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Notting Hell: A Novel (Notting Hell Trilogy #1)

2.85  ·  Rating Details ·  751 Ratings  ·  116 Reviews

"A spot of extramarital nookie with a close neighbor is one thing. We're all grown-ups here. But selling a rare-to-the-market mid-Victorian house -- not merely a house but our children's ancestral family home -- on a communal garden, the sort of house that a banker would trample over his own grandmother to spend his bonus on -- is anoth
Paperback, 340 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Touchstone (first published January 18th 2007)
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Apr 04, 2012 Lyv rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Review in French and English

Ce livre était tout ce qu'il y a de plus ennuyeux. Au bout de 120 pages, lues avec difficulté, je n'avais aucune idée du but de l'histoire, et les personnages étaient si mal définis qu'il était impossible de différencier qui était qui. Un livre mal écrit, qui ne raconte rien, même pas divertissant, et qui pour moi n'avait aucun intérêt.


Most boring book ever. 120 pages in -I struggled to reach this point- , I still didn't have a clue of what the plot was suppo
Arabella Kidd
This was a breezy, fast-paced and easy read. Obviously the author Ms. Johnson is a Notting Hillbilly herself and shows us admirably just how frivolous and beyond moral comprehension this state of being is. However,the characters are rather likeable and sweet, although I did not detect much change in voice when she switched between the two main characters, Clare and Mimi.
The book did not tie up neatly at the end but there is a second book, 'In a Good Place' that possibly will.
Enjoyable 35+ woman'
Mar 08, 2009 Ashlie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was well written. I liked how Johnson wrote from two different perspectives and through the two different lives you can conclude the lives of a whole neighborhood! I'm not usually a religious 'star-watcher' or love reading the gossip magazines and news on tv--but I really enjoyed this book. It had the talking and gossiping a small community normally would have. Though I like to stay out of the spot-light, it was fun reading about English woman who couldn't get enough of it... ...more
Apr 22, 2012 Lisa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-finis
Une première pour moi!!! la première fois que je ne finis pas un livre!
Ce livre est une espèce de copie de la série Desperate Housewives, cette résidence de Notting Hill ressemble étrangement au Wisteria Lane de la série... et le pompon ce sont les personnages!!! là pareil, en Clare j'ai revu Bree, en Mimi j'ai revu Lynette, en Virginie j'ai revu Eddy, etc... Cela aurait pu être malgré tout une lecture assez agréable, mais même pas!! aucun humour (contrairement à la série!), un style lourd, des
Teri G
Sep 27, 2007 Teri G rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't finish this one -- I like British fiction, and the cover promised an interesting premise, but after a good start, the reality became s a little too formulaic and the characters were flat and unlikeable.
Jun 24, 2007 Cheryl rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chicklit
Not as interesting as the average chick lit Marian Keyes, etc. Was ok.
Jul 24, 2011 Stacie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Could not even finish this book. Gave it about 100 pages, and had trouble even doing that much.
Aug 10, 2016 James rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The only reason I gave this two stars rather than one, is that I at least managed to keep going until the end - this book was dull on the whole, and lacked the small touches that could have made up for it.

The blurb promised a behind the scenes look at the life of Notting Hill, and it did do that, I just expected there to be more to a work of fiction than 320 pages of laughing at the how silly upper middle class life can be, and how sleazy some people are. Like the worst kind of films, the sleaze
Aug 06, 2013 Alice rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
• Mlle Alice, pouvez-vous nous raconter votre rencontre avec Le Diable Vit à Notting Hill?

"Après la tristesse de Stephan Zweig et la noirceur de Maxime Chattam, il me fallait indubitablement quelque chose de plus léger à lire au bord de la piscine... Rien de la sorte ne figurant dans ma PAL (...), je me suis accordée une balade dans les rayons de ma librairie à la recherche du livre dont le titre et la couverture me feraient de l'oeil, et ce fut celui-là!"

• Dites-nous en un peu plus sur son his
Ian Brydon
Dec 21, 2015 Ian Brydon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rachel Johnson writes as capably as her brother (the irksome Boris of that ilk), and gives a very entertaining account of life in one of the communal garden squares in Notting Hill (which I like to think of as London's other Hill).

The story unfolds in a series of alternating narratives recounted by Clare (immensely wealthy, nearly forty, obsessively tidy and increasingly distraught at her continuing failure to conceive) and Mimi (Clare's slightly younger neighbour, relentlessly untidy, mother o
Jul 25, 2013 Michelle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-reviews
As the name suggests this was a bit of a hellish read and I debated whether to write this review because I don't have a lot of nice things to say about it. But in all fairness I'm going to review all books I read, both good and bad and you never know it just might stop someone from dying from boredom in the near future! And hey, it's just my opinion, you might love it you might have your own sexy billionaire living next door that wants to marry you on his yatch, who am I to judge!

