Daily Mail

Jilly: she shoots, she scores!



by Jilly Cooper (Bantam £22, 448pp)

ANY new book from Cooper is a major event for multiple millions of fans around the world, me included. Her most famous character, Rupert Campbell- Black, has also become a legend in his own right, and I’m delighted to report that he has another starring role here.

Now 60, but as attractive as ever, our hero is having a bad time. His beloved wife Taggie is undergoing chemothera­py for breast cancer and his favourite horse has died. But he’s lost none of his sharp wit, charm, impatience with idiots or ultra-alpha sexy energy.

Glamorous daughter Bianca persuades him to buy the rubbish local football club, Searston Rovers, so that her boyfriend Feral can play for the team. Rupert doesn’t know anything about the sport but won’t settle for less than Premier League victory.

It’s full of brilliant secondary characters, tons of whom have appeared in previous books, and the plot centres around Searston’s robust rivalry with the other local team. Sex and scandal abound. A total treat.

GOOD MATERIAL by Dolly Alderton

(Fig Tree £18.99, 352pp)

THIS brilliantl­y observed portrait of a break-up dives deep into just how miserable and isolating it is to become obsessed with the unknown reasons why a relationsh­ip has ended.

Andy is a struggling comedian who makes ends meet performing at weddings and marketing events in shopping malls. He is bereft when Jen, his beloved girlfriend of four years, breaks up with him the minute they get home from a weekend in Paris.

Andy thought they had a nice time, is still madly in love with her and cannot understand why she’s done this. The more he thinks about it — and it is relentless — the madder he feels. He can’t stop checking Jen’s social media, quizzing their mutual friends for answers, drinking and smoking too much.

He also puts exponentia­lly less effort into his stand-up career, resulting in a savage online review and the further desecratio­n of his confidence. Beautifull­y written, pacy and excellent on rejection, friendship and letting go. Fabulous.


(Penguin £8.99, 416pp)

ABBIE and Tom are travelling separately on the same Tube train, going home after their respective nights out.

Neither would normally talk to a stranger on their morning commute, but after a few drinks things are much more relaxed.

Well, they are until tragedy strikes and the train is involved in a huge accident.

Forever bonded by the traumatic event, Tom and Abbie start to build a friendship which quickly turns into them falling for each other. Their first kiss starts well but ends in disaster.

Tom rejects Abbie because he’s had some awful news, but she thinks it’s her fault and feels angry and humiliated. They remain friends, but things are never the same again and Abbie is determined not to let him break her heart again.

Years pass, other relationsh­ips and children happen, but the further our protagonis­ts get from each other the more they realise that connection­s like theirs are superrare. Very easy reading.

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom