Jill the Reckless - The Original Classic Edition
by Wodehouse P
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One of Wodehouse the less well-known novels, which you will enjoy reading. A lot of the usual Wodehouse humour based on how people think and react to situations. There are other Wodehouse novels where the charm of New York comes across. This one is as good as any of them in that respect. It also captures the inner workings of the stage and the making of musicals, of course in a Wodehousean way.
The story is typical Wodehouse, which is to say that it is simple and yet complicated with many twists and turns, all leading back to a place where the reader pretty much expects it to get after the initial setup section of the book. In this case, the key character is Jill Mariner, and she is joined by Freddie Rooke and Wally Mason, who (as we learn) were Jills childhood friends. Wally had a big crush on Jill in their earlier lives, but when the story starts Jill is engaged to Sir Derek Underhill, and is about to be introduced to his mother Lady Underhill. Jill is still in touch with Freddie, and Wally re-enters their lives when they go to see his new play. Other key characters are Major Christopher Selby, who is Jills uncle and was in charge of her inheritance; and Nelly Bryant, who is an American chorus girl who is stranded in London.
The story follows Jill through a broken engagement over a misunderstanding, the loss of her wealth, her living with relatives who have their own plans, her decision to get work as a chorus girl, and, as with all Wodehouse, the finding of the love of her life. The story starts in England, but moves to America which brings in her additional relatives, as well as Isaac Goble, Otis Pinkington, and his wealthy aunt Mrs. Peagrim. Isaac is a theatrical manager and has been contracted by Otis to put on a play which he wrote called The Rose of America.
This book is a great example of Wodehouses work. With a little more trimming, this might have been even better, but even without that you will find plenty of enjoyment. It is a solid book, and a fun read.
- Emereo Publishing, October 2012
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