Some weeks, you need to watch Sandra Bullock films and read Jilly Cooper. This was such a week. Jilly Cooper’s romances have been a go-to of mine ever since reading Lisa and Co as a young teen and falling in love with the idea of London in the 60s, living in a fantastic flat, showing acres of thigh and constantly getting tight, much to Mummy and Daddy in the country’s disapproval. Of course, having your twenties during the recession, being equipped with the legs of a well-built Northerner, not really liking whisky and having a Father who spends half his time saving trees and the other half getting tear gassed in Greek riots kind of ruins this plan, but reading Jilly is like stepping into a warm, comfy, bosomy hug that smells of Joy and Chiffon and never gets old.
NOT the Riders/Polo/Man Who Made Husbands Jealous marlarky-I don’t identify with that set and they are all 200 pages too long. No, the romances all titled after girl’s names, mostly written in the 70s and adapted from short stories, at least the three I’ve read this year, all jolly super gosh fun, sharp as a tac and witty as anything. The original Wendy Holden, whose Simply Devine was just that, but whose last few books have been such dross I’ve stopped bothering.
Reading Octavia this week made me want to start wearing fewer clothes and put highlights in my hair and be fabulous. The men are for the most part dreadful, and the women don’t realise they love them until they’ve either been horribly abusive or condescending shits. Octavia is an It girl brought up hard by a disastrous attempt to seduce her best friend’s fiancée who then has to re-work her life and discover you can’t just hike your skirt up and sleep with a dozen men in a month and hope everything will be OK in the end.
Jilly Cooper is part nostalgia, part retro cool, but all lovely and sometimes, lovely is just want one needs. Yah.