Feb. 17th, 2012

dangermousie: (Default)
This is probably my favorite Jilly Cooper book, even if it isn't one of her most famous ones. It's just so funny and sweet and with a creeptastic undertone and I adore the protagonists.

Lysander Hawkley is gorgeous and ridiculously nice. He's also not the sharpest tool in the drawer, can't read or write in any coherent matter due to dyslexia, and is incapable of holding down a job or even function much in real world due to just losing interest and not keeping track of anything. Luckily, his fed-up friend finally finds him a job Lysander can hold down - the job of the title. A particular town near to London is a favorite living space for many of the England's rich and famous and, as it often goes, many of the rich wives are neglected by their husbands, either for work or for mistresses. So Lysander becomes the man who gets hired by these ladies to get their husbands back - by pretending to be these ladies' devoted admirer etc - as Lysander is naturally nice to people and very attractive, that is an easy easy job for him. (Sex is not included in the purchase package, but usually happens anyway).

And then he meets Kitty Ranaldini. Kitty is plain, chubby, Cockney and married to the most appalling man ever (I actually think he's the only monster in all of Cooper's books). Ranaldini is a famous conductor who married Kitty when his previous wife left - Kitty was his very efficient secretary and he didn't want to lose her services. He doesn't love her or like her, treats her like dirt, and so does everyone else in his entourage (Kitty is expected to book hotel rooms for Ranaldini's mistresses, etc). The same is true in town - her 'friends' pretty much use her to arrange their lives and make their parties more pleasant and never think about her wishes twice.

Lysander is not particularly interested in Kitty but he does feel sorry for the way she's being treated and eventually they become friends. Oh, and then one of his former clients hires him for Kitty to bring Kitty's husband back, etcetcetc I think it is no surprise to say they fall desperately in love?

It all sounds like a plot of a romance novel (well, perhaps a lot tawdrier version of one) but it's not really - it's cynical and funny and actually pretty biting, with a lot of spotlight on characters who are not the main two (various wives, Ranaldini and his entourage etc).

I think it's my favorite of her books because it's rather a character piece and also because I just adore the two protagonists, who are both ridiculously nice (Lysander especially reminded me of a puppy) and also total misfits - despite his looks and upper-classish background, he is just as much of an outsider as she is. They are both too naive for the creepy creepy games people play around them (the only scene in all of her books that freaked me the hell out was in this book and involved Lysander at Ranaldini's party and ugh) and rather unsuited for the real world alone (together, they do fill in each other's gaps - she is as impossibly nice as he is but very practical).

Basically, it's hilarious and darling and with some dark dark undertones that nonetheless do not overwhelm.
dangermousie: (Default)
This is probably my favorite Jilly Cooper book, even if it isn't one of her most famous ones. It's just so funny and sweet and with a creeptastic undertone and I adore the protagonists.

Lysander Hawkley is gorgeous and ridiculously nice. He's also not the sharpest tool in the drawer, can't read or write in any coherent matter due to dyslexia, and is incapable of holding down a job or even function much in real world due to just losing interest and not keeping track of anything. Luckily, his fed-up friend finally finds him a job Lysander can hold down - the job of the title. A particular town near to London is a favorite living space for many of the England's rich and famous and, as it often goes, many of the rich wives are neglected by their husbands, either for work or for mistresses. So Lysander becomes the man who gets hired by these ladies to get their husbands back - by pretending to be these ladies' devoted admirer etc - as Lysander is naturally nice to people and very attractive, that is an easy easy job for him. (Sex is not included in the purchase package, but usually happens anyway).

And then he meets Kitty Ranaldini. Kitty is plain, chubby, Cockney and married to the most appalling man ever (I actually think he's the only monster in all of Cooper's books). Ranaldini is a famous conductor who married Kitty when his previous wife left - Kitty was his very efficient secretary and he didn't want to lose her services. He doesn't love her or like her, treats her like dirt, and so does everyone else in his entourage (Kitty is expected to book hotel rooms for Ranaldini's mistresses, etc). The same is true in town - her 'friends' pretty much use her to arrange their lives and make their parties more pleasant and never think about her wishes twice.

