Jilly Cooper

How the Jilly Cooper Book Club turned toxic

The Jilly Cooper Book Club was set up about a decade ago by two friends who’d had enough of book groups where someone would insist, ‘We really must do Dostoevsky this year.’ Members of the JCBC, in a co-founder’s words, just wanted to get together to ‘drink champagne and shriek about Jilly’. ‘Book clubs are basically Mean Girls for middle-class women’ For some time, I stalked key members on Twitter before managing to wangle an invitation. My first meeting was at a large townhouse in Clapham to discuss Rivals. There was a lot of champagne and a gaggle of smart, entertaining women. One was wearing a Vivienne Westwood corset dress;