Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Book Review: Riders by Jilly Cooper

I haven't done a book review on the blog before, but now that I'm a train commuter I have a lot more time to get some reading done, and I've been trying to choose books with an equine related theme so I can share them with you.  Which has led to me accidentally reading a few appallingly bad romance novels because they had horses on the cover (it's like a contest to see how many times "throbbing" and "glistening" can be used in a chapter), but I have finally found a book that I feel absolutely compelled to share with you.

The book is called Riders by Jilly Cooper.  It was first published in England in 1985 so there's a good chance some of you may have read it already.  If you haven't, however, GO AND GET IT.  But make sure you don't have anything else important going on, because you won't be able to put it down.  And then you won't want to finish it, because you won't want the story to end.  I just finished reading it, and the characters are still swimming around in my head.  And I want to know what they are up to now!

Riders follows several British show jumping stars through Nations Cups, World Games, and Olympic Games.  The entire novel is infused with training, buying, selling, showing, and loving horses, and all the heartbreaks and triumphs that go along with that.  There are also various and sundry affairs, of both types:  hopelessly romantic and sinfully delicious.  You'll be sighing and blushing throughout, I assure you.  Not to mention spurring along through every triple combination and water jump. 

The characters are alternately intense, gorgeous, heroic, misunderstood, tragically flawed, funny, relatable, sympathetic, despicable, and lovely.  And if you are not madly in love with Rupert Campbell-Black within the first 100 pages, well, you are a stronger woman than I.  Don't beat yourself up over it, he's impossible to resist.  And don't worry, a few hundred pages later you'll be in love with Billy Lloyd-Foxe.  You'll fall out of love eventually with him too, but that's what I love most about this novel.  My sympathies were constantly shifting, sometimes it was impossible to decide who to root for.  America?  Great Britain?  Jake?  Rupert?  Helen?  Fen?  Billy?  Dino?

Anyway, if you haven't read this yet and you're looking for something truly enjoyable, pick this one up.  A must-read for horse lovers, but definitely something a non-horse person would love as well. 

Riders is available here



9 comments:

  1. Yay! I LOVE that book! She has a couple other horsey ones, though they're not _quite_ as good - Polo, and her most recent, Jump!

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  2. I read this years ago when it first came out and liked it. I can't tell you how many just awful books I've bought because of the title or because I thought it was going to be a good horse story and been disappointed many times. This one was a keeper.

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  3. Have you read "The Lady" by Anne McCaffrey? You'll love it, it is wonderful. It is set in Ireland, and has _real_ horses which I always appreciate!

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  4. Know you're not a DQ but recently read The Dressage Chronicles and really liked it- mostly all horses with some romance too. Couldnt put it down. Have also been reading Jane Smiley's new young adult horse book series- really enjoy them

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  5. Oh boy! New book. Thank you, can't wait. And revolving around horses? Win win!

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  6. I'm having a hard time returning to "real literature" after indulging in some trashy beach reads on vacation... so I can assure you that I promptly threw this on my Kindle and was thrilled to figure out its as addictive and light as you promised... cannot wait :)

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  7. I bought this book yesterday on my NOOK and all the pages are blank...waiting for this "problem" to be fixed. So instead I ended up reading a cheesy Nora Roberts novel.

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  8. Just finished this book - I spent almost the whole second last chapter sobbing!!

    I have to say I was a bit disappointed at first as the story seemed slow and the writing took a while to come up to scratch but I am so glad I pushed through the first few chapters. Thanks for the recommendation!!

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  9. Hi there, would you like to link in to “Books You Loved”. Here is the link Books You Loved August Edition Cheers

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I love reading them! If you have a question, I will make sure to get back to you.