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Penny Vincenzi is one of the UK`s best-loved and most popular authors. Since her first novel, Old Sins, was published in 1989, she has written sixteen bestselling novels, most recently A Perfect Heritage and the number one bestsellers The Decision, The Best of Times and An Absolute Scandal.
Her first 'proper' job was at the Harrods Library, aged sixteen, after which she went to secretarial college. She joined the Mirror and later became a journalist, writing for The Times, the Daily Mail and Cosmopolitan amongst many others, before turning to fiction. Several years later, 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.
Penny Vincenzi has four daughters, and divides her time between London and Gower, South Wales.
Author photo © Trevor Leighton
Fellow novelist SOPHIE KING on PENNY VINCENZI
I met Penny during my time as a journalist and thought she was wonderful. She's given me advice over the years as well as a quote for my own covers. Penny's books have a wide cast of characters so there's something for most of us. She's also got a gift for creating settings so the smells and colours leap out of the pages.
October 2017 Book of the Month An interesting departure for Penny Vincenzi as she takes a working-class man made good as her central character. Starting in 1937 and continuing through the war years the main thrust of the story however involves the Labour movement of the fifties and the development of the NHS. Tom Knelston is a staunch Labour supporter who is taken under the wing of a prominent backer fo the Labour party and eventually wins a seat in Parliament. Along the way he becomes blind to his family’s need and it takes a couple of truly dramatic events to force the man to take a hard look at himself, his life and what he may lose if he does not improve. There are numerous sub-plots, interesting characters surrounding the tale and enriching the whole meaty read which is full of fascinating historical detail. A lovely book, highly recommended. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
March 2015 Book of the Month. An author renowned for big books has surpassed herself and written a huge, 939 page, tome. It is long, it is big, it is brilliant, perhaps her best yet. It centres on a cosmetic company set up in 1953 and now, in the present, it is beginning to flounder. The venture capitalists bring in an ace business lady, Bianca Bailey, to revitalise the company. One of the founders, Athina, now 85, still lives and tries to disrupt the changes. The original head of the flagship store, Florence, also still lives and of course there is the next generation. There are many strands to this tale both in the personal and professional lives, there are secrets and much rivalry. The planned relaunch is awesome and the whole thing one great, glorious read.
One of our Books of the Year 2014. June 2014 Book of the Month. An author renowned for big books has surpassed herself and written a huge, 939 page, tome. It is long, it is big, it is brilliant, perhaps her best yet. It centres on a cosmetic company set up in 1953 and now, in the present, it is beginning to flounder. The venture capitalists bring in an ace business lady, Bianca Bailey, to revitalise the company. One of the founders, Athina, now 85, still lives and tries to disrupt the changes. The original head of the flagship store, Florence, also still lives and of course there is the next generation. There are many strands to this tale both in the personal and professional lives, there are secrets and much rivalry. The planned relaunch is awesome and the whole thing one great, glorious read. A 'Piece of Passion' from the Publisher... 'There is no-one quite like Penny Vincenzi; she’s one in a million. Penny’s characters are real, you can see them in their homes, their jobs, in the arms of their lovers; her children come straight from the world of today, humming with the language and technology that peppers their lives and her romance, well – what can I say? She’s Penny Vincenzi, she does love, sex, marriage and affairs like no other writer. So dive straight into the Farrell family firm in A Perfect Heritage and learn about what makes the world’s bestselling face cream, the sweetest scent, the most luxurious of lipsticks. Discover how business takeovers happen. Tread the backstreets of the Marais in Paris and hear how the French do glamour. See how women can run fashion, families and finances. And treasure the essence of what makes A Perfect Heritage – it’s the ultimate Vintage Vincenzi.' - Imogen Taylor, Publishing Director, Headline
A strange miscellany – this is a collection of ten of her short stories as well as a few other musings about life. Lighter and much, much shorter than her usual blockbusting novels, fans will enjoy but those new to her should start elsewhere. Each story spins a new heroine in a new scenario from an anxious young mum to the unexpected challenges of being a grandmother via many other of life’s challenges for modern women.
One of the hallmarks of Penny Vincenzi’s bestselling books is that many of the characters are very far from nice. This is certainly the case in The Decision, set in the swinging sixties, socialite Eliza and up and coming Matt fall passionately in love, but it’s the destruction of their relationship and the violent custody battle for their daughter that forms the centre of this novel with all characters revealing their true and unpleasant colours along the route. Compelling and enjoyable – providing you don’t mind hating the people you’re reading about.
