Jump!: Another joyful and dramatic romp from Jilly Cooper, the Sunday Times bestseller
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Can she be the first mare in thirty years, and Amber the first woman ever, to conquer this mighty race? Take that whole sequence and storyline out, or at least treat it with much more appropriate gravity, and I'd have liked the book a whole lot more. Slow to get started, huge info dumps, scenes and chapters that end in strange places, and a heroine who's pushed off the page by too many other characters sharing the stage. I have read all of Jilly Cooper's books previously, although many years ago now, and as far as I remember I enjoyed them a lot, this was way before Good reads though, so I have no record! I felt fairly uncomfortable as well with some of the work that Jilly did involving Pakistanis and Al Qaeda (I will leave you to wonder how she encompassed this into the world of jump racing!
The name and the cover sounds pretty well, but when I started it off, all I felt was disappointment. what angered me the most is the foursome/rape scene involving a 15 year old girl which wasn't dealt with in any way, inappropriate isn't the word. What I don't understand is why no one, not any of the many many people who care for her nor any authorities, investigate and prosecute the hideous crime.After being so impressed with Jilly's take on relationships, I was not happy to have a couple of sex scenes that verged on rape, including one involving a foursome where a participant was being forced into joining in. Etta Bancroft – sweet, kind, still beautiful – adores racing and harbours a crush on one of its stars, the handsome high-handed owner-trainer Rupert Campbell-Black. The story of Etta, put-upon widow and grandmother, whose generosity of spirit was abused by her domineering (wealthy) husband who left her at the mercy of her uncaring, grasping children due to the terms of his will. It's not that I didn't enjoy it when I was reading it and I did love the whimsical tale of rescuing a neglected filly and rehabilitating her to become a top racehorse, I mean who wouldn't really! Whatever you like about Jilly's previous books-- the humor, the hyper Englishness of the settings both social and geographic, the lovable cad, the earnest young horsewoman, the horses so grateful for kindness that they'll jump the moon--they're all in there.
Etta never feels at the centre of the story as the other characters drown her out (and this is terribly maddening as I was looking forward to reading an protagonist who isn't the usual first-flush of youth type). She seems to have toned down the raunchiness (or maybe I have just grown up alot) but there was still the same old naughty characters getting up to the same tricks as well as some fabulous new characters establishing themselves for a new generation of Jilly fans.Admittedly, I only started this book because it was available on overdrive, and I am aware and ashamed of my tendency to disparage contemporary romance novels. But, everyone falls in love with Etta, especially when a bedraggled and beaten racehorse shows up in her garden needing Etta’s love. I know the stories are great and romantic and rolicking and sexy, but honestly Jilly, I want more of the good stuff and less of the dross. I read some bad reviews of this one, but since I wasn’t impressed with the last of the series I’d read (The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous), I thoroughly enjoyed this. I was actually hoping to make it last for the trip back as well but unfortunately decided to keep on going to the end.
I don’t think I could read two Rutshire books back to back, because I get so seriously emotionally involved. Etta isn't that sad to lose her bullying husband to cancer, but is heartbroken when her children turf her out of the family home and install her in a impersonal, small bungalow so they can use her as free babysitting.Not only am I enjoying the book itself, but the memories of my friend Miranda and I reading “Riders”, Rivals et al side by side on her parents’ lawn many years ago have come flooding back, and makes enjoying this new book all the more special.