Book Review: ‘The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous’ by Jilly Cooper

Rating: 3.7/5.0

Read: March 2013

Yes, I read chick lit too. And, unlike some people who claim to like Literature, I am not ashamed to admit it. This is the second Jilly Cooper novel I have read and both have been extremely enjoyable. A little silly in a lot of places, but still interesting to read and very addictive!

The novel begins with the introduction of Lysander Hawkley, the horse made protagonist with Adonis-like good-looks and the ability to attract women as if he were a magnet. Underneath this, however, the reader quickly comes to realise that he is dealing with loss of his own and is also hopelessly naive, thus open to the manipulations of others. His best friend soon realises his talents for attracting women, and the jealousy this causes their husbands, and so sets up a business around this skill; having women hire Lysander’s services for as long as it takes to get their erring husbands back.

Lysander goes through women as if it they were water, falling in love with each of them in turn, only to have his heart broken when he realises he just a tool in getting their husbands back, or that the women themselves are not quite who they seem. I don’t want to spoil the ending for you, and I couldn’t begin to some up the ins and outs of the plot because it is quite a long book (738 pages). One thing that does, however, constantly annoy me with the novel is that the women throughout are trying to get back husbands that made them feel awful. Okay, so I agree there must be something very satisfactory about seeing a straying boyfriend or husband come running back once you’re a size 10 and fabulous again, but the indignant part of me asks; would you take him back? I think I’d kick him to the curb to be honest.¬†Another reason this novel didn’t score a 4 or higher was because, whilst some of Cooper’s characters are well developed, others are fairly two dimensional and flat, behaving the same in every situation presented to them.

On the whole though, this was a very enjoyable read, it made me laugh and kept me entertained for 3 or 4 days. Definitely worth a go if you’re in between serious texts, or are just looking for something fun to read!