Penny Vincenzi’s first novel is every bit the thrilling blockbuster. Julian Morrell returned from WWII with a passion and drive to set up his own cosmetics industry and his mother’s careful financial management ensured that it grew to be a huge empire. All through his life Julian has enjoyed playing the six key women in his life – his mother, his ex-wife, their daughter, his mistress and his new wife – off against each other. When he dies he leaves 49% to his daughter and 49% to his wife with the final 2% left to a mysterious young Californian man named Miles Wilburn and as the two women wrestle for the controlling stake some very old sins come to light. Rip roaring, compelling and hugely enjoyable.
September 2011 Book of the Month and eBook of the Month. A stunning new novel from No.1 bestselling author Penny Vincenzi. It's the vibrant '60s in which the life of fashion magazine editor Eliza clashes with her husband the self-made property developer millionaire over custody of their daughter. With drama, intrigue, passion and glamour by the bucket load this is one of Vincenzi's best and you're sure to get caught up in their world.
The Best of Times opens with an horrific car crash – told in plain and simple terms – that becomes the central event in our characters’ lives. We’re taken back to discover something of how they lived before the accident and then thrust forward as their lives inexorably change. An interesting premise and full of Vincenzi’s hallmark mix of likeable and awful characters who variously do or don’t get what’s coming to them.
July 2009 Good Housekeeping selection. The challenge of a shocking opener, as former GH columnist Penny Vincenzi says, is living up to the drama. Her fourteenth novel begins with a major crash on the M4 – in an instant, plans are crumpled and secrets spill out. At centre stage are a bridegroom and his best man, a doctor and his mistress, a woman fired up for a romantic reunion and, in the wings, a farmer who witnessed the crash. Fate’s set them up – and the unravelling begins. Lovereading view... A split second in time can change so many lives. A car crash sets the scene for the fantastic new Penny Vincenzi novel with fate changing the course of the lives of all those involved but is it for the worse or for the best? Penny Vincenzi is on top form with this emotionally charged, exciting new novel.
Before Bernie Madoff and his pyramid scheme brought the wealthiest in the world to their knees, there was another scandal with Lloyds of London, it’s ‘Names’, and the asbestos reinsurance crisis that would ruin many. It’s not, perhaps, the most obvious choice for a novel but it gives Vincenzi the opportunity to indulge in a great deal of gloriously unpleasant members of the 80s upper class and nouveau riche. Not vintage Vincenzi but still an enjoyable romp.
Fans of Vincenzi may not feel that this, her sixth novel, is her best and those new to her should certainly start elsewhere but it’s still full of all the twists, turns and thrills you’d expect from such a fantastic writer. The dilemma of the title belongs to Francesca, our heroine, a smart and independent woman who is forced to confront some of the dark truths about her husband and her marriage.
At the beginning of Another Woman, Vincenzi’s fourth novel, Cressida Forrest and Oliver Bergin are hosting a dinner for their closest friends and family the night before their wedding. But the next morning Cressida has vanished and almost more secrets and lies than the reader can keep up with are steadily exposed. Each chapter is told from the point of view of a different character and the twists and turns of the plot are deliciously unfurled as you move from one to the next.
One of Vincenzi’s contemporary novels, set in the nineties as New Labour come to power. Octavia and Tom Flemming seem to have it all till Octavia discovers that Tom is having an affair and her life utterly falls apart. If you like the characters in the books you read to be likeable then maybe best to avoid this one as there’s barely a decent human being amongst the whole cast of their friends and families, but it’s thrillingly compelling to watch as their lives and marriage crumble.
Grace, Florence and Clarissa are three very different women with very different lives and this novel, Vincenzi’s fifth, is all about how the monumental events and social evolution of World War Two inexorably change them. Gripping, tantalising, packed with as many twists and turns as you expect from Vincenzi it’s a wonderful book about the effect of the war on how women could live.
This is Vincenzi’s third novel and certainly one of her best. It opens with the suicide of a well-loved actor in the early 70s and we’re quickly told that revelations in a forthcoming book about him may be to blame. We’re then thrust back to a war time romance between a young over-sexed British girl and a handsome GI that results in the birth of a little girl who’s promptly put up for adoption. What happens to this little girl, raised in America by her father, and her mother’s other family who know nothing of their illegitimate sister is scandalously gripping and exciting.
