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The Wheel Of Fortune [Paperback]

Susan Howatch
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 9.09 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

7 April 2005

Robert Godwin's tumultuous ride on the Wheel of Fortune begins with his passion for his sensual cousin Ginevra, as they waltz to 'The Blue Danube' beneath the chandeliers at Oxmoon, his beloved family home in Wales. As Robert discovers, his rational, well-ordered mind will be forever altered by his obsession for Ginevra, and his destiny will be forever linked to Oxmoon by the skeletons which lurk in the family closet...

For fifty years, from the sinister summer afternoon of 1913 to the 1960s, the Godwin family are sucked into a maelstrom of passion, disorder, madness and murder. Fortunes rise and fall in this sweeping, compulsive tale, until the Wheel of Fortune finally comes full circle.

Frequently Bought Together

The Wheel Of Fortune + Penmarric + Cashelmara
Price For All Three: 26.37

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  • Penmarric 7.69
  • Cashelmara 9.59

Product details

  • Paperback: 992 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere; New Ed edition (7 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751535613
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751535617
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


She is a deft storyteller, and her writing has depth, grace and pace (TIMES)

Truly unputdownable (Sunday TIMES)

Book Description

Orginally published in 1974, The Wheel of Fortune and its companion books, Penmarric and Cashelmara (also published by Time Warner Paperbacks) have yet to be discovered by a whole new generation - and will be re-read and re-read by existing fans.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An all-time favourite 31 May 2004
I have read this book several times and will probably read it several times more! It follows the pattern of many of Susan Howatch's earlier books by having each section of the book narrated by a different person, so you get the same situations from very different viewpoints. I found this a fascinating book, so much so that I have been two or three times to the area where it was set to see for myself what happened there! What better recommendation could there be!
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A joy of a book 18 Feb 2006
I approached this novel with some trepidation - as a huge fan of Susan Howatch's Starbridge series and the three St Benet's novels, I was prepared to be disappointed by the lack of ecclesiastical background that works so well in her more recent work. However, this book had me hooked from start to finish - seeing events from the perspective of different characters was enthralling, and the intricate psychological portrait of each one was deftly woven into the plot. Many times I settled down in bed to read just one chapter ... and found myself struggling to put the book down over two hours later! Finding out at the end that it was loosely based on historical characters was extremely interesting, and made me want to go back and read it all again!
2010 postscript: I am just rereading this novel, and it has struck me this time around what a lot of blasphemy there is in it - which, for a Christian author, is quite surprising. I suppose that Ms Howatch might justify this by claiming that this is how her characters would express themselves, but it still jars if that sort of thing bothers you.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ 10 Sep 2000
I read the Wheel of Fortune, once a year, and have done for the last 10 years.
Susan Howatch is a wonderful storyteller, and in this book she creates characters which are so real, that not only will you not want to put the book down, but will worry about each and everyone of them in between.
After years, I persuaded my father to read it (who is probably one of the most well-read people I know - mainly in the great classics), and he adored it.
Read it and I promise you will adore it.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Howatch - My Favourite Author 16 Feb 2007
I don't know what it is about Howatch's books - I have never really been able to exactly define the pull she has for me - maybe it is the meticulous attention to every detail (she cannot be faulted in the very convoluted relationships of her characters woven into her books)and the way different characters are seen from others' points of view and in other eras; on the other hand it could be just that she is a superlative storyteller!

There is always an air of mysticism in all her books (particularly in the Church of England series) and it is very evident in this one with the fateful relationship between two gifted cousins.

There is also, a very strong sense of evocation of times past in this book and you really do feel that you are with these characters in all their various crises and triumphs. I have read this book on at least five occasions, but I can still return to it after a few months and be enthralled all over again. It is the sort of book that you do not want to leave until you have read it all (and this is a long book!)but, there is a sense of loss when you have finished it.

