I very much enjoyed reading Rumor Has It by Jill Mansell. While it relies on the formulaic elements of (British) chick lit, including meet cutes, twee coincidences, plenty of misunderstandings, and loving descriptions of country houses, the story itself never felt like only formula; it was full of fun, drama, and, of course, secret pain. These formulaic elements, when used with a light touch- as Mansell has done here – have the same comforting quality as a nice cup of tea; they’re familiar and reassuring. It’s reliable escapism.
Although heroine Tilly has her moments of what seemed to this reader like straight-up foolishness, she seems so determined to believe that she’s doing the right thing that you can almost forgive her. But the road to true love never runs smoothly, right? It’s almost as if Tilly wants to create conflict, so she doesn’t have to give in and go for her heart’s desire. Her love interest, Jack, seems to be too good to be true – they always do. But then, he’s not what he seems – they never are. Yet, I found myself rooting for Tilly, Jack and their counterparts to find happiness in the end.
Rumor Has It is also strengthened by its colorful supporting cast, composed of people like Max, Tilly’s flamboyant employer, and Lou, his sweet teenage daughter. (Although, the idea that Max’s ex-wife Kaye just happens to be a Hollywood TV star is a little bit of a stretch.) The subplot featuring Tilly’s best friend Erin, her love interest Fergus, and his ex-wife Stella had surprising depth. And, you guessed it, secret pain.
Verdict: this book is like chick lit comfort food, as pleasant and amusing as its brightly colored butterfly cover.
Rachel, who has a Ph.D. in English, is a freelance writer/editor and a voracious reader. You can talk to her about books at http://twitter.com/writehandmann.
I have 2 copies of Rumor Has It to give away, courtesy of the publisher!
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Review and giveaway copies were provided free of any obligation by Sourcebooks Landmark. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.