Bella by Jilly Cooper


I always wait a day or two between reading books as I tend to become wrapped up in the world of my previous read, so it was a mixture of this and a need to read something light hearted that led me to Jilly Cooper. Every time I write about one of her books I mention how much I love her and this is obviously still the case. Whilst I have been slowly working my way back through her Rutshire Chronicles, this time I decided I wanted something shorter- mainly so I can start my Classics Club Spin, Oliver Twist before Christmas. With this in mind I picked up Bella. When I was 18/19 I bought all of the Jilly Cooper books with eponymous titles and stormed through them, meaning I haven’t read one in eight years. I’m not sure why I picked Bella, I think it was just the first one that I picked from the bookcase.

Bella is the story of Bella Parkinson, a young British actress who is taking the theatre world by storm. When the wealthy and handsome Rupert Henriques falls in love with her, she is soon swept into his world; unfortunately the rest of his family cannot stand her, especially his cousin, Lazlo. Lazlo soon realises that Bella is hopelessly in love with her ex, Steve and is determined to make her break her engagement with Rupert. Both Bella’s and Lazlo’s pasts come back to haunt them and put the former in serious danger.

I had forgotten what happened in Bella, but regardless of this I knew I was going to enjoy it as Jilly Cooper books never fail to put a smile on my face. I have been meaning to return to this series of books for ages, but despite taking one or two on holiday as back up reads I never quite got round to them. The last 150 pages had me hooked and, after a long and tiring week at work, it was lovely to come up and have a long soak in the bath with my book. Yes, I’m aware this is hardly literary greatness, but sometimes a comforting, familiar read is just what you need on a cold winter’s evening. Having said that I always find some relevant quote when I read a Cooper book and this might be one of my favourites:

‘But darling, one loves the most ghastly people when one’s eighteen. You wouldn’t be able to see what you saw in him if you met him now’

How true!

And now I have done my lighthearted read, it is on to Oliver Twist, a re-read and a novel I think I last read around Christmas time.


Reading the Twentieth Century

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