Reviewed by Lisa Bentley
Country girl Tara is whisked off to Sixties London to become a pop star; there she is dressed, she is shown off at Chelsea parties, photographed by the best. She meets songwriters, singers, designers, and records her song, and falls in love.
But behind the buzz and excitement of her success, concern about her beautiful, wild sister Lucy and the bitter relationship with their friend Matilda haunts Tara. Their past friendship is broken, and among the deceptions and the strangeness of both their marriages, the buried secrets keep on reappearing.
The brilliant new world of fashion and music, of mini skirts and rock 'n' roll, of the Marquee Club and The Palladium, is also one of love and heartache.
The Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp is the fabulous new coming of age drama from Eva Rice, the author of The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets; if it isn’t already on your “must read” list then get it on there now. This book is not to be missed.
The story centres round the life of Tara Jupp, one of eight Jupp children that were all born and raised in the Cornwall. There quiet lives were spent in the rectory run by their father, the village vicar, idling away the hours in post war Britain. Tara, often lost among her crowd of siblings has a penchant for pilfering things and singing songs from the current top forty.
It is the latter, which gets Tara noticed. A twist of fate and friendship sees Tara whisked from the calm and tranquillity of her country life and plonked firmly in the middle of London in the swinging sixties. With a new name and a new career mapped out for her by Billy Laurier, the biggest talent scout in Britain, Tara aka Cherry Merrywell becomes more lost than ever. Tara struggles to hold on to who she is whilst having the chance to sing. Throw in the gorgeous Inigo Wallace, songwriter extraordinaire into the mix, and you have one very confused Tara.
Initially, I was excited to read this book; having loved Rice’s previous effort The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets, I knew I was in for a literary treat. However, I underestimated just how much I liked this book. The story was wholesome yet exciting; it upheld traditional values of the period whilst flashing an ankle of the new and liberating 1960s way of life. The juxtaposition of country life versus city life, being married and being single; being Tara and being Cherry offered such a delightful contrast. More than anything this story comes alive when you read it. Never before have I read a piece of fiction that has so encapsulated London in the swinging sixties. The facts intermingled with the fictional plot give it a level of verisimilitude not often found within fiction. The characters became almost tangible, I wanted to know these people and I wanted to spend time with them in what seemed such a charming and exhilarating period of history. Rice has created something very special.
I'd like to thank Lisa for reviewing this book for the blog and Midas PR for sending a copy of the book to Lisa to review.