Rumour Has It – Jill Mansell

Tilly has moved away from London and goes to a small town and whilst she is the main character in this book, I feel it is more a ensemble cast of characters and it is that which has made it a joy to read. To get back to Tilly, she has arrives in the town and is intrigued by a strange sounding job as a Girl Friday and on the off-chance goes for an interview and gets the job.

And so we get introduced to Tilly’s new employer Max Dineen, the perfect man for any woman, his daughter Lou who found life too boring with her mother, Kaye  in LA and has decamped to be with her dad. But as Tilly settles down, Kaye makes an appearance and it seems this rather unconventional family seems rather racy for a small town.

Through Max, we all encounter the irresistible Jack Lucas, who has a bedpost which can’t possibly be still standing if the rumours round the town are anything to go by? Tilly is not affected by any of this gossip, but her friend Erin does warn her off Jack, just in case she gets hurt. Tilly has no intention of being a subject of gossip. Good job really, when her friend Erin becomes the latest piece of news, when her new secret man, Fergus turns out to be married to Stella one of Erin’s customers.

So much is packed in as you can see and in a place where everyone knows everyone else’s business, it is very difficult to just blend in as Tilly seems to be trying to do. She has an uncanny knack of standing right out, especially when Jack Lucas is around.

This is not simply a will they get together, won’t they plot in the book. It has some much more subtle undertones, it deals with the break up of families and how they can live very different lives but still bring up a child. How love can come in the most surprising of places and packages and that perhaps remaining bitter is not good for anyone. More serious subjects are tackled, bullying, sexuality and death. Of course all of this could be rumours and the only way you are going to find out is to go and visit this small town and see for yourself – it has some delightful characters, comedic moments and some heartbreaking scenes. What more could you want from a book?

This is my second Jill Mansell and I am liking what I am getting so far. I picked this one randomly off the charity book shop shelf, so I do not know whether it is one of her more popular novels. But to look at the number of reviews her books get, I think all of her novels are must reads. 

I finished this after my first week back at work,  ensconced on the sofa with tea and a box of chocolates, what more could a girl want on a Friday afternoon?



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