This book is ba
Dec 27, 2008 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know when you read Vanity Fair magazine and they highlight a garden party or posh affair thrown by British aristocracy and have no idea who any of those people are with the hyphenated last names -- and why they are important?

Well, Rachel Johnson takes those elements of British society and gives us a fun, fictional, tongue-in-cheek tell all.

This book isn't just Brit/Chick Lit. It's total cerebral fun. Rachel Johnson is such a witty, clever, and intelligent writer. She takes a slice of life
Garden designer Clare is an anal neat freak who is dying to have children with her eco-architect husband. She is the prime example of the upper-crust snob who wants to know everyone else's business, yet keeps tight rein on her own. Clare monitors all prohibited actions occuring in the private West London compound. Anything from adultery to bird watching and no one is off her radar. Not even her "best friend" Mimi, a 37-year-old freelance journalist and mother of three adorable children. To every ...more
Dec 28, 2013 EinsteinShrugged rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book won't change your life, but it doesn't set out to do so either. Notting Hell provides an ideal options for fans of 'Chick Lit' who just want a bit of fluff to shrug off your day, clear the slate and get a bit lost in the mindless, seemingly pointless lives of the nearly rich and 'we-say-we-don't-want-to-be-famous'.

Rachel Johnson tells her story from the viewpoints of two different women who are worlds apart, but sharing a common garden in the uber posh Notting Hill. While one strives
Aug 28, 2012 Emma rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit, britain
So, I was expecting something like Sophie Kinsella or Marian Keyes, you know, fluffy chick lit' but actually well written and very funny, even moving at times.
This wasn't it.

It took me absolutely forever to finally get the tiniest interest in the characters. Besides, nothing really ever seems to happen. The writing is okay-ish at best, and as for fun, it's just not there.

I still finished it and all right, the last 100 pages were less boring than the rest but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

Amanda Patterson
Meet Mimi and Clare and all the other yummy mummies of Notting Hill. All share a communal garden and oodles of money – or potential oodles - thanks to the American invasion of their neighbourhood.

Johnson writes the entire story in first person and she has not mastered the art of defining her characters as individuals.

As each new chapter started, I wanted to scream. Whose head was I in? And this despite the women’s names appearing at the beginning of each one!

Only when the character started to m
Ulla Milbreta
Oct 20, 2016 Ulla Milbreta rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As much as the cover and the description of the book makes you want to read it, very soon you understand that it's not worth your time or money. Quick resume of the book: many rich people living in a private square of Notting Hill. Women seem bored, and men too busy with their works. People cheat on each other. There's one family which is too poor to afford living in Notting Hill but the woman refuses to move away and continue ruining her husband. Even this family is cheating on each other. And ...more
D. VonThaer
Oct 27, 2009 D. VonThaer rated it really liked it
I read this book three years ago when I lived in London, which made it even more enjoyable. It's chick-lit with a wicked sense of humor. It's clever, hysterical, and at time very poignant when you see yourself or a close friend on the pages. I really do not care for chick-lit, but this was smart, and had me not wanting to put the book down.

