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No Angel (Spoils of Time Trilogy) Paperback – 14 May 2001
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Penny Vincenzi's No Angel is probably her most accomplished novel yet, and draws on many elements of the author's own life in journalism and publishing. Since inaugurating her writing career with Old Sins, Vincenzi has developed into one of the most stylish and compelling writers of blockbusting fiction with such novels as Another Woman, Forbidden Places, and Almost a Crime achieving phenomenal sales and a devoted readership that follows her work very closely.
Set in Lyttons, a great publishing house, this saga takes us into the lives of the family who owns it, and the dramas of crossed loyalties, ambition and deception inform a narrative that carries the reader along with great gusto. Vincenzi's canvas at the start of the book is the Edwardian era known as the Belle Époque, a time in which society contrasted hedonistic luxury and great social deprivation, with the First World War waiting in the wings to sweep so much away.
Celia Lytton is the firm-minded and ambitious wife of Oliver Lytton, the head of the publishing house that bears his name. Sylvia Miller, coming from a background of crushing poverty, is threatened by Celia's intrusion into her life, when Sylvia's youngest daughter is taken from the family to join the Lyttons and move in a different social circle. Sebastian Brooke, the author of a much-acclaimed children's book, finds himself both professionally and personally involved with the ambitious Celia.
This is the first volume in a series, The Spoils of Time, and Vincenzi sets out her stall impressively. We are very quickly involved in the larger-than-life experiences of these powerfully drawn characters, and as well as telling a thoroughly involving tale, the author is able to deal with some serious questions over good and evil. Most of all, it is her charismatic characters (such as the willful Celia) that make a lasting impression on the reader and the author's ability to keep the reader engrossed:
Celia had been right, Oliver was initially resistant to the risks of making love to her; but a mixture of emotional blackmail and a determined onslaught on his senses worked quite quickly. They found a physical delight in each other almost at once; Oliver was not exactly experienced, indeed his own knowledge had been gained at the hands of a couple of chorus girls introduced by his best friend at Oxford, but it was sufficient to guide him through Celia's initiation.--Barry Forshaw -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
Packed with passion, pain, pace and palaver (Daily Mail)
I was hooked right from the first page to the final, fantastic twist (New Woman)
Highly addictive (Daily Telegraph) -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
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Read this trilogy.
Set in the publishing house of the Lyttons. named after the Lytton family, Ms. Vincenzi's new classic takes us into the lives of the Lytton, the Beckenham and the Miller families just before World War II. Celia Lytton is the main character who takes over the helm of the family business as the country goes to war. A strong-willed woman, Celia displays her good business acumen and makes Lyttons a successful and competitive establishment. As the family men leave England to fight in the war, there are butterflies in the womens' stomachs each time as they worry if and whether they would ever see their loved ones again. There are powerful women in this book who take their responsibility, virtually heading their households, dispersing their children from London up to country homes away from the bombs, and establishing temporary shelters for the the wounded men who return from the war in despair, and some total incapacitated.
As the novel weaves it's intoxicating magic, you will meet Oliver Lytton, Celia's kind husband who becomes a tiresome and tempermental soul much to Celia's agitation, causing her to look elsewhere for love. You'll also meet Margaret Lytton, Oliver's sister who helps Celia manage the publishing house. Then of course there are Celia's twin daughters, Adele and Venetia; two playfully wicked girls; silent Giles and her adopted daughter Barty Miller. With exciting authors at the publishing house, especially one particular one who makes a marked impact on Celia Lytton's life, this plot twists and turns with the reader never knowing what will take place on the following page. A remarkable classic read which has me now waiting in limbo for the follow-up...as this story has by no means finished....just merely paused...awaiting the second volume.
It makes one wonderfuly anxious to see what will happen to these charming characters who the reader begins to care so much about. One has to be patient for the answers lie in SOMETHING DANGEROUS which should be out this month. Readers who have loved Penny Vincenzi's wonderful novels should order this compelling book soon. It's not to be missed. Check for yourself.
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