Jilly Cooper has another F-word, and it’s ‘football’. Grass is her new stage, with her hugely popular character Rupert Campbell-Black back for another season.
I warm completely to a novelist who acknowledges the many people who help bring a book to fruition. Cooper’s multiple visits to matches and training grounds and her chats with journalists, players, physiotherapists and TV pundits have all been worth it for the rousing depiction of the beautiful game they have yielded. Rupert undergoes a crash course in running his struggling local club, Searston Rovers, which distracts him from sadder events closer to home.
Cooper wears all her learning lightly. Football slang, moments of on-pitch play and Premier League skulduggery are effortlessly woven in. I thoroughly enjoyed going from football novice to nerd. Nobody charts interpersonal rivalries like Cooper, with Rupert going up against an international assortment of big swinging egos. And as