Rachel's descriptions of Notting Hill's row houses 'in ice cream colours' had me pounding the pavement nightly near these homes. I'd walk past them, wonderin
Ket Lamb
Set in the "pose" code of Notting Hill, this contemporary comedy of manners unravels the secrets behind those oh-so-Victorian mansions that share a communal garden in an exclusive London village. Chapters alternate between "poor" Mimi, whose husband's family has owned their home for generations, and garden designer Clare, who longs to be a yummy mummy. No idea of the "importance" of Babington House, Allegra Hicks, or White's? There's a "Notting Hill for Beginners" cheat sheet in the back. Wicked ...more
Mark Farley
Jun 23, 2013 Mark Farley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Local author and journalist Rachel Johnson makes her fiction debut with a wry and naughty expose of life in West London and insight to what is essentially, a very exclusive club. A Notting Hill communal garden. Where the elite power families jostle for position and local standing, the haves and the "have yachts" go to a war of British politeness over a garage that nudges its presence in the garden. The twists and turns and revealing of sexual secrets and middle of the night antipodean nanny gard ...more
Nearly two years later, I finally sat down and finished this book! It was a little slow-moving at first, but once I got into it, I enjoyed the detailed description of the Notting Hill neighborhood and surrounding area. Some of the references, however, were so culturally-specific that I had no idea what the author was talking about. This was a little distracting as I was reading. And although I normally enjoy multiple narrators, I thought this would have worked better with one (Mimi). I had some ...more
L'argent ne fait pas le bonheur... même quand on habite un square privé de Notting Hill, l'adresse la plus branchée, la plus recherchée, la plus snob de Londres. Prenez Clare et Mimi. Elles ont moins de quarante ans, sont mariées, copines, voisines, mènent une existence de rêve. Jusqu'au jour où débarque un milliardaire américain, célibataire, la tentation incarnée. Chassés-croisés amoureux et intrigues immobilières se succèdent alors sur la verte pelouse et ce coin de paradis si cher payé se ré ...more
Ingrid Fasquelle
Jul 24, 2011 Ingrid Fasquelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Une lecture rafraîchissante, parfaite pour l'été. Je voulais quelque chose de léger, de frais et divertissant pour les vacances. Le roman de Rachel Johnson ne m'a pas déçue. Les critiques pourtant peu enthousiastes m'auront fait craindre le pire mais finalement, j'ai passé un agréable moment de lecture. La plume de l'auteur est de qualité, c'est indéniablement bien écrit malgré les quelques petites erreurs de traduction qui se glissent par-ci par-là mais qui fort heureusement ne gênent pas la le ...more
Sep 16, 2011 Tamra rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, stupid
Disclaimer, disclaimer! I didn't really choose to read this book of my own free will. I was stuck in a situation for several days where I had plenty of time on my hands and this was the only book available to me. Poor writing, shallow characters, a go nowhere plot, big cold homes, rich people who don't know how to do "Any Good in the World Today," adulterers, entitled kids, and an ending that left you thinking, "What the heck was that?" I was the one in "Hell." If you have someone in your life y ...more
Jun 27, 2009 Hannah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book in a second hand bookstore for $15 one day between university classes. I took it down to the beach to read, and sat under the jetty as it began to rain. About half way through the book, I found a receipt for the original purchase of the book, at Exclusive Books in the Johannesburg International Airport for a cash payment of exactly R146.

There has always been something a little special about Notting Hell to me. It was probably the first book I ever made a personal connection wi
Rachel Johnson's new novel Notting Hell is a wickedly funny and oh-so-recognizable comedy of manners explores life on a communal garden in London—a world of wealthy one-upmanship, where the old-fashioned laws of love still rule among the stainless steel kitchen appliances, cashmere throws, and compassionately produced cups of latte.

We met Rachel Johnson when she visited the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver. You can listen to her talk about Notting Hell here:
Virginia Van
A delightfully humourous look at life among the yummy mummies living on a private square in London'd trendy Nottinghill district. In a life replete with brand names and keeping up with the neighbours, Mimi and husband Ralph struggle to keep up on their limied budget. While next door Clare, garden designer wife of an eco-architect, is struggling to get pregnant with advice from her feng shui expert. Wickedly funny comedy of manners - with a glossary in the back for those who do not furnish their ...more
What can I say about this book..... it certainly does sound like hell, I'd hate to live there!

Intelligent, witty and well observed - it offers a tale of the 'idyllic' lives of the rich and/or famous.

I think the most worrying aspect is that it is probably a perfectly good example of some real lives in that area. How draining to have to be so fake and pretentious all the time; while shagging your neighbour's husband and being blissfully unaware that she is shagging yours.
That about sums it up real
Extremely silly but amusing comedy of manners (or the lack of them), set in a super-rich, celebrity studded neighborhood in London. Narration switches from Mimi, wife of an old-line resident of a community sharing a garden and the poorest family currently living there, to Clare, one of the new, rich arrivals. The social commentary is quite precise in delineating the land of the private-school-mad, dairy-and-carb avoiding, affair-having idle rich...well-educated women who are far too busy managin ...more
Oct 26, 2013 Lindsey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
I picked up this book thinking it was the story that the movie was based on, Notting Hill...nope. Though the writing is smart, the first 80 pages were spent trying to get a read on the two main characters, Claire and Mimi, and the next several hundred was the soap-opera life style of who is having an affair with whom, money, and other gossipy things.

Favorite quote: "In my experience of very thin and beautiful women, when they look this intelligent it invariably means they are thinking about the
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Rachel Johnson is a British editor, journalist, television presenter and author based in London. She lives in Notting Hill, London with her husband. They have three adult children.

Librarian’s note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
More about Rachel Johnson...

Other Books in the Series

Notting Hell Trilogy (3 books)
  • Shire Hell (Notting Hell Trilogy, #2)
  • Fresh Hell (Notting Hell Trilogy, #3)

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