Harriet Poole was shattered when her brief affair with Simon Villiers, Oxford's leading playboy, ended abruptly, leaving her penniless, alone and pregnant. Still hopelessly in love with Simon, she took baby William and buried herself in deepest Yorkshire as nanny to the children of Cory Erskine, a somewhat eccentric scriptwriter.
A whole host of visitors began to arrive to disrupt Harriet's peaceful routine: first Cory's estranged wife, Noel, then his brother, Kit, and finally, of all people, Simon....
I loved this story as a teenager and decided to listen to it for a bit of nostalgia. It was completely ruined by narration which can only be described as a child in a school play shouting their lines very clearly with inflection in all the wrong places. I listen to a lot of books and the jilly cooper ones are almost always badly narrated but this was the worst. 🙁
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
If you used to read Jilly from her Times column through her short novels to her sweeping Rutshire saga, this is for you. It took me right back. We all know the world is changing rapidly, but who would have imagined that life not so very long ago would sound so different?
The angst of whether or not, when and how to lose one's virginity (or keep it as a sort of wedding present for your new husband); today's generation might find that baffling. Ditto the attitudes towards an unmarried mother... Particularly from Harriet's own middle class, bridge playing, what will the neighbours say, ghastly mother.
Poor old Harriet gets the lot landed on her, along with a lovely baby son and no means of supporting him. But this is Jilly land, so we all know that the whole thing will be fun, life will fall into place and Harriet will live happily ever after in the end. And she does, but along the way we can enjoy life with some typical Cooper characters.
This book, along with the other shorter novels like Imogen and Octavia (my favourites, please, Audible) could work for more than one generation. For those of us who read them when they first came out, pure nostalgia: for younger generations a window into a world their mothers and/or grandmothers knew that is really not so long ago - but seems far, far away.
PS to Audible; thrilled that you seem to be recording more of Jilly's books, but why oh why, if you have Nos 1, 9 and 10 of the Rutshire Chronicles already recorded, is the 'coming soon' one Polo, which is No 3? What happened to No 2?
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
....if we were honestly treated like that before 2nd/3rd wave feminism. I mean, I first read this book in 1985 and it seemed rather outdated in its attitudes then. Aside from its sociology political clunkiness it does have its charms and Jilly Cooper certainly could tell a good story, even if I had to listen to it with my head in my hands. The narrator was woeful, read it as though she had not given it a read through before and often misread, misinterpreted or just plain mispronounced words, and her intonation was very flat and sing song. I wish that I had left this book as a happy memory
1 of 2 people found this review helpful