Rumor Has It: Some people just can't keep a secret... by Jill Mansell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I picked this book up as a lark in the bookstore yesterday and started reading it when I got home. Five hours later, I was reaching the end of one of the most enjoyable, light-hearted, fun, entertaining reads I have read in a while. While this book might be in that oft-derided genre of "chick-lit", it transcends it with its intelligence, irony, snark, sarcasm, and a cast of lovable characters in a small English town named Roxborough. In a Cranford meets Jane Austen meets Helen Fielding kind of way, the girl and the guy do get together in the end, but the journey there is so enjoyable you don't care about any of the cliches that might be within the story.
The narration of the actual book is interesting in the fact that it jumps from character to character from time to time. Most of the book is told by Tilly Cole, but every so often the next chapter comes along and you get a different point of view. While this may sound pretty jarring, the way that Mansell weaves everything together makes for a fluid story when all is said and done.
This is a very British novel. Loads of irony, snark, and sarcasm and it is delightfully funny even in the most hard, painful moments. Life and death are all treated with the same aplomb. One of the playful ironic touches comes in the naming of some of the main characters. There is character named Jack, who's love in life was named Rose. Jack and Rose. Titanic anyone? It's a playful liberty taken by the author and I fully appreciated it.
This is my first foray into a Mansell novel and I'm looking forward to the next one. I can only hope it's half as good and fun as "Rumor Has It" has been. Honestly, the worst thing I can say about the book is that it's title shares the same title of a terrible movie with Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Costner, and Shirley MaClaine. Hopefully if this book is ever made into a movie, it will be more along the lines of "Bridget Jones" rather than a second-rate romantic comedy with Jennifer Aniston!
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