It all starts when Tilly returns to the London home she shares with her fairly long term boyfriend and finds out that he has done a runner whilst she's at work, moving out his belongings and leaving her nothing but a note and a nosy neighbour to break the news. Rather than mourning the demise of her relationship, Tilly heads off to the sleepy, quaint village of Roxborough to reap the commiserations of her best friend Erin. After a few days of moping she decides to head back to her life in the city, but is distracted by an advert in the local paper that requires a 'Good Friday Girl'. Intrigued, Tilly calls the number and after some gentle persuasion finds her self living with a gay interior designer and his feisty daughter, as their personal assistant.
Quickly adapting to village life, Tilly meets and becomes friends with many of the locals and soon forgets her old life. Along the way she meets the charming and drop-dead-gorgeous Jack Lucas and its love at first sight. But, deterred by his reputation as a ladies' man and general cad, Tilly forces herself to fall out of love with him pretty quickly. But, as the blurb asks, 'is she being mature and sensible - or is she running away from the love of her life?'
In Rumour Has It, Mansell has written a feel-good story and created a lovable set of characters that make you want to absorb yourself into the book. I found that I warmed to all of the people in the book straightaway - even the 'bad guys and girls' were well written in a way that made them an integral part of the story rather than an irritating addition that you could have done with out.
You can empathise with the main characters as they are all a little bit like you, the book isn't filled with rich, glamorous and unbelievable people. Tilly is a normal girl who slouches around in a tracksuit and only shaves her legs once a fortnight and her best friend Erin has a spare tyre and a lack of self confidence that makes you breathe a sigh of relief. That's not to say there is nothing to escape into though, the object of the village's desire, Jack Lucas is the kind of guy that everyone wants to love and Tilly's boss, Max, is the gay man that every woman thinks she can turn straight.
The story follows the familiar route of chick-lit novels and, as a result, is often predictable - but, that isn't a criticism. The familiarity of the story is what makes it so enjoyable - it is very much a feel good story that lifts your mood in its easy-to-read and friendly style. It makes it a book that you want to pick up to cheer you up after a bad day and relieve yourself of the monotony of day to day like.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes the genre, it is a very likeable version of what it is - a heart warming tale of a girl who changes her life on a whim and falls in love against all the odds.