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No Angel | [Penny Vincenzi]

No Angel

Enter the world of the rich charismatic Lytton family and their powerful publishing empire in this passionate family saga, spanning the Edwardian era to World War I and the excesses of the glamorous 20s. Enter the world of Celia LyttonÑa woman who is used to getting her way. She moves through life making difficult and often dangerous decisions that affect herself and others.
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Publisher's Summary

Enter the world of the rich charismatic Lytton family and their powerful publishing empire in this passionate family saga, spanning the Edwardian era to World War I and the excesses of the glamorous 20s. Enter the world of Celia LyttonÑa woman who is used to getting her way. She moves through life making difficult and often dangerous decisions that affect herself and others, not only her husband, Oliver, and their children; but the destitute Sylvia Miller, whose life is transformed by Celia's intrusion; Oliver's daunting elder sister, who is not all she appears to be; and Sebastian Brooke, for whom Celia makes the most dangerous decision of all.

©2004 Penny Vincenzi (P)2009 Phoenix

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (72 )
5 star
 (23)
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 (28)
3 star
 (13)
2 star
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1 star
 (4)
Overall
3.9 (47 )
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3 star
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2 star
 (5)
1 star
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Story
4.1 (47 )
5 star
 (18)
4 star
 (23)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Patricia J Dunn 08-21-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
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    50
    7
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    "Stay Away"

    I'm not above a good soap opera...Trollope, Dickens, etc., but this one was so bad that I must warn people about it. It's written in the Romance fiction genre as in Barbara Cartlen, etc. The love scenes are ridiculous. There is so much "fill" that one sits and waits for the plot to move on. The narrator does and okay job with the British accents except for the lower classes which cause one to wince every time she does one. Stereotypical cardboard characterizations throughout.
    A big disappointment.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yates East Windsor, NJ, United States 11-11-10
    Yates East Windsor, NJ, United States 11-11-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    40
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    58
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    "such a great read!"

    When I began this novel, I was dismayed when I realized the time period in which it took place. After all, I had recently read Ken Follett's "Fall of Giants" and I was afraid of getting bored with the "Roaring Twenties". Well, nothing could have been less truthful! The characters are unique and although some of the circumstances may be the same, the perceptions are what make the story, right? Bravo Ms. Vincenzi! You made me laugh, cry, and gasp with anticipation at many different times! I eagerly await more from you. No pressure! :-D

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annie Charleston, SC, United States 10-30-11
    Annie Charleston, SC, United States 10-30-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    5
    2
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    "Wonderful Book!"

    This book is a beautiful family saga that will engage you for hours. Hard to "put down". Highly recommended

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy 07-19-13
    Amy 07-19-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    Story
    "Interesting story"
    Any additional comments?

    This book does a good job of exploring a wide variety of human emotions that are still relevant in today's society. No, the story doesn't move fast, but that's not the point of the book. Interesting story, intriguing setting, and some fascinating plot twists.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia 03-16-13
    Patricia 03-16-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    58
    12
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    "Fun"

    While not exactly unpredictable, this very long book has enough twists and turns and sufficient character development to keep it interesting. This is a good beach "read". I will probably listen to others by this author.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lulu 08-08-12
    Lulu 08-08-12

    I ignore genre labels. Some of my favorite books are outside my genre comfort zone. Listening to audiobooks is still reading. Not theater.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    920
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1027
    186
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    245
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    "A fun to read soap opera that has some real meat"

    One of the most impressive aspects of this book is the main characters aren't really very likeable. Typically, if I don't like at least the main characters, I don't like the book. But the author does a very good job of taking unsympathetic people whose neck you would like to wring and make you care for them, regardless. Each of them means well just often enough that they cannot be totally without value.

    That is important because this is a very long book and it drags in places. What keeps it moving are the characters.

