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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 September 2008
I was surpised by the poor reviews of this book. I found it a little hard to get into at first, partly because although I found the main character sympathetic her indulgence of her abusive husband is hard to understand and quite frustrating from the outside. However I imagine it is realistic as there must be a reason women who suffer domestic violence often put up with it for a long time - making excuses for their partners and putting off leaving for various reasons. Tbe pace is a bit slow in the first half of the book, possibly because I am now used to reading fast paced blockbusters that you can finish in an hour. But it really picked up in the second half and I twas then glad that it had built up to it. There is some truth in what people have said about the sex scenes, very tame by today's standards, but I don't think graphic scenes would have sat very comfortably with the general tone of the book. I felt the characters had real depth, even the abusive husband, who was protrayed not as an evil monster but as a deeply flawed individual. Probably not worth reading if you have no interest at all in politics but I would recommend it. I am a career woman by the way!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I do admire Sandra Howard for making this effort. The cover is pretty and reminds one of her. Knowing Westminster from the inside must have made Mrs. Howard, or those who encouraged her to write this, feel that she had a rich tale to tell. However I don't suppose the general public are as much interested in the intrigues and affairs that go on around government as inevitably she is. The hypocrisy and inflated self importance shown by the main characters was almost sick. The basic premise of the book being the story of a sordid seeming affair - a sad and sorry story that felt light and unreal. We were supposed to accept that the instant attraction between the Newspaper Editor/TV celebrity and the Minister was enough to spark off the chaos that followed without them even having time to get to know each other. Rushed meetings and instant sex didn't convince. Apart from Victoria's Father who came across well, and the various children, there were just so many characters. This made the book difficult to relax into (surely the aim) - the extras didn't exactly spring to life - all rather hard work. I do hope that decisions such as were being made in the book are not made in such a flitty way or that Ministers of State are such short sighted Bimbos with a terrible decision making history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 June 2011
loved it! I just cannot get enough of these characters. I read the first 2 books the other way around, but no matter, it was easy to pick up the link. Victoria was such an easy person to understand, so racked with guilt on the one hand, yet so mindful of her ministerial duties, and her wifely loyalty to her loathsome husband...another victory for Sandra Howard...and now about to read the third, A Matter of loyalty. Thank you
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 May 2009
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I can't understand the rather poor reviews. I can well believe behind the scenes politics are exactly as depicted, and affairs do really start just like this - instant attraction!
I was never bored, and was sorry when I came to the end. OK, for some readers it may have been slightly unrealistic, but one reads to relax and enjoy a good book - this one certainly fills the bill.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 September 2010
Really enjoyed this book. I thought it was written with great sensitivity. I recognized
feelings and the same problems in my own family life. I hope she has not stopped writing,
there seems to be a rather long gap since her latest bookGlass Houses
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 21 December 2006
The first half of this book is utterly dreary. The second half improves, and almost catches one by surprise. The characters are not plausible, especially the lover's wife. Jilly Cooper allegedly described this book as "subtly sexy" - actually it's not remotely sexy. Any reference to sex is written as if by a nun. The biggest surprise was that I actually finished it. A triumph of PR over substance.
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on 20 June 2014
Pacey novel, nicely written and interesting.... Best to read along with Ursula's Story (which gives the other side and version of events from the "other" wife!). I enjoyed both novels, and I very much like Sandra Howard's style of writing. If you enjoy British novels centred around upper-middle class families (!!) then this type of book is for you - they're not as toe-curlingly snobbish as Penelope Vincent's, for example.
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Chick lit. Fine if that's your thing but if you want to read a proper novel this is not for you. Suprficial with little chararcterisation and thin on plot. I wondered what was the point. I admire Sandra Howard as a model and parliamentary wife but as a novelist there's much better out there.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Ok, it is a page turner but it's not that great a book. I think if you are a bored housewife dreaming of a life as a career woman you might find it exciting. If on the other hand, you are a career woman wanting a good read, I think you'll find Victoria, the central character, a real drip. She's very wafty and feminine and soft and gentle etc. etc. but lacking in grit. I can't imagine this woman as an MP let alone a minister.

Her brutal husband is well drawn though and to a certain extent the newspaper editor lover. The sex scenes, despite what it says on the cover are not that raunchy. They do the job but they are all a bit staid and well... wafty again.

If you expect to find Michael Howard characterised within these pages I think he may have a very brief bit part but it's hard to work out who he might be. Reading it passes the time but there are better books out there.
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on 4 February 2008
I expected better and was disappointed. With Mrs Howard's experience of Westminster lives, I think it could have been much more convincing. So unimpressed I donated it to a charity shop, rather than keeping it for a further perusal!!
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