The whole of the Zara website is a crime scene at the moment except for this “rustic” top, which I bought, which is absolutely fantastic and looks like it is by Chloe and costs £500 but it is only £15.99.
Here is the link to it and it is NOT an affiliate link – that’s how much I like this top and need to share it with you.
Fans of the white ruffled New Look top will not be disappointed.
This Zara one is slightly cropped, to be worn with something high-is waisted, and it is “swing” which means it is loose around the tummy. I am a size 10 with 34C bust and I always take a Medium in Zara.
What else? I dunno. My neck is better so I have been able to sleep, which is staving off the darkest bits of despair. I am actually having quite a lot of fun ordering loads of things off Net A Porter, trying them all on and then sending them all back. Apart from my Three Graces nightie, which arrived and fulfilled absolutely every single one of my expectations, which is so rare.
Another thing: why does everyone keep saying that lockdown is “lifting”. It won’t “lift” until every single child is back at school. While the schools are shut the whole world is shut as far as I’m concerned.
And one more thing: has anyone else read Rodham? It’s a new book about the life of Hillary Clinton had she not married Bill Clinton. It’s by Curtis Sittenfeld and it’s very weird and I don’t quite get the point. Why has she written this? I do sometimes find Sittenfeld, whom I otherwise really admire, occasionally writes books that mystify me.
Prep (her first book) was amazing, literally life-changing. I felt so seen. Man of my Dreams was not for me, (understatement), neither was Sisterland (hated it). But I really loved Eligible, her re-telling of Pride and Prejudice and also American Wife, which was loosely about Laura Bush. Most authors, if I like one book I like them all,
Maybe Hillary Clinton is more of a cultural touchstone in America and people do sit about going “But what if she hadn’t married that ******?” so it has more relevance there.
Anyway, as ever do feel free to leave a comment in the handy box below to give me something to read so I don’t slip into a coma and die from boredom.
the kittens didn’t do the trick? Or are you feeling like a surrogate trying not to get too attached? They were gorgeous!
Loved American Wife – fabulous book and I think Lockdown is not lifted until the children are back at school and restaurants/pubs are open? And I would really like to say until we can travel again but that seems a very spoilt.
babes i would re-read the jilly cooper back catalogue washed down with a bottle of rose and some crisps stolen from the children’s snack cupboard. never, ever fails x
This message makes me feel seen!
Yes to Jilly back catalogue!!!
Ooh didn’t even know she’d written Eligible. How’d I miss it. Ordered! Esther it seems like every penny I spend other than on groceries is from your recs. x
Completely agree with you re Sittenfield. Couldn’t get on with Man of My Dreams at ALL while I loved the ones you loved.
I just read My Dark Vanessa, which was pretty disturbing, but I can’t resist an American campus novel (cf I Am Charlotte Simmons) and Wow, No Thank You (based on the title alone).
I loved Wow No Thank you. So brilliant
I also love an American campus novel (even though I thought I Am Charlotte Simmons was definitely not vintage Wolfe) and loved Prep – I recently re-read The Art of Fielding and still thought it was excellent and would highly recommend.
I am an American obsessed with Clinton and hugely looking forward to reading Eligible; I am probably her exact target market.
Also just finished The Overstory which was eerie to read in Covid-times and I thought very good.
My daughter went back to school yesterday, and my husband back to his office. The house is now much quieter, and I am starving because no-one is feeding me….
Madeleine Hallward says
You are the only other person Inhave ever met who has read The Art Of Fielding. I LOVED that novel, which I found on a hotel library shelf and stole because I left before I finished it. It is so very good. Please read it, everyone.
I read it a few years ago – I bought it for my husband as he likes baseball, or, anything with a ball really. I enjoyed it all right but was surprised that the author doesn’t seem to have written anything else since.
Thank you for alerting me to ‘Eligible’ . I too loved American Wife by same author (your recommendation) Have just finished ‘American Dirt’ which was gripping and have just dowloaded ‘The New Girl’ by Harriet Walker. I also have ‘Rebecca’ by Daphne Du Maurier on my bedside to read.
Ooh, I read Rebecca last year – apparently for the first time – it’s excellent. Lucky you.
Rebecca is great, I always mean to reread it, but I can never think of it without calling to mind a hilarious amateur production I saw of it, where all the actors were at least 20 years older than required for their parts and we heard each line twice; once yelled from the wings and once stuttered from the stage. Mrs Danvers was more like Mrs Overall.
Ah, shame about Rodham – this is one of my current downloads waiting to be read. I got it on the strength of American Wife, which I loved, but did have a scintilla of doubt about whether this would match up. Given my current Corona-related lack of focus, I really need books that grab me straight away, in order to see them through….sigh….Recently finished The Consequences of Love, Gavanndra Hodge’s memoir – brilliant, couldn’t put it down. As always, thanks for the Zara top recommendation – great to have these little snippets of joy amidst the madness.
Esther, have you tried a neck pillow? My physio recommended one and it has changed my life. I couldn’t lie flat in bed & was not sleeping at all well but now I am, menopausal symptoms allowing. They are about £50 which I feel is an amount worth risking if it doesn’t work.
