Monday, March 7, 2011



A few weeks ago I was down with my second cold of the season, fortunately I was not without books, but I didn't want high brow books. I was flat on the couch, sneezing, snuffling, and in general feeling, about a thousand years old. Now is the time I decided to break out Jilly Cooper. I had ordered three Jilly Cooper books because two of my favorite male authors from Yorkshire both wrote about her favorably. Having never heard of her, I was curious. I looked her up and learned she is regarded as the creator of  "chick lit", although from the evidence of my reading I'd say her books would still qualify as bodice rippers, except that there is nowadays so little bodice to rip, rendering that genre obsolete, now replaced by "chick lit" in which lingerie (if there is any) is willing flung off. So all high brows stop here, these are not the books for you, even in a cold-remedy induced haze. However, for those who occasionally dip into the low brow,{I don't say trash, since Jilly has been awarded some kind of order of the British Empire by the queen for her contributions to English literature.) Jilly is a fun diversion. What the guys mentioned, and the reviewers even, is that Jilly has a sense of humor. Are her books trashy romances or satires of trashy romances? That is the question, but whatever the answer, she tells a good story, often many good stories, with brio, elan, and all those other exuberant words. I was so interested in finding out what would happen that I kept spooning in the chicken soup to make sure I'd survive to the end of the book - and since the books I had were a trilogy, each over 500 pages - Jilly kept me diverted from the ravages of my cold, until finished with her sexy saga, I realized I could breath freely again. The novels all take place in the mythical English county of Rutshire (satire, anyone?) with love affairs, wickedness, horses (these are English novels, and perhaps the horses explain the Queen's award), and in this series, music as the leading villain is a symphony orchestra conductor, Maestro Rannaldini. 

These novels are from the late 1990's. Cooper wrote less convoluted romances before that, and has since written more of the Rutshire series.

Not available in Rockport library or the virtual catalogue. Can be purchased at Amazon or you can borrow from me.

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