In any event, if you have never read any of Howatch's books, you really must and this one is great. They all are actually, but this would be a good place to start!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars absorbing and passionate 30 May 2002
By A Customer
...I've read and re-read this book many times since I first found it in 1985. It is brilliant, it's told superbly, and the way the author manages to shift your perceptions of an event when you read it from different points of view is masterful. The characters, especially Johnny and Bronwen, are so real that I really felt as if I knew them and I missed them all once I'd turned the last page - hence returning to it again and again! If you like sweeping tales of flawed people struggling to make sense of tragedy, love, illicit passion, world events, life, wars, and a good many untimely deaths, then this is definitely for you! (One point - the synopsis here at amazon says it's about an Anglo-Irish family but the Gower Peninsula is actually in Wales, so don't expect huge descriptions of Irish countryside because there aren't any - but you can enjoy Susan Howatch's descriptions of Rhossili Downs and the bay and the Worms Head, and even better go take a look for yourself. I did and the Gower is stunning.)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best book I've read 26 Oct 2006
This book had me transfixed from start to finish. I couldn't stop thinking about it when I wasn't reading it! It is just full of twists, turns, births, deaths, marriages, affairs, sex, politics, family feuds and anything else you care to think of. This book just got me salivating for the next surprise waiting for me on the next page. I audibly gasped quite a few times when those surprises came! Just brilliant!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating but flawed saga 12 Jan 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you like losing yourself in a vast family saga then you've hit the jackpot with this one. And there's double the enjoyment: not only is it a compelling tale in its own right, but it's also based on the story of King Edward III and his descendants, ending with Henry V - if you've ever read Shakespeare's history plays you'll find it all very familiar.
Starting in 1913 and ending in 1966, it tells the story of six members of the Godwin family and the changing fortunes of their family estate, Oxmoon, on the beautiful Gower peninsula in Wales. She hasn't been too literal in copying history, so it's all far more credible and less predictable than you might think (the same device worked well for her in two of her previous novels, Penmarric and Cashelmara). As you read about the power struggles, love affairs and family jealousies, it's fascinating to wonder whether these fictional relationships and motivations could also have applied to the historical characters - who knows? And as each family member takes it in turn to be the narrator, so you find your opinion of the characters changing with each new point of view, which adds yet another dimension to the tale.
It's nearly 1,000 pages long, so you've really got to admire her ambition, her control of the narrative, and all that research. It's cleverly done, and she's created some wonderful characters, scenes and settings, so you really get sucked in to this world - so much so, that you might experience feelings of loss, as I did, when you finally reach the end.
But it does have its flaws.
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB READ!
I read this book as a teenager - so many years ago! I loved it then and kept my copy to re read every so often. That was about 35 years ago. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Miss C Strathern
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wheel of fortune
You read this book and think all of this could not possibly happen to one family, but you know it did to the kings and queens of England. What family intrigue and plots. Read more
Published 1 month ago by B. Rutherfoord
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
Having read other Susan Howatch books, I downloaded this on my kindle to read on holiday, and found it totally absorbing. Certainly recommended for people who enjoy 'family sagas'.
Published 2 months ago by Postman Pat
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning.
Complex, twisting story of a family whose members are under the spell of a long ago tragedy. Brilliantly told leading the reader compulsively on.
Published 3 months ago by .
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as Penmarric
Had read Penmarric years ago,and this book is in the same vein, 6 parts each told by a different character just like Penmarric. Well worth reading.
Published 5 months ago by DCEley
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wheel of Fortune by Susan Howatch.
This is now the 3rd time I have read this book and I enjoyed it even more. This is a long and very involved story of family life. Read more
Published 6 months ago by maz
5.0 out of 5 stars a brilliant book
I've read this book many times and always enjoy and get totally involved with the characters. I highly recommend this
Published 7 months ago by devonlady
4.0 out of 5 stars Long book
Enjoyable but too long. Found I skipped some as it was repetitive. I forgot how some of the characters were related.
Published 10 months ago by james martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I cannot tell you enough what a brilliant writer this woman is. Only complaint is that she has written nothing for a long time. We want more
Published 10 months ago by j b day
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect story
I love all the books written by Susan Howatch. It is the fact that she dedicates a large percentage of her books to each main character. Read more
Published 10 months ago by patricia
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