Jan Ford says
I can concur re neck pillow although not recommended long term.
I think one of the reasons I’m drawn to Sittenfeld is because she’s quite unpredictable so I’m interested whenever she has something out. I could not get on with Eligible but don’t much like Austen spins aside from Clueless, and for that matter Bridget Jones had already been there. Any sex that goes beyond admiration of fine eyes is too much sex and I was not at all diverted. I hoped Rodham would have some of the liveliness of American Wife but it is rather ploddy, and when it’s not ploddy it feels slightly voyeuristic. Hillary comes over so dull, despite so many impressive accomplishments – that may be the point? I’m only half-way through so not really at the point where paths diverge and it gets interesting. I do admire the artistic leap she’s taken to inhabit Hillary. That she can describe Bill Clinton as a “lion” and attempt to depict him as someone a girl might even be grateful to have closer than a barge-pole length away, and have the reader simply shrug “well, if you say so!” rather than immediately scrub their imaginations with Dettol, is, something.
Jan Ford says
Yeah what would your life be like if you hadn’t married Giles Coren….. What would my lifec be likeI if I hadn’t married my first husband and so on and so on. A totally pointless book.
Quite interested in reading the alternative reality of what happened if Esther hadn’t married Giles… ‘Walker’. I loved Prep and American Wife but not so bothered about her others. Really enjoyed ‘Rodham’ though – saw the point both in terms of feminist comment and a great read. She writes sex really well. Just downloaded the new Susie Stein and very excited.
yes Jan I sort of agree with you. Although what my life would be like if I hadn’t married Giles would be such an horrific car crash it might actually be quite entertaining… in a car crash kind of way …
I had high hopes for the last book I ordered online but it made me slip into a coma it was so boring so its not worth mentioning – no idea why Im posting this I think Im bored stiff of lockdown too and slightly losing the plot
Esther, thank you for all your excellent recommendations which are, frankly, a key part of lockdown sanity. The New Look top arrived today (along with a green spotted sleeveless one) and both are perfect and exactly what I was looking for to inject some style into a tired summer wardrobe (though living in Scotland summer wardrobe will only be needed for a handful of days).
Also conflicted over Curtis Sittenfield- loved her short stories and I liked 70% of American Wife but don’t think I’m in right frame of mind for Rodham. Part of me thinks why is she trying half biography and half fiction. Found myself checking lots of details of Laura Bush’s life to see what was true.
Anyway, back to some more of the endless wiping. That post was one that resonated so much and one I have repeated to many. Keep telling myself this will end at some point.
Sittenfeld, so true. SCHOOLS, there are no words any more.
If you’re bored any chance you could recommend tops and shorts for someone who has ballooned in size over lockdown?!? Honestly this is not a joke! Bought James Morton’s bread book on day 1 of lockdown and have literally eaten a loaf a day since then…..oh dear.
Chubby Checker says
I thoroughly recommend Ralph Lauren men’s shorts. Just steer clear of the pleated front ones. Go by your waist size and buy a pair on Ebay if you’re doubtful. I am a tall 16 and take a shocking 36” waist but they look really good if preppy is your thing.
Totally off topic, except for the not sleeping bit, can anybody recommend an under-eye cream or concealer that really helps with dark circles rather than just saying it does? I know there are far more pressing things going on in the world but just suddenly I’ve had enough of looking like crap. x
Under eye creams are the ultimate snake oil. They can help a BIT but only if you are already getting enough sleep and drinking enough water and not too much alcohol. If you are doing all those things, the Kiehl’s avocado under eye cream is where you ought to start x
I’m sort of doing those things so I will give this a go. What am I saying, I ordered it the second I read your comment! Thanks Esther. x
Quite agree that as long as I am homeschooling my kids lockdown is not “eased”. I keep thinking that as long as schools were open lockdown would be almost pleasant. I have fantasies of having the house to myself for a solid day so I could really properly mop the kitchen floor. This is what I have been reduced to.
I have been reading lots of crime in lockdown. I think I need stuff to really grip me or I can’t focus on it. Currently reading The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley which is like an Agatha Christie except in 2019 and all the characters are uncomfortably familiar. It’s great.
The things I would do to my floors if I were left alone. Or the stair carpet!
Thank you Esther and fellow Spikers, have removed Rodham from my basket as only the best books will do atm. LOVED American Wife, thought Prep was a bit meh but if I’d read it at 16, probably would have loved it. Five, On Chapel Sands and the wonderous and joyful Illumination of Ursula Flight have been my lockdown favs.
I LOVED the illumination of Ursula Flight! It was so wacky and brilliant
The Girl Before You by Nicola Rayner is v good, British university setting (ignore terrible title!).
she’s a very divisive figure so I suppose people are interested. One of the rural towns I used to work in had a little booth set up in front of their one tavern with a Hillary mannequin in a little plywood jail cell and people would take pictures with it. Of course where I live now people are so far left that they wouldn’t deign to be associated with her -she’s sort of the Brené Brown of politicians, popular with older mums with grown children and very nice kitchens
You think it I’ll say it By Curtis Sittenfeld was very good! ( short stories)