Thursday, April 23, 2009
Penny Vincenzi = Deliciously Trashy
I've been reading Penny Vincenzi's book Windfall for weeks and have finally finished - no surprise considering it's 838 pages long and I like to take my time with Vincenzi's books. You see, they're like an ice cream treat that you don't have every day but when you do, you want to make it last. My husband is always surprised when I'm reading a Vincenzi book 'What is it with her?', 'That doesn't look like the sort of book you normally read.' he says. I don't know what it is, I cannot put my finger on what exactly attracts me to these long, trashy, romantic, devastating and melodramatic stories of (usually) wealthy people in extreme and unlikely circumstances living in Britain.
Windfall takes place in mid 1930's Britain, London mostly, during the time that Edward was King and pining after Mrs. Wallis Simpson. Cassia Fallon is the mother of three young children and wife of the town's doctor. As we come to know her, we see that see has indeed given up a lot of herself to wind up in her current role, and there seems no more worthy person to receive a large sum of money upon the death of her beloved godmother. After she receives this legacy, Cassia's behavior becomes really quite horrid and if it weren't Vincenzi writing this book we would loathe her. However, in this case somehow the reader does not mind (so much) Cassia's selfishness and neglect of her home and family but instead wonders where life will take her. Along the way, Cassia realizes that something seems not quite right about the money left to her and she seeks answers, both about the money and the rest of her life.
I have read quite a few of Vincenzi's books, and I would count this among my favorites. I love being completely immersed in the worlds she creates and as I get towards the end (say, around 200 pages from the end) I always start to feel a bit sad that the story is coming to a close.
If you like this sort of thing - I highly recommend Penny Vincenzi. I couldn't read books like this all the time, but I consider her a treat.