    The book does a very good job of portraying England during the 1st World War and the terrible affect it has on an entire generation of men and the sad but very liberating affecting it had on many women. She did a great job of driving home the point I often heard about post-World War II in the US. Women became used to holding responsible positions in the work place. They had authority. They kept businesses together during a very difficult time and in some cases actually created more profitable, more stable businesses, just for the men in their lives to come back and take over once the war was finished. She showed how destroying the combination of the ex-soldier's ghosts, the tragedy he witnessed and the woman's resentment at having everything taken away from her once she had a taste of freedom could be on a marriage, a family, an economy and a nation.

    It also paints an interesting portrait at a critical time in British history - the blurring of the classes- the crossing over that occurred and how it affected the country going forward.

    There are 2 more books in this series. Audible does not have them. If they did I would read them.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Kansas City, MO, United States 05-19-12
    Laura Kansas City, MO, United States 05-19-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
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    "A Great Soap Opera"

    This book reminded me of Susan Howatch's earlier books. It is a big book full of big and flawed characters. As I read it my alliances and sympathies jumped from character to character and back again. There were a few weak sections. The heroine's "should I or should I not" debate over leaving her husband for her lover went on way too long. And her mothering skills and actions were inconsistent. But overall this was a great story. Finally, it gave a great description of how the end of the war affected the women back home in Britain, who had been running the country only to be rudely displaced upon the return home of the soldiers.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jeannie Ventura, CA, United States 06-23-10
    jeannie Ventura, CA, United States 06-23-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    "interesting but not enough"

    I enjoyed the book but, it fell short in the end, it wrapped up to easily. I was interested, but not consumed by this story.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Becky Ulrey 08-10-14
    Becky Ulrey 08-10-14 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved This Saga"
    Would you consider the audio edition of No Angel to be better than the print version?

    Yes, because Carrington MacDuffie was so wonderful a performer.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Loved the characters, all unique and interesting.


    Have you listened to any of Carrington MacDuffie’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. I thought she was absolutely perfect. Never enjoyed a reader as much.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There were themes that particularly moved me, about love and adultery.


    Any additional comments?

    Loved Celia's mother. Very much a comic relief to an otherwise serious novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Ridgeway, Ontario, Canada 04-05-14
    Heather Ridgeway, Ontario, Canada 04-05-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
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    "Don't make the mitake I made - SAVE YOUR CREDIT!!!"
    What would have made No Angel better?

    A narrator with an an English accent.
    An author who could write.


    What was most disappointing about Penny Vincenzi’s story?

    Most disappointing was that I bought it (on a friend's recommendation)
    and wasted a precious credit.


    What didn’t you like about Carrington MacDuffie’s performance?

    The HORRENDOUS accents!!!!!!!
    I have no idea where she acquired the voices and accents, but she should get her money back as I wish I could.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from No Angel?

    Since I listened to only three chapters - I would have cut them all.


    Any additional comments?

    I am sorry I bought the book.
    I will not waste another minute in hoping that the narrator, or the book will improve!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 10 results
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  • Polly
    Worcestershire
    7/2/10
    Overall
    "A thoroughly enjoyable read"

    Penny Vincenzi at her best. I loved this audiobook and kept listening at every opportunity. It flowed well and was easy to follow. My only criticism was the reader's cockney accent - it's terrible. However, the book is 26 hours long so you do get used to it after a while so don't let this put you off.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Simon
    St Helier, United Kingdom
    1/28/11
    Overall
    "English book,American accent - why?"

    This was a lovely book predominantly featuring English aristocracy around the First World War. So why the American accent? It detracted so much from the story that I nearly gave up and read the book instead! Some of the pronunciations were so excruciatingly wrong that I wondered who had edited the audio book? I practically hit the roof over ' Passchendaele' in particular. If you can get over the accent then you'll enjoy the story. It has been difficult to rate the book and I eventually settled on 4 out of 5 - a different narrator would have been 5 stars.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Sharon
    Angmering, United Kingdom
    4/8/12
    Overall
    "Great read, shame about the narrator"

