After a short summer hiatus, Lausanne Book Club was back with a vengeance. In an effort to make the most of the dwindling summer weather, the group decamped down to Vidy plage for a discussion al fresco. Serenaded by the latest “popular music” from an enthusiastic DJ, we tried to unravel the twisting turns and deep social commentary of Jilly Cooper’s Riders.
We welcomed four new members to the book club this month – the two Natalies, another Amy to add to our collection, and Mathea. It was very clear (after about 30 seconds) that they were perfectly suited to the book club’s mantra of “wine and books”. Hoorah.
With a disappointing score of 4.8, this was obviously a divisive book (but hey, at least it scored better than Scoop). We had the Jilly Cooper superfans on one side (all 3 of us), and the “oh god, what have you just made me read” group making up the majority on the other. It soon became clear that those of us who had read the book aged 15 or so, still harboured misty memories of first loves, dreams of showjumping in a World Championship etc. The adult readers of the book were all too aware of the books failings (and lack of a decent bonk).
Despite this, there were some constants throughout the group. Rupert is a misogynist. Billy is a complete darling. Tory isn’t fat (seriously, 70kg is NOT FAT). It was also pointed out that the character of Fenella mirrored the book’s target audience – a schoolgirl hero who goes through trials and tribulations and yet still manages to stay good.
I think it’s safe to say that the majority of book club will not be reading the rest of the Rutshire Chronicles but, as I keep being told, the reason for book club is to try novels that you may not otherwise read. Now at least you can say you’ve read a Jilly Cooper! (For those who do want to read the other novels, let me know, we’ll start up a spin off!)
Until next month 🙂