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Bestselling British author Vincenzi follows the tumultuous lives of London's Lytton family through the early 20th century in her first novel to be published in the U.S. At the story's center is Lady Celia Beckenham, a strong-willed, blue-blooded beauty who forces her parents to bless her marriage to the lower-ranking Oliver Lytton, employed in the "rough world of publishing," by getting pregnant. Taking her maternal duties in stride (her ugly baby, Giles, is initially "something of a disappointment"), Celia talks her way into an editorial position at Lyttons Publishing House, and quickly proves herself a fast learner with a head full of successful ideas. As years pass and more children arrive, Celia becomes known for her editorial skills and her familial devotion. But when Oliver returns after four years of fighting in WWI, her perfect world begins to crumble he is dismayed by the books Lyttons has published under Celia's and his sister LM's guidance, and he has lost all desire for his wife. Celia seeks comfort in the arms of a handsome new author, and as she falls into an all-consuming affair, she begins to contemplate leaving Oliver: "She would have to go; go with Sebastian. Anything else was madness. She explored the decision for a few minutes, waiting for uncertainty to return. It didn't." But as Celia struggles to make her life-altering decision, events around her cause her to see herself and her family in a new light and to ponder what her life would be like if she weren't a Lytton. Through life and death, exuberance and sorrow, honor and disgrace, Vincenzi perfectly captures the intricacies of her characters and creates plots captivating enough to keep readers eyes' glued to this long and hearty saga.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
First published in England, where it sold three-million copies, this story of a proto-feminist at the turn of the century makes the transatlantic transition quite well. When the story begins, Lady Celia is an 18-year-old woman who knows what she wants, and what she wants is Oliver Lytton, heir to a publishing company. She gets pregnant to get him and quickly becomes a talented book editor at his firm; soon career and family life collide. Vincenzi does a number of things very well, including creating love affairs that seem breathlessly real. She also does well at juggling the many subplots that make up a family saga, and she knows how to paint a backdrop: Oliver's life-shaking stint in World War I, though not exactly All Quiet on the Western Front , is deftly drawn. Somewhat less successful is her portrayal of several of the feminist characters, who, when displaying their liberationist tendencies, seem more twenty-first century than early twentieth. That aside, this sprawling melodrama is a natural for the Barbara Taylor Bradford crowd. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is what I would call 'a nice read'. It is a story to get lost in of another time and place. Look into the lifetimes of the characters without an agenda. Read morePublished 2 days ago by d mck
Really enjoyed this book,I'm onto the next one in the series nowPublished 1 month ago by Yvonne Cummings
For an extended review of this book and more, please visit http://fortheloveoftheread.blogspot.com
Penny Vincenzi is the queen of writing delicious novels. Read more
This is a great read to lose yourself in. Many interesting characters. I am reading the sequel now. Highly recommend.Published 4 months ago by Monica Owens
You can never go wrong with a Penny Vincenzi book. Pure escapism and great character development, hard to put down.Published 4 months ago by kathy
Great character development. Great story line. I am now reading the 2nd book in the seriesPublished 5 months ago by Bethany Matthews