84 of 87 people found the following review helpful
a triumphant return to form,
By A Customer
This review is from: Pandora (Hardcover)
I have always had a soft spot for Jilly Cooper but recently felt that she had lost her way a bit. Where the early books are great fun and her first three blockbusters (Riders, Rivals and Polo) make up a wildly entertaining trilogy, her last three (The Man who made Husbands Jealous, Appassionata and Score) seemed to be over-crowded with no real sense of the characters. Of course I still read them but crucially unlike the first three I didn't re-read them whenever I felt like a pick-me-up. Thankfully Pandora is a magnificent return to form. The character list is smaller than more recent books which helps and the early part of the novel which is set in the 60s and 70s pays dividends by building up a real sense of character. While some might quibble that there is no love story as strong as that in Rivals I think all three of the main love stories stand out and the theme of Pandora's Box is well worked out. By moving away from Rutminster Jilly has given her fans a return to the strong characters of her first novels (Sienna, Alazarin, Raymond and the awful David Pullborough particularly stood out for me) while some old favourites are given a new lease of life - it was great to see Rupert Campbell Black pre-Riders and behaving as badly as expected. Less happy at times then some of her other books - the early scenes of Raymond and Galena's marriage are especially well done as is Zac's need for belonging and Alazarin's desperate pride and refusal to confront his childhood's end. All in all this is everything you expect from a Jilly Cooper novel (bad puns and occasionally awful viewpoints included) and yet more - I'll certainly be re-reading it.