The Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp by Eva Rice
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
'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.'
I received this as part of Goodreads First Reads
The title itself was intriguing enough to make me want to read this book; was it that Tara Jupp was misinterpreted or was it that she misinterpreted situations? The truth is I felt that it was both.
With cleverly crafted stories within stories which Eva Rice managed to bring together seamlessly while keeping the reader wanting to read on throughout the novel it did make this a joy to read.
Essentially it is about Tara Jupp ‘finding’ herself and growing up in the 1950’s and the start of the 1960’s. At 17 she was entering the swinging sixties an era of awakening of both growing from a child to a woman for her and for a country finding itself entering a new and exciting time after war. Early sixties in England was a time of new sounds in music, daring fashions, bohemian lifestyles and a freedom that was both exciting and frightening in equal measure. Bands were springing up everywhere, the economy was booming and things would change forever. Eva rice captured the feel for the 1960’s well and she makes a nod to a band who later broke into the music scene (Rolling Stones) and famous photographer David Bailey (who is Digby in the book). For Tara it was about self discovery, living the dream becoming a recording artist at 17, taking risks, having fun, falling in love (more than once). For other characters it was also about discovery and Eva Rice expertly managed to bring these all together in the novel in such a charming way that it was a joy to read. I did not race through this book it wasn’t fast paced but rather it seemed to take on the pace of the characters, the early part setting the scene of a quiet slow almost magically idyllic life in Cornwall a world away from London, the second part of the book contrasted this with the fast, exciting pace of the awakening of a new era in London belonging to the young where all things were possible.
The author managed to capture the innocence of Tara Jupp and of the sixties and how she grew up with them becoming a product of such an iconic period of time; she was able to tell the story of innocence and naivety which developed her central character without making her transition into a young woman in racy London seem as if Tara sacrificed one for the other. I did find the novel a little clichéd and a little predictable in parts (young girl finding fame and fortune in London etc) but didn’t feel that this detracted from the story.
Overall although this book was I felt a bit longer that it needed to be it was nevertheless a good read and I would rate this 4 star. Worth reading to ‘experience’ the start of an exciting era of history and the good story telling style of Eva Rice of a sweet girl living though extraordinary times; very enjoyable.