Book - 2010
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Etta Bancroft -- sweet, kind, 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 and act as unpaid Nanny to their children.

Her neighbour, powerful tycoon and ex-footballer Valent Edwards, has bought the big house next door. One night Etta finds a horribly mutilated filly in the snow in Valent's woods, and persuades the outraged Valent to take her in. Miraculously she pulls through, and by now called Mrs Wilkinson, captivates everyone in the village. 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.

Etta forms a village syndicate to put the filly into training. The syndicate is a riotous mix of village characters, who set off to the races in a minibus clanking with bottles. From wild parties at Newbury and Ludlow, to an overnight of musical beds at Stratford, to the thrills and spills of the Cheltenham Gold Cup, one fling leads to another and another. Mrs Wilkinson becomes a star nicknamed the People's Pony. She is beloved by the crowds as she progresses from point-to-points to the major meetings and brings fame and fortune to the syndicate. After her terrible injuries she will only run for a female jockey, giving the delectable Amber Lloyd-Foxe, Rupert's god-daughter, her big breakthrough in the man's world of racing. But Etta is horrified when Valent cooks up a plot with Rupert to enter Mrs Wilkinson for 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.
Publisher: London : Bantam Press, ©2010
ISBN: 9780593061541
Branch Call Number: COOPER
Characteristics: 739 p. : map ; 24 cm


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Jun 22, 2013

This book is, at best, a joke. The main character, Etta, would be better served to appear in some abysmal piece of teen lit involving breathy yet pathetic romances and possibly some sparkly vampires. She spends most of the book sobbing, apologizing, or 'trembling' to the point that one wonders if there is, in fact, something fundamentally wrong with her.
The author occasionally attempts at several instances to write in what she believes to be a 'regional dialect' though her attempts mostly end up looking like her editor was mind-numbingly drunk during the editing process.

Binti Sharif
Apr 10, 2012

i love this book

Sep 20, 2011

I must admit I only read a couple of chapters of this book, for a start, it was too heavy at over 700 pages, to read in bed.
Jilly Cooper is known for her witty, modern fairy tales, and perhaps I wasn't in the frame of mind for one, but will probably come back to it later. If you would like a North American comparison it would be Stuart Woods, without the murders, where everything in the garden is rosy, luxurious living, own 'planes, wonderful food and drink and plenty of sex, in other words a good vacation read, and there is nothing wrong with that.

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