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. When her bullying husband dies, Etta's selfish, ambitious son and daughter drag her from her lovely Dorset house to live in a hideous modern bungalow in the Cotswold village of Willowwood.
Etta's life changes when, in the snow in the nearby woods, she finds a horribly mutilated filly, which she names Mrs Wilkinson and nurses back to health. The filly charms everyone in the village, then tests reveal her to be a spectacularly well-bred racehorse. After a nail-biting court case, Mrs Wilkinson is awarded to Etta, thus ensuring the lasting and vengeful enmity of her evil former trainer and owner. A village syndicate is formed to put the filly into training, consisting of a riotous mix of village characters, who set off to the races in a minibus clanking with bottles.
Ridden by Rupert's delectable god-daughter, Amber, Mrs Wilkinson captivates vast crowds as she progresses from point-to-point races to major races and brings fame and fortune to the syndicate, until, at last, she is entered in the Grand National. Can she be the first mare in thirty years, and Amber the first woman ever, to conquer this mighty race?
In Jump! you will meet rich capricious owners, obsessive trainers and gallant stable lads and lasses; you will get to know the tough, brave jockeys; and you will fall in love with the horses,and above all with Mrs Wilkinson herself hilarious, heroic and so gutsy she will gallop into your heart forever.
|Product dimensions:||4.41(w) x 6.97(h) x 1.63(d)|
About the Author
JILLY COOPER is a journalist, writer and media superstar. The author of many number one bestselling novels, she lives in Gloucestershire with her husband Leo, her rescue greygound Feather and her black cat Feral. She was appointed OBE in the 2004 Queen's Birthday Honours List for her contribution to literature, and in 2009 was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters by the University of Gloucestershire for her contribution to literature and services to the County.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have a great soft spot for Jilly Cooper, so was surprised that after 500 pages of this I was still finding it turgid. Jilly's characters are often two dimensional, but at least they're usually 2d, sexy and fun. I nearly gave up on it altogether. However, it does go up a notch at the end - while the plot becomes even more ludicrous, there is at least a bit more of it, and it is much more the page turning yomp I'm used to from Jilly. Not sure I'd re-read though. I must go back and read her earlier Rutshire chronicles, to see if it is the books that have changed or me...
Sixteen years have passed since Riders was first published, the dastardly yet delightful Rupert Campbell-Black is pushing sixty, yet excessive wealth, binge drinking and casual sex continue aplenty in Cooper's fictional county of Larkshire. Cooper and Campbell-Black are not the only ones to have aged; our heroine in Jump! is recently widowed, alcohol soaked, plant lover and jump racing afficionado Etta Bancroft. Having been mistreated by her now deceased husband and now well into her sixties Etta is living in an unsightly bungalow in the charming village of Willowood where she divides her time between babysitting her ghastly grandchildren and sneaking down to the local pub to watch the racing. When she discovers an abused racehorse in the woods near her house the fun really starts. Cooper's usual flamboyant characters are only usurped by the far-fetched plot. While this is never going to win the Orange prize, I love Cooper's books and snatch them off the shelf as soon as they come out in paperback. I was utterly absorbed for the duration of my time reading this and felt like I'd wrapped myself in a familiar old blanket of absurd characters, dirty puns and literary (mis)quotes. Excellent, as usual.