Looking for something to read over the weekend ?
Nothing on your book radar that is screaming ‘read me’?
Take a look at my Friday Favorite. It may be new. It may be old. It may be written by a famous author, or by someone you have never heard of. But wherever in the spectrum it falls, it will be a book that is special to me, one that has captured both my imagination and my heart.
EXCERPT: ‘I should never have married him,’ said Diana sadly. ‘It was very wrong of me.’
Tom looked at her sharply. ‘Why do you say that?’
‘Because I didn’t love him,’ said Diana. ‘….And should I go to Paris, do you think? It really would cheer me up.’
‘Absolutely not,’ said Tom, sounding as stern as he could. ‘You’d wipe out any goodwill at a stroke.’
She sighed, then managed a watery smile.
‘All right. I’ll do my best. But I can’t promise anything. You’ve no idea what it’s like living with someone who hates you. Or at best dislikes and mistrusts you. That hurts. Oh, Tom, dear friend Tom, I know you’ve got to go, but thank you so much for coming and listening to me, and advising me. Just talking to you has made me feel better. I just hope I can do the same for you one day. Contrary to what you might think, I’m very good at keeping secrets. Go on, home to Alice the angel and I’ll hope to see you very soon.’
She was very tall, hardly had to reach up to kiss him, but she did, a long, gentle kiss on the lips. It was confusing, that kiss, albeit not in the least carnal. Tom said good luck, and half stumbled out the front door and down into the perfectly groomed Padster Mews, where he stood for a while, taking deep breaths and steadying himself.
She was danger, was Diana Southcott. He was more aware of it with every meeting. He started to run, hoping for three things. That Alice wouldn’t be too cross with him; that he had no lingering whiff of Diana’s heady, heavy perfume about him; and that she would not go to Paris.
ABOUT THIS BOOK: A Question Of Trust is vintage Penny Vincenzi: rich with characters, life-changing decisions, glamour, love, desire and conflict.
1950s London. Tom Knelston is charismatic, working class and driven by ambition, ideals and passion. He is a man to watch. His wife Alice shares his vision. It seems they are the perfect match.
Then out of the blue, Tom meets beautiful and unhappily married Diana Southcott, a fashion model. An exciting but dangerous affair is inevitable and potentially damaging to their careers. And when a child becomes ill, Tom is forced to make decisions about his principles, his reputation, his marriage, and most of all, his love for his child.
MY THOUGHTS: I read the final chapter of this book with tears trickling down my face. When I finished, I sat with it clutched to my chest like I was hugging an old friend before parting for who knows how long. Vincenzi has this effect on me every time. This time was even more poignant, with A Question of Trust being the last book she published before her death.
Vincenzi has a vast cast of characters, she even lists and explains their role in the book, but they are never hard to keep track of. I know the extract I chose may read like a particularly nauseating soap opera. But it’s not. It is warm, touching, rich and heart-breaking. It is full of glamour, and struggles, both personal and professional. No one can write like Vincenzi.
So, no more sweeping sagas. No more characters who feel like family and friends by the time I reach the end of the book. I will just have to go back to her first book and read them all over again.
THE AUTHOR: Her family, Headline and her agent Clare Alexander are sad to announce the death of their beloved Penny Vincenzi who died peacefully on February 25th.
At the launch of her 19th book, A Question of Trust, last year, Penny said: “If nobody buys it, it will be my last book; otherwise, no, I don’t want it to be my last book … I still love writing and the whole process.” And at the time of her death Penny was several chapters into a new book. We would urge those who haven’t discovered all of her books yet to explore the backlist, and we look forward to publishing A Question of Trust in paperback this year.
Penny Vincenzi, who died in 2018, was one of the UK’s best-loved and most popular authors. Since her first book, Old Sins, was first published in 1989, she went on to write sixteen more bestselling novels and two collections of stories. She began her career as a junior secretary for Vogue magazine and went on to work at The Daily Mirror, Tatler, and later as a Fashion and Beauty Editor on magazines such as Woman’s Own, Nova and Honey, before becoming a Deputy Editor of Options and Contributing Editor of Cosmopolitan. Over seven million copies of Penny’s books have been sold worldwide and she is universally held to be the ‘doyenne of the modern blockbuster’ (Glamour).
DISCLOSURE: I own my copy of A Question of Trust by Penny Vincenzi, published by Headline Publishing Group. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2473050928