Penny Vincenzi’s second novel focuses on the dark and sometimes sordid secrets of an aristocratic banking dynasty. But this is far more than ‘just’ a family saga as Vincenzi adds plenty of suspense and thrills to this stylish and intriguing story of passions – for money, for sex, or simply for what you can’t have.
Set in the 1930s, this is a delight from start to finish. Cassia is a very normal housewife, married to a parochial doctor when she inherits a mysterious half a million pounds. At first she’s determined not to spend it but then it makes sense to do up her husband’s practice offices and Cassia realises that she could do with a little doing up herself. Soon she’s whizzing around London in a fast car with a faster set and the money pours out as her husband and children languish in the country begging her to return. Her descent is gorgeously plotted and the mystery of where the money came from utterly compelling.
This is the second in Vincenzi’s glorious Spoils of Time trilogy and readers should definitely start at the beginning with No Angel. Celia Lytton’s children are all grown up and Something Dangerous focuses on their lives as twenties roar into the thirties and war once more threatens the family’s fortunes. Twins Venetia and Adele have the world at their feet, Giles is trying to find his, Kit is racing towards adulthood and Barty Miller, who was adopted from London’s slums by Celia, is thrust into New York life and finds everything very different from how she expected it to be. Vincenzi creates a lustrous world, full of fascinating detail and entrancing characters and with this trilogy she is at the top of her game.
This is the final part of Vincenzi’s excellent Spoils of Time series (so don’t even think of reading it if you haven’t read the first two) and sees Lady Celia’s grandchildren now having affairs and adventures of their own whilst she contemplates her inheritance. Delightfully we are even taken back a little when we’re shown – all too scant – glimpses of Lady Celia’s diaries. Everything is tied off very nicely, though fans of the series will rather wish it would just run and run.
This is the first in Vincenzi’s Spoils of Time trilogy that follows the Lyttons and their eponymous publishing house from the Edwardian belle époque to the ???? – though No Angel stops in the 1920s. Celia Lytton, the matriarch of the family, is a wonderful character and the plot is exquisitely written as the era’s decadence is halted when war comes and as the men go off to fight women’s live are inexorably changed. A thrilling read that will have you grabbing the next one (Something Dangerous) the moment you’ve finished.
Fans of Vincenzi may not feel this is her best book, though if you are a fan that’s not likely to stop you reading it, but if you’re new to her you’re better of starting elsewhere (such as No Angel or Old Sins). Three different women who meet travelling the world at the end of their teens have grown up to have lives very different lives. But one of them has been harbouring a secret all these years about the baby she bore and abandoned and now that baby is a teenager herself and looking for her birth mother these women’s lives are thrust back together.Comparison: Judith Lennox, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Julian Fellowes.Similar this month: Diana Appleyard, Santa Montefiore.
A QUESTION OF TRUST is vintage Penny Vincenzi: rich with characters, life-changing decisions, love, desire and conflict. 'There are few things better in life than ... the latest novel by Penny Vincenzi' Daily Express 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.
