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Voyage of Innocence [Kindle Edition]

Elizabeth Edmondson
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

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Book Description

From the author of THE FROZEN LAKE comes an enthralling novel of love, betrayal and idealism, as three very different young women go up to Oxford in the years immediately before World War Two.

Vee – the clergyman’s daughter. Boyish, alluring, she plans to use her time at Oxford to put right everything that went wrong in her loveless childhood. Her friendship with Alfred introduces her to politics and the subversive attractions of secret societies; it will lead to her career as a secret agent, but at what cost to old loyalties and her true feelings?

Claudia, radiant, intense, aristocratic, is equally drawn to the secret society and one member in particular; his dazzling influence will see her travel to Berlin and come under the spell of Fascism as war looms.

And Lally, glamorous daughter of an Irish-American senator, is sceptical of the society and the arguments from both sides. Her own choices will bring her into Vee’s new life, with all its dangers and betrayals. As the world becomes embroiled in the events of war, what price personal values, losses and loves?


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Review

Praise for Voyage of Innocence:
‘I loved it.’ Woman

‘A very interesting book, not only because it gives a flavour of life in the thirties…it’s a way of imbibing history.’ Oxford Times

‘Well written and superbly researched…a thoroughly enjoyable read. A must.’ Yours

Praise for The Frozen Lake:
‘Charming.’ The Bookseller

‘Dark family secrets, long buried,if not forgotten, bubble to the surface. A novel that is vivid and engrossing.’ Choice

‘An intriguing read.’ Woman

About the Author

Elizabeth Edmondson lives in Oxford and Italy. Her English roots are in the Lake District, where her father’s family comes from. She is married with two grown-up children. THE FROZEN LAKE was inspired by an old snapshot of an eccentric great-aunt out on the ice, and a rich fund of family memories and stories of life in the Lakes in the nineteen thirties have made a big contribution to the book.


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More About the Author

I write what I like to call Vintage Mysteries, since they're set in the nineteen-thirties, forties and fifties.

They're stories of love and marriage, families and friendship, in which the loyalties, feuds, secrets and betrayals of the past cast long shadows into the present.
I'm fascinated by characters who are quirky, mysterious, funny, unexpected and interesting and I want readers to share, as I do, in their joys and sorrows.

With dramatic and glamorous settings from icy lakes to Italian villas, from wintry Budapest to fashionable France, from Cornwall to the Lake District, the landscapes are as powerful as the stories are complex.
The tense realities of life mingle with supernatural elements : ghosts, prophetic dreams and voices from the past, but fun and humour also dance in and out of the light and darkness of the stories.

My aim is to enthral, delight and amuse readers as they are transported to a different era.
A review posted by a reader said my books take you out of the daily world and make the impossible seem possible--that's just what I want to do.

I also write as Elizabeth Aston, and if you enjoyed VILLA IN ITALY, you might also enjoy VOLCANIC AIRS, which is set on an idyllic Sicilian island. It's one of the books in my Mountjoy series, so please visit my other author page and check out those books.

