that she has missed in living her predictable cautious life. Her companion on this adventure is her young granddaughter Lucy, whose life Ellie has often admired. Meanwhile, Ellie's 55-year-old daughter Barbara and Ellie's best friend Frida are having an adventure of their own, trying to find out why Ellie is missing... Ellie, Barbara and Frida's lives are changed irrevocably by the events of this one day; as Ms. Halpern puts it "It took that one day away from her normal life for her to realize what was truly important". A great vacation read or book club summer book, this book is alternately funny, clever, touching and thought-provoking but always enjoyable, and as hard to put down as a delicious dessert."

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  • Posted May 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    a profound character driven tale

    In Philadelphia, fifty-five years old Barbara Sustamon and her husband Larry the dentist host a birthday party for her widowed mom Ellie Jerome. The cake from the Swiss Pastry Shop contains twenty-nine candles. Ellie wishes to be that age again for one day, as she is jealous of her twenty-five years old fashion designer granddaughter Lucy and has a lifetime of regrets as well as a closet filled with clothing provided by her decade older late husband Howard.

    The next morning Ellie awakens to find her wish came true. She persuades Lucy that she is Ellie and they begin to make her day happen even as Barbara and Ellie's BFF septuagenarian widow Frida Freedberg worry about her strange phone calls to each of them. As Barbara and Frida search for Ellie, Lucy and her grandma begin an odyssey that will have more meaning for the four of them and others.

    The four females make for a profound character driven tale as each has regrets except the youngest. Ellie is superb as she learns she is not jealous of her granddaughter's opportunities but of her era allowing women chances her generation never had as marriage was the only goal. Barbara just wishes to prove her worth to her mother. Frida prays she can finally move on passed her late mom who haunts her every decision. Ironically Lucy as the under thirty is the wisest. 29 is a deep tale with some humor provided by the searchers.

    Harriet Klausner

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    Posted August 22, 2010

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