Notting Hell Paperback – 18 Jan 2007
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Shiveringly brilliant (Jilly Cooper)
An addictively funny read about the lives of the rich and richer **** (Heat)
A wickedly funny comedy of modern manners (OK!)
From the Inside Flap
A spot of extra-marital with a close neighbour is one thing.
We're all grown-ups here. But selling a rare-to-the-market mid-Victorian
house - not merely a house, but our children's ancestral family home - on a
communal garden, the sort of house that a banker would trample over his own
grandmother to spend his City bonus on is another thing entirely! It's...
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Top Customer Reviews
Johnson is clearly sending herself up as well as her nearby neighbours who must have a sense of humour since no one appears to have taken her to court yet.
It might not be worthy, serious literature but it had me laughing out loud, sometimes in horrified recognition and it's definitely a massive cut above much of the tedious chick lit out there.
It's a lovely soapy wash of a book set in those hallowed money-washed precincts where all the mummies (escept Mimi) are yummy and a delicious expensive snack is only a short walk away. I loved the detail, though some of the early clothes references got a bit tedious - we know Clare is rich, we get it, we don't need every designer's name.
It is quite a smile-a-thon as you recognise the types of people and their traits. In some ways it could have been set in any middle-England village. Mimi probably has the most interesting journey as she gets sexually infatuated with her billionaire. Her little escape from the regularity of her life makes it seem all the more precious as she discovers the age-old male proclivity of moving onto the next one.
Rachel Johnson keeps Clare's journey a little more under wraps, so you are not quite sure by what method she eventually achieves her goal. I loved the set pieces like the garden committee meeting and bonfire night.
Glass of Pinot Grigio, sofa, warm fire and this book - you're well away!
It goes without saying that most readers will not know this life, or feel remotely sympathetic towards any of the characters, so it may be best to view them as being as weird as Desperate Housewives or bankers in Manhattan. The story is told through the eyes of two fortyish wives living on "Lonsdale Gardens", whose pistachio-painted mansions all back onto one of the areas famous private gardens. Clare is the childless wife of a modern architect remarkably similar to Johnson's neighbour (as we know from her columns), John Paulson, and Mimi sounds rather like Johnson herself being an "impoverished" mother of three and freelance journalist who can afford her house only because her posh husband Ralph inherited it back when NH was full of poor Afro-Caribbeans. Now it's a life of "haves and have-yachts", in which interior decoration is carried out on an annual basis and if one Mummy gets a swimming pool in her basement, everyone else must get one too.
The plot is pretty simple. Mimi falls for billionaire new neighbour Si Kasparian and enjoys a brief adulterous affair with him until discovering he's also shagging the gorgeous teacher at Ponsonby Prep. Clare is unaware that her husband is trying it on with every woman but her, but falls for Mimi's husband - a man so stuffily Old Etonian that he prefers fly-fishing to conversation.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Never again will I buy anything by this woman. Superficial, stupid and boring I always keep the books I buy but these 3 have been donated!Published 1 month ago by Domus
A relaxing escape with a good giggle thrown in, thoroughly enjoyable in every way. Yummy mummies at their very worst.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I never got a sense of who the main characters actually were. Shallow, boring. I really don't know how I made it to the end. Total rubbish. Expected more of Rachel JohnsonPublished 4 months ago by Kindle Customer
Enjoyable and fun read. Rather more name dropping and detail than sometimes required but definitely a "spirit raising" and interesting insight into the privileged and very... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Yes, this book made me laugh a lot. I purchased it in 2007 and it has just reached the top of 'my books to read pile'! Read morePublished 6 months ago by Eartha Josephine
Boring and with no real plot to speak of. Goodness knows what there will be to talk about at book club tonight! Not a very engaging read I'm afraid.Published 7 months ago by Pacificblu
Rachel Johnson writes as capably as her brother (the irksome Boris of that ilk), and gives a very entertaining account of life in one of the communal garden squares in Notting Hill... Read morePublished 8 months ago by James Brydon
Loved it...we know the area very well....an excellent read, very well writtenPublished 9 months ago by Emrys R. Sparks