    Who's bright idea was it to have an American narrator for what is undeniably an English/England inspired read? The Aussie/cockney accent is atrocious not to mention the complete mispronunciation of English counties and other oddities that we, British born and bred, have enough difficulty with! All that having been said, No Angel is a great read and at 26 hours certainly worth the price of the audio book. Ms Vicenzi has a great way with words and knows how to tell a story and engage the listener and once I stopped sniggering at the mispronunciations etc, found myself eager to listen and enjoy right to the end.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Jacqui
    crowleUnited Kingdom
    11/28/10
    Overall
    "No Angel"

    This is by far the best book I have ever read BUT WHY oh WHY use an american to read a quintessential english novel. Her accent is absolutely terrible, the book is FAB!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • C
    Ipswich, United Kingdom
    8/11/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Book was Ok, but some of the accents were awful"
    Would you try another book written by Penny Vincenzi or narrated by Carrington MacDuffie?

    I would not buy another book, set in England, narrated by Carrington MacDuffie


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The story was OK. It was the awful accents and pronounciation that made it unenjoyable.


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Carrington MacDuffie?

    As the story was set for at least 95% of the time in England, I would have cast an English narrator. Or, at the very least, someone who could immitate an English accent. To be fair, there were one or two accents that were believable (the totally sterotypical upper class ones), but most were absolutely cringe worthy. I was pleased when one of the characters died because it meant I didn't have to listen to his totally unrealistic voice again.

    Names, places and words were mispronounced constantly. I accept that Americans pronounce some words differently, but when an English character is saying things in a way that only an American would, it ruins the flow the story.

    Carrington MacDuffie is obviously a very comptetant narrator, but not when it comes to English accents and pronounciations.


    Did No Angel inspire you to do anything?

    No Angel almost inspired me to return the book for a refund!

    The book was good. The storyline was fine. It was the narration that totally spoilt it for me.

    I might buy another book by the same author, but I would definitely check who was narrating it first, or buy it in a different format (ie Kindle or 'real' book)


    Any additional comments?

    It was the narration that spoilt it for me. Most of the accents were painful to the ear.

    Why on earth was an American narrator chosen for this project?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • E
    Chester, United Kingdom
    8/2/12
    Overall
    "Only on the first book..."

    but the narrator is driving me daft !..Why, oh why would anyone in their right mind employ this lady to read this story??!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Yonkers, New York, United States
    6/21/12
    Overall
    "why, oh why"

    is an American-accented narrator reading this totally English book? While the narrator has a pleasant voice and the book is fine (passes the time while doing boring chores), the accent's like chalk scraping on an old-fashioned blackboard. note to self: listen to the sample before buying the book! (she also mispronounces place names which easily could be correctly pronounced, even with the 'wrong'accent: that's just plain lazy)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Joy
    United Kingdom
    5/28/12
    Overall
    "More Please"

    The cockney accent very Dick Van Dyke!!! The story riveting - I couldn't stop listening. Penny at her absolute best - the biggest disappointment this is the first of trilogy - when do we do we get the rest I'm hooked on the Lyttons! What happens next?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • liz
    United Kingdom
    11/21/11
    Overall
    "No Angel"

    I want ALL Penny's books via Audible, but the majority of them are abridged, and I hate that. Penny succeeds in writing about issues we all wonder about, but with a flair that you cannot possibly stop reading.
    So please, will you get them all in the UNABRIDGED format please, because whatever she writes is Brilliant and compelling, As is this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • G2gilly
    4/15/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "No angel"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes it was superb from start to end


    What did you like best about this story?

    The way it gave you a taste of the problems that the rich and privileged had through out the years leading up too and after the First World War , it is a gripping tale and well worth the time . Excellent novel .


    What does Carrington MacDuffie bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    She is magnificent bringing both the females and males to life, an exceptional narrator.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Money, power and deceit.


    Any additional comments?

    The most wonderful book I have listened too this year 5 stars all the way and thank you to Carrington McDuffie for a outstanding narrative .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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