Szerelem Az onerobol ingatlanmagnassa lett Matt Shaw es a ragyogo divatszerkeszto, Eliza Clark tortenete a hatvanas evek Londonjatol a fenyuzo Milanoig es az elegans New Yorkig ivel. Hazassag... Eliza es Matt hazassaga szenvedelyes es bonyolult. Kerdes, hogy kepesek-e megmenteni, vagy utjaik vegervenyesen elvalnak. Gyermek... Emmie, rajongva szeretett, koraven kislanyuk egyutt tartja es el is valasztja oket. Es vegul egy fajdalmas dontes, amelyet a birosagon hoznak meg, ott, ahol feny derul az igazsagra, es ahol feltarulnak a titkok... "e;Elvarazsol az elejetol a vegeig."e; (Evening Standard) "e;Egy hatalmas doboz gyonyoru, kezzel keszitett csokoladetruffel irodalmi megfeleloje - valodi kenyeztetes."e; (Woman and Home) "e;Penny Vincenzi konyvei 1989 ota vannak a bestsellerlistak elen, es meg sosem okoztak csalodast."e; (Glamour) A Konyvjelzo magazin 2013. juniusi szamaban megjelent cikk: Boldogsagtol a birosagig
A Farrell-haz az ikonikus arcapolo termek, a Krem otthona, amelynek ekszerdobozhoz hasonlo zaszloshajojaba, a Berkeley Arcade-en allo Boltba 1953 ota todulnak a nok. A Farrellnel a vevo szamithat arra, hogy megkapja azt a bizonyos szemelyes pluszt. A legendas Athina Farrell meg mindig a ceg jelkepes vezetoje, a Berkeley Arcade-on pedig a maga kiralysagaban Florence Hamilton a legnagyobb diszkrecioval latja el a vevoket a ceg termekeivel. Florence kereskedelmi tanacsado - es emellett fontos titkok tudoja. De termeszetesen a kozmetikai ipar vilaga is valtozoban van, es az egykor dicso napokat megelt Farrell most hanyatlik; vevoiket elcsabitottak a divatosabb markak. Ekkor lep a szinre Bianca Bailey, a felelmetesen ratermett uzletasszony, harom gyermek anyja, aki mindig eleri, amit akar. Athina es Bianca egymas ellen feszulnek a Farrell jovoje kapcsan. Kettejuk parharcanak hattereben feltarul a mult, a maga ambicioival, szenvedelyeivel es titkaival. Ez a konyv a tulelesrol szol... es egy ertekes oroksegrol.. "e;Senki nem ir olyan szellemesen es magaval ragadoan, mint Penny Vincenzi."e; (USA Today) "e;Mint egy pohar pezsgo: habzo, elvezetes, es nem lehet betelni vele."e; (Daily Express) "e;Beszippantja az embert, es reggelig olvastatja magat."e; (Boston Globe) "e;Penny sosem hagyja cserben hu olvasoit."e; (Daily Express) Penny Vincenzi Nagy-Britannia egyik legnepszerubb szerzoje, tobb mint tizenot besteller szerzoje. Tobbek kozott a The Timesnal, a Daily Mailnel es a Cosmopolitannel dolgozott ujsagirokent, mielott belefogott volna a regenyirasba. Koteteibol eddig tobb mint hetmillio peldanyt adtak el vilagszerte.
The House of Farrell - home of The Cream, an iconic face product that has seen women flocking to its bijoux flagship store in the Berkeley Arcade since 1953.At Farrell, you can rely on the personal touch. The legendary Athina Farrell remains the company's figurehead and in her kingdom at the Berkeley Arcade, Florence Hamilton plies their cosmetics with the utmost discretion. She is sales advisor - and holder of secrets - extraordinaire. But of course the world of cosmetics is changing and the once glorious House of Farrell is now in decline, its customers tempted away by more fashionable brands. Enter Bianca Bailey, formidable business woman, mother of three, and someone who always gets her way. Athina and Bianca lock horns over the future of the House of Farrell but it is the past that tells its devastating tale of ambition and ego, passion and wonder.Here is a tale of survival ... and a kind of promise.
In this ebook exclusive short story collection, four unforgettable stories of love, family, heartbreak and hope by Penny Vincenzi, the acclaimed Sunday Times bestselling author of The Decision and The Best of Times, are available together for the first time. Told in Penny's unique voice, The Mermaid, Fair Exchange, Knowing Best and The Brooch are four unmissable stories in which a young woman battles to be accepted by her boyfriend's son, a divorced couple rediscover their passion for one another, a young couple's marriage comes perilously close to disaster, and a feud over a missing brooch separates two sisters for over a decade. With this collection, Penny Vincenzi explores the passions, jealousies, truths and lies that bring lovers and families together, and that can tear them apart.
Cassia Fallon has been married to her doctor husband for seven years when her godmother leaves her a fortune. She is determined to be sensible, to stay in control. Suddenly, for the first time in her life, she is able to do exactly as she likes. She starts to question her marriage, her past, her present and future. The money gives her confidence, and her husband Edward can only look on resentfully as she resumes her medical career, sheds some of her domestic burdens, and re-forms old relationships - one of them of a most dangerous kind. But where did her legacy really come from and why? Too soon the windfall has become a corrupting force. One that Cassia cannot resist...