A few biographical details: I was born in Chile, have lived in India and Italy and now live in Oxford, where I went to university--and where I've recently taken up bell-ringing.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow starter but worth the wait. 3 Feb. 2006
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
After a rather confusing and seemingly over-populated start, everything began to fall into place. The book quickly gained pace and the tale of love, infatuation, intrigue and betrayal soon took hold. Set in the 1930s when political (as opposed to religious) ideology was still alive, the historical detail is meticulous and the characters totally believable. The only criticism I have is that there was often a comma when a full-stop was required. But this was a minor irritation.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable 'old school' story. 22 Aug. 2009
Format:Paperback
This is the first novel I have read by this author and I really enjoyed it. I found it a pleasant mix of romantic entanglements, history and a smattering of politics. Unlike other reviewers, I actually found the political elements; the communism versus fascism debates etc quite interesting as it is the first time I have read about them in a novel. I found the writing quite old fashioned in a way, it reminded me of Enid Blyton's school stories, an enjoyable throwback to books I read as a child. I agree with other reviewers that the beginning is very weak, if it had just been a quick snapshot and then moved straight to the mian story it would have been ok but as it was, it dragged on for far too long and too many characters were introduced too early. However, once the main story got going, I couldn't put it down. I am encouraged that other reviewers say Edmondson's other novels are stronger than this one, they will definitely be on my 'to read' list.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An intelligent romance 13 July 2008
By Millie
Format:Hardcover
Although the book gets off to a confusing start and there are a lot of characters to get to grips with (I went back and read Part 1 when I had read Part 2) this is a really thought provoking book. It's good to read a character driven story that acknowledges that some people are interested in history and politics as well as romance and family saga. It's a fascinating insight into Britain in the 1930s as well as a good story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read 5 Feb. 2009
Format:Paperback
The plot, the action, and the interaction between the characters were interesting, as was the background of the intellectual struggle and looming physical conflicts between capitalism, democracy, fascism and communism. Although ostensibly about three young women at Oxford, we see things mainly through Vee, daughter of a Church of England Dean from York. The male characters are, somehow, more mere surface ... we never get inside their heads. But, an enjoyable read. Two quibbles. We are told (p.154) that the Queen of May Ball always takes place on April 31st (is this the Oxford rather than Gregorian calendar?) and, at one point, Vee is thinking about the Night of the Long Knives ... clearly before the July when that massacre took place. The "Aftermath" section which closes the book is most credible and well done.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A voyage in every sense of the word. 15 Nov. 2014
By talmine
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Set in the 1930's it follows the fortunes of three girls who go to up to a woman's college at Oxford. All three come from well off families. In spite of her background however one of them, Vee (for Verity), has not had a happy childhood and is relieved to escape to Oxford and become independent. The story contrasts the fortunes of 'the filthy rich' with the miserably poor. This is encapsulated by the remark of one the other protagonists, Alfred another Oxford man, who contrasts the fate of two girls who accidentally become pregnant: "smart women book themselves into a discreet clinic for a D and C while a child like Peggy (forced to go on the game to make ends meet) haemorrhages to death in as a result of a back street abortion".

This confirms Vee's determination to join the Communist Party. One of the Oxford girls heads in the opposite direction and falls for the Fascists. The third girl is an American (daughter of a Senator) and is not judgemental. There used to be a saying after WW2: "if your not a communist when you are 20 you have no heart; if you are still a communist at 40 you have no head".

The story is told backwards: a Prologue and a few chapters set in 1938, followed by chapters set in 1932,33 and 34, the girls time at Oxford and the chapters covering their activities in 1935,36 and 37, and finally catching up where the Prologue breaks off. This structure is clearly not to every reviewer's taste.

However there is also an 'Aftermath' in the form of postwar newspaper headlines from the 40's to the 80's which constitute a story in themselves.

Altogether I thought it a rattling good story; the best yet I think of her works.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What a disappointment ... 23 Jan. 2006
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Having enjoyed Elizabeth Edmondson's first novel I had been eagerly awaiting her second, but it proved to be a huge let-down. The first part of the book is rather fragmented and the novel would have been better beginning at part two. The characters appeared one-dimensional to me - some just seemed completely unnecessary - and we had dull discourses about the virtues/evil of communism versus capitalism and fascism The author couldn't seem to decide what genre the story was - romance, political, spy - and whilst I ploughed through it thinking 'maybe it will be worth it in the end', I'm afraid it just wasn't. I hate writing bad crits, and have given this three stars because I know that Elizabeth Edmondson can write well. Perhaps I could respectfully suggest she sticks to well-written family sagas rather than trying to educate us about the politics of pre-war years.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed most of her other books
I enjoyed most of her other books, and after "The Frozen Lake" was looking forward to find out more about Perdita, for example. Read more
Published 7 days ago by revgirl28
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Interesting and gripping till the end.
Published 28 days ago by Ursula Inglis
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A very interesting and enjoyable read
Published 1 month ago by J. E. Gillespie
5.0 out of 5 stars Another weII written and weII reseached page turner
weII written and strangeIy compeIIing
Published 2 months ago by Alex
3.0 out of 5 stars Mog morgan
Not as good as previous books by this writer
Published 2 months ago by Chris Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I am enjoying this author's books and already want to read another.
Published 3 months ago by roseanya
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good easy reading.I enjoyed it.
Published 4 months ago by R.M.R
5.0 out of 5 stars thoroughly good read
Have only recently discovered Elizabeth Edmondson . Love all her books can't stop reading them .
You become interested in the characters straight away .
Published 4 months ago by Mrs Christine Morgan
2.0 out of 5 stars A VERY slow read!
I'm still wading my way through it. I'm determined to finish it but it is not easy reading
Published 5 months ago by Liz Tipping
5.0 out of 5 stars A sometime complicated read
Although I found this book a complicated read at times, I plodded on and am glad I did. All doubts about the characters are explained and left me satisfied. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Gardengnome
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