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Mansell's latest chicklit offering
Rumour Has it - Jill Mansell
Member Name: cerys82
Rumour Has it - Jill Mansell
Date: 28/11/09, updated on 28/11/09 (57 review reads)
Advantages: Light read, highly enjoyable
Disadvantages: Isn't going to trouble the Booker judges
Tilly returns home to her London flat one day to find that her boyfriend has left her. Bereft she gets in touch of her best friend Erin who lives in a small town called Roxborough in the Cotswolds. Fancying a new start Tilly moves to Roxborough impulsively and gets a job as a housekeeper come 'Girl Friday' for a single dad Max and his teenage daughter Lou.
Whilst there she gets embroiled in the love lives and gossip of a small town, not least that of Jack. Jack is handsome and successful with a tragic past and a troublesome womanising reputation. Tilly finds herself undeniably drawn to him and him to her, but putting her head before her heart she works her hardest to resist him.
Alongside this there are subplots involving Hollywood TV actresses embroiled in media-friendly scandals, the turmoil of a marriage break-up and a subsequent relationship, the traumas of a bright and feisty teenage girl and a handsome PE teacher who may not be all that he seems.
As with all of the Mansell novels that I have read, this zips along a quite a pace. The characters are all engaging, despite not being full-blown drawn out and there are enough plot surprises to keep you interested. Its largely a bit 'chocolate boxy' - very pretty and comforting. However, I expect that I will remember very little about it in a month or so.
There is a particularly tragic plot thread involving one of the secondary characters getting seriously ill. Although this is handled sensitively, it feels like quite an obvious attempt to add some darkness to the light and does not quite work - at least not in the way that the likes of Marian Keyes manages it.
However, I believe Mansell to be a really good writer in the chicklit genre. She obviously believes in the story and her characters and you can sense that she actively enjoys writing - which does not always come across and is quite infectious! This definitely ranks amongst the best of hers that I have read and her dabbling in the dark elements of life is maybe showing that she is planning to make her novels slightly more well-rounded and less fluffy in future. If so, this is an admirable attempt.
In conclusion, this is a very enjoyable, highly readable light read that will probably not trouble your long term memory too much.
Summary: Perfect to curl up with on a cold day
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