Eleanor Blair (lnr) wrote,
Eleanor Blair

27: No Angel: Penny Vincenzi: ISBN 0-75284-310-9

Sometimes I'm in the mood to read trashy novels like this. I think I got it from my friend Claire at school, who used to lend me her Jilly Cooper and Danielle Steele. Those two are kind of at opposite ends of a spectrum that this book lies in the middle of. Set in early 20th century London it mostly follows Celia Lytton and her family and friends, through a series of friendships, loves, children, arguments, and deaths with a background of the family publishing business and with the first world war throwing a darker seam through the middle of the book.

It's kept me amused for a few days anyway. The people in it are sympathetic enough that I cared what happened to them. But still complex and interesting, rather than completely flat one-dimensional creatures. There was one trick which was rather nice of following a disaster-waiting-to-happen around the place, with several occasions where it nearly falls one way or another, and seemed quite nicely done. It seemed almost a shame to reuse exactly the same trick later in the book, although by this point it was so close to the end of the book it was clear which way it was going to fall, which reduced its effectiveness significantly too. It was a pleasing enough denouement though.

This is the first of a trilogy, and I suspect from the last paragraphs wondering about the fate of the American side of the family that the second one will be focused on the other side of the pond, which was only touched upon for a short while in this one. I already have the next volume, since in fact I bought it first not realising it was a sequel. I think I might try something a bit more challenging in the meantime and save it for a rainy day when I just need something to perk me up.

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