Francesca's husband Bard needs her to tell just one little lie for him, and her life - their life, everything she's worked for and loved during their difficult marriage - will be safe. She has spent years making compromises for rich, successful Bard, and this might just be the final straw. Francesca has to think of herself and their children, and for once, she's the one in control. If she lies for him, everything will stay the same. But if she doesn't... Would Francesca really be willing to see Bard ruined and sent to jail? The Dilemma is an enthralling portrait of marriage and the true cost of falling in love.
Tom and Octavia Fleming have the perfect power marriage: he is a spin-doctor and she runs a consultancy to the charity industry. They are attractive, rich, successful...Then Octavia discovers Tom is having an affair and not only the discovery but the affair itself have consequences that are potentially fatal - both to the marriage and its power. For this is no ordinary affair, but one that leads to terror and danger, threatening other people, damaging other lives.
What do you do when you lose everything? It was one of the biggest scandals of the 80s. Lloyds. It started with just a few requests for money from various Names. And then the demands got bigger. And bigger. Until thousands of people found their lives ruined, homes gone and relationships wrecked. All because of money. When you do have it, its value isn't that important. When you don't - it's everything...
Spanning the belle epoque of the Edwarian era and into the roaring twenties, NO ANGEL is the first volume in a stunning series following the love, lies and divided loyalties of the Lytton dynasty. Celia Lytton always gets what she wants. Strong-willed, tough and courageous, she moves through life making difficult and often dangerous decisions - with the most far-reaching consequences for everyone... For her husband, Oliver, head of the great family publishing house of Lyttons; for Sylvia Miller, whose life of relentless poverty is transformed by Celia's intrusion; for Oliver's daunting elder sister, who is not all she appears to be; and for Sebastian Brooke, with whom Celia makes the most dangerous decision of all. Changing, shaping and altering their lives altogether, Celia is impulsive, impetuous, passionate - and utterly irresistible. Above all, she's no angel...
Penny Vincenzi, master of the contemporary blockbuster, returns with a moving, engaging portrait of people coping with a notorious financial disaster and its unpredictable emotional repercussions. Set during the boom-and-bust years of the 1980s, An Absolute Scandal follows the lives of a group of people drawn together by their mutual monetary woes when the great financial institution Lloyd's undergoes a devastating downturn. For Nigel Cowper, this means the destruction of his family business; his wife, Lucinda, is willing to do everything she can to help himexcept give up her irresistible lover. The powerful, charismatic banker Simon Beaumont and his wife, a highly successful advertising executive, lose everything they worked so hard to acquire; but the ultimate tragedy is something that neither one could have anticipated. The well-to-do are not the only ones suffering: a self-sufficient widow is suddenly deep in debt; a single mother struggles to maintain a comfortable home for her children; and a schoolmaster and his frustrated wife find that financial problems deepen the cracks in their troubled marriage. As their lives begin a downward spiral, these characters intersect in ways they never saw coming. Written in what has become her signature style of both wit and candor, Penny Vincenzi draws back the curtain and offers an inside view of the greed and social power plays that occur behind the closed doors of upper-crust society . . . where money isnt everything. Sometimes, its the only thing.
A number-one bestseller from one of Britains most popular novelists, Sheer Abandon is an all-consuming story revolving around the consequences of a desperate act.Martha, Clio, and Jocasta meet by chance at Heathrow airport in 1985 as they are starting off on separate backpacking adventures, and they decide to spend the first few days of their trips together in Thailand. When they go their separate ways, they vow to get together in London the following year. But many years pass before the three cross paths again, and the once-capricious, carefree girls all now have thriving careers. One of them, however, harbors a terrible secret: On her return from her precollege excursion, she abandoned her just-born daughter at Heathrow. Clio has fulfilled her ambition of becoming a doctor, only to find herself trapped in a marriage to an arrogant surgeon who belittles her and her professional achievements. Martha is a highly paid corporate lawyer, just embarking on a political career. Dedicated to her job, she has had little time for personal relationships and lives a busy, but lonely, life. Jocasta, a tabloid newspaper reporter with an infallible instinct for the big story, is in love with a charming colleague who cant make the permanent commitment she longs for. The infant abandoned at Heathrow has grown up under the loving care of her adoptive family. Now a beautiful teenager named Kate, she sets out to find her birth mothera quest that unexpectedly brings the women together and exposes the secret buried so many years before. Impossible to put down, Sheer Abandon is top-notch womens fiction.From the Compact Disc edition.