Lysander is not particularly interested in Kitty but he does feel sorry for the way she's being treated and eventually they become friends. Oh, and then one of his former clients hires him for Kitty to bring Kitty's husband back, etcetcetc I think it is no surprise to say they fall desperately in love?

It all sounds like a plot of a romance novel (well, perhaps a lot tawdrier version of one) but it's not really - it's cynical and funny and actually pretty biting, with a lot of spotlight on characters who are not the main two (various wives, Ranaldini and his entourage etc).

I think it's my favorite of her books because it's rather a character piece and also because I just adore the two protagonists, who are both ridiculously nice (Lysander especially reminded me of a puppy) and also total misfits - despite his looks and upper-classish background, he is just as much of an outsider as she is. They are both too naive for the creepy creepy games people play around them (the only scene in all of her books that freaked me the hell out was in this book and involved Lysander at Ranaldini's party and ugh) and rather unsuited for the real world alone (together, they do fill in each other's gaps - she is as impossibly nice as he is but very practical).

Basically, it's hilarious and darling and with some dark dark undertones that nonetheless do not overwhelm.
dangermousie: (Default)
This is probably my favorite Jilly Cooper book, even if it isn't one of her most famous ones. It's just so funny and sweet and with a creeptastic undertone and I adore the protagonists.

Lysander Hawkley is gorgeous and ridiculously nice. He's also not the sharpest tool in the drawer, can't read or write in any coherent matter due to dyslexia, and is incapable of holding down a job or even function much in real world due to just losing interest and not keeping track of anything. Luckily, his fed-up friend finally finds him a job Lysander can hold down - the job of the title. A particular town near to London is a favorite living space for many of the England's rich and famous and, as it often goes, many of the rich wives are neglected by their husbands, either for work or for mistresses. So Lysander becomes the man who gets hired by these ladies to get their husbands back - by pretending to be these ladies' devoted admirer etc - as Lysander is naturally nice to people and very attractive, that is an easy easy job for him. (Sex is not included in the purchase package, but usually happens anyway).

And then he meets Kitty Ranaldini. Kitty is plain, chubby, Cockney and married to the most appalling man ever (I actually think he's the only monster in all of Cooper's books). Ranaldini is a famous conductor who married Kitty when his previous wife left - Kitty was his very efficient secretary and he didn't want to lose her services. He doesn't love her or like her, treats her like dirt, and so does everyone else in his entourage (Kitty is expected to book hotel rooms for Ranaldini's mistresses, etc). The same is true in town - her 'friends' pretty much use her to arrange their lives and make their parties more pleasant and never think about her wishes twice.

Lysander is not particularly interested in Kitty but he does feel sorry for the way she's being treated and eventually they become friends. Oh, and then one of his former clients hires him for Kitty to bring Kitty's husband back, etcetcetc I think it is no surprise to say they fall desperately in love?

It all sounds like a plot of a romance novel (well, perhaps a lot tawdrier version of one) but it's not really - it's cynical and funny and actually pretty biting, with a lot of spotlight on characters who are not the main two (various wives, Ranaldini and his entourage etc).

I think it's my favorite of her books because it's rather a character piece and also because I just adore the two protagonists, who are both ridiculously nice (Lysander especially reminded me of a puppy) and also total misfits - despite his looks and upper-classish background, he is just as much of an outsider as she is. They are both too naive for the creepy creepy games people play around them (the only scene in all of her books that freaked me the hell out was in this book and involved Lysander at Ranaldini's party and ugh) and rather unsuited for the real world alone (together, they do fill in each other's gaps - she is as impossibly nice as he is but very practical).

Basically, it's hilarious and darling and with some dark dark undertones that nonetheless do not overwhelm.

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