books of the month
Search our site
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

Reader Reviewed
A Perfect Heritage by Penny Vincenzi

A Perfect Heritage

Relationship Stories   Books of the Month   Family Drama   Literary Fiction   
Download an extract Discuss on Facebook Discuss this book on our Relationship Tales Facebook group Share this book

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

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

If you like Penny Vincenzi you might also like to read books by Elizabeth Jane Howard, Victoria Clayton and Julian Fellowes.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Judith Curtis - 'This is definitely one to read!  Be swept along by the colour, romance and power struggles of another absorbing drama from Penny Vincenzi!' Read full review >
  • Andrea Dean - 'a very worthy read.' Read full review >
  • Emma Barton - 'is an intriguing tale about The House of Farrell, an iconic beauty brand that is given a very modern make over, but at what cost to those involved?'
  • Rebecca Jayne Barrett - 'A Perfect Heritage is a story that envelops readers like an alluring movie.' Read full review >
  • Karen - 'A very enjoyable drama with many different strands to the story which all combine to make this a book which will grab your attention until the very last page.'
  • Phyl Smithson - 'Perfect book if you like a well-written and absorbing story that takes a story and characters through the passage of time.' Read full review >
  • Stephanie Blakey - 'I loved this magnificent family saga. The characters were identifiable and totally believable - I was swept along with this story. A compelling page-turner. Highly recommended.' Read full review >
  • Sheila Dale - 'This is a must for fans of Penny Vincenzi, lots of characters, plots and sub plots and her unique writing style that just keeps you turning the pages for hours.' Read full review >
  • Sarah Harper - 'A Perfect Heritage has it all; love, betrayal, secrets, intrigue and passion. Set in the glamorous world of cosmetics, this epic saga is a thoroughly enjoyable read.' Read full review >
  • Celia Cohen - 'Enter Penny Vincenzi's world and be totally transported.' Read full review >
  • Iris Clements - 'The characters are well defined, but unfortunately the story is predictable, there are no surprises, no twists and turns and it is very, very long.' Read full review >
  • Jade Craddock - 'This was my first experience of Penny Vincenzi and certainly won’t be my last...Epic in all senses of the word.' Read full review >
  • Julie Bertschin - 'I enjoyed this book but found it rather drawn out and over-long.' Read full review >
  • Julie Collins - 'A glamorous and engaging read.' Read full review >
  • Susan Walsh - 'Of Business, Family & Fortune lost & won...A HUGELY enjoyable read...which has some unexpected twists.' Read full review >
  • Daran Bellingham - 'Big book about big people in big business...It was a real pleasure to read this novel.' Read full review >


A Perfect Heritage by Penny Vincenzi

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.


'There are few things better in life than the knowledge that sitting on your bedside table is the latest novel by Penny Vincenzi...Penny never fails her devoted fans'
Daily Express

About the Author

Penny Vincenzi

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


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.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

19th June 2014


Penny Vincenzi

More books by Penny Vincenzi
Author 'Like for Like'

Author's Website

Author's Facebook Latest

Loading facebook updates...
Loading twitter updates...


Headline Review an imprint of Headline Publishing Group


768 pages


Relationship Stories
Books of the Month
Family Drama
Literary Fiction

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



Lovereading - a community of people passionate about reading and sharing their views. An incomparable website for book lovers.

Helen Clark

I love the honest opinions, recommendations for every genre and every reader, wish lists and Like for Like.

Amrita Dasgupta

If you LOVE reading then you will love LOVEREADING! It's a 'novel' idea. Seriously though I could not recommend them enough.

Rebecca Whymark

I read new, exciting writers and established authors before publication and there is a great website full of brilliant books and opinions.


For me, to read is to learn, to reflect, to escape, to think, to contemplate and my time for space and calm.

Sally Ellsmore

It has enriched my leisure time by introducing me to a world of books which I would not have previously considered.

Val Rowe

A great place to go to find your next literary escape, and where you don't have to judge a book by its cover!

Suzanne Beney

I love the newsletter with reviews of all the new books coming out. Can't wait to open it when it arrives in my inbox.

Rachel Aygin