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Publisher's Summary

A searing portrait of wealthy living, and the highs - and lows - that come with it in a dazzling novel from Sunday Times best-selling author Penny Vincenzi. Perfect for any reader of Kate Morton, Elizabeth Buchan or Harriet Evans.

There's nothing like the contentment and security that money can bring. That's how it is for Lucinda, Elizabeth and Flora, living the risk-free dream in the glittering eighties. Houses, holidays, happiness - everything is there for the taking.

The financial slide comes crashing into their lives with a vengeance, and everything they've built up so carefully dissolves into a pool of hopelessness, taking self-respect and relationships with it. Now, the secrets will out and within a year, someone will be dead.

©2007 Penny Vincenzi (P)2012 Headline Publishing Group Limited

Critic Reviews

"Buy on a Friday, get home, turn off the phone and emerge on Monday replete with a tale well told. Guilty pleasures? We certainly all have them and this is better than most." ( Daily Express)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Pleasant Surprise

For some reason I was expecting a standard Chick-Lit book and didn't realise this was such a long and at times quite serious story but regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

There are a lot of characters who have their own individual stories but they do interlink and after a bit, and with the great narration, I was able to remember each character and who was who.

The story is pretty much about rich people who, as members of Lloyds of London, now face the prospect of losing everything they own. I didn't feel overly sorry for them but the story kept me riveted and wanting to know how it all pans out for each person/couple.

I always know it’s a good book when I listen to it not just at the gym but when I go shopping, clean the house, go for a drive etc. I just had to know what happened to everyone.

I do recommend this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jan
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • 09-01-13

Penny Vincenzi of course it was good

I love anything Penny Vincenzi writes but this was so worth reading. Good story great narrater. Well worth it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tinker
  • Craighall, South Africa
  • 09-26-12

Another wonderful read

As usual her book has an excellent story line, just a pity the ending was 'unfinished' and left me a trifle let down. Did they succeed with the court case or what?

Jilly Bond was excellent.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Patricia
  • 05-06-15

Awful awful snobby characters.

What disappointed you about An Absolute Scandal?

Everything. The narrator's overdone clipped posh accent was sickening after a while and I found myself imitating her (got quite good at it). I carried on listening in the hope they would all die - no such luck. My hopes were raised when it looked like the dreadful, overbearing Flora was going to drown, but somehow she survived. The Lloyds crash caused the poor dears to sell their second or third estates, get rid of the horses and posh cars, and limit their intake of champagne and caviar. Although they had raked money in for years without a second thought. Maybe I was a bit harsh wishing them all dead, perhaps sticking the whole lot of them in a multi-storey council block with broken lifts and the odd drug dealer next door would be more appropriate. Oh, how absolutely
f r i g h t f u l !

Would you recommend An Absolute Scandal to your friends? Why or why not?

No - I challenge you to get through it without throwing up.

What three words best describe Jilly Bond’s performance?

Cut glass - ahhh!

What character would you cut from An Absolute Scandal?

Lucinda

Any additional comments?

It's far far too long.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lynda
  • 09-17-13

An easy listen which compelling and unputdownable!

What made the experience of listening to An Absolute Scandal the most enjoyable?

The characters were very real and lovable. The narration was superb and brought both characters and story to life. The historical content added believability and actually informed me of issues in an era I lived through, but did not give much consideration to.

What did you like best about this story?

I loved the way it wove together, blending and binding the characters lives. It was like a mini drama series and I kept longing to get back to it to find out what happened next. The fact that it was based on historical fact gave it a certain kudos for me. I especially loved Lucinda and Florence.

What about Jilly Bond’s performance did you like?

Jilly Bond was fantastic. She had all the characters quirks down to a t and made them real and believable. Her accents were pretty perfect and she truly brought the story to life. I will be looking out for more of her work, and indeed have already bought another book read by her.

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

Posh folk ain't that bad!

Any additional comments?

I will be reading more of this author. Absolutely fantastic. Thank you audible.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • mollymoon1
  • 07-21-13

Fluffly, light, listenableness!!!!!

Penny Vincenzi has hit the spot with this light and sensitive work - I enjoyed listening to her book over 10 years ago - Almost a Crime and I totally enjoyed that book - it was light - easy to follow - and a damn good story - well - this one is too, and what a fabulous choice of reader - Jilly Bond is so good at those posh 80's voices - you are positively thrown back to the time! - when you have had enough of the heavy going books and just want something that is not too demanding on the ear - go for this one - she writes really well, lovely English, beautiful story and I would highly recommend as an in between book for those who like to read the hard, heavy, have to think a lot about books - its just whats needed in the middle. Good work Penny Vincenzi, looking forward to some more.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Vix
  • 06-18-15

Sucks you in!!

I must admit when I started listening to this book I really struggled! The narration was so high pitched it hurt my ears but I kept going! I'm so glad!! The story of the different families and there struggles and conquests just sucks you in and you need to hear more, you laugh and cry with them. Well worth a listen!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Noleen
  • 12-28-13

Fantastic, gripping story. Didn't want it to end

Would you consider the audio edition of An Absolute Scandal to be better than the print version?

Probably, The narrator cleverly changes voices for the characters which makes the story more interesting

What did you like best about this story?

The way the author confuses the readers emotions. You both like and dislike all the characters as, like all of us, each character has positive and negative characteristics which create confusing emotions for the reader. She introduces both sides of the story for every character and leaves the reader to build their own opinion. Really brilliantly written

Which character – as performed by Jilly Bond – was your favourite?

Simon Beaumont

Any additional comments?

Would highly recommend this read/listen. So much so that I have already purchased for a couple of friends

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-10-13

A Riveting listen

It's one of those books that you really don't want to stop listenng to. You click it on while you do the washing up and while you're making the bed. Makes chores quite a pleasure. The story is full of well described and mainly very likeable characters all drawn together by the central plot. You want to get to the end to know what happened, but you don't want the book to be over.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bridget Nodder
  • 09-17-18

Superb!

Absolutely brilliant book, fantastic narrator in jilly bond. Really got lost in the story
Felt that I knew all the characters

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Julie
  • 08-31-18

Lost in the story - didn't want it to end

I have now listened to all Penny's books. I love the fact they are so long, you get your monies worth and never fail to completely loose me in the story without being too difficult to follow. I normally listen to audio books when I am doing my housework, driving to work etc so need something that is enthralling but not difficult to follow. The first chapters always need a little more concentration until you get to know who is who but after that I get lost in the book. My housework gets done a lot quicker too. Enjoy!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kate
  • 08-28-18

Loved it - So easy to listen to!

It was a lovely book with some great and almost believable characters. I really grew to care about them. It’s a very long book but I didn’t get bored of it for a second like I have with most of the books I have listened to that are a similar length. I really do recommend it and I’ll definitely be listening to more of this writer!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Vivienne nunn
  • 05-03-18

fantastic<br /><br />

absolutely loved the story and delivery. I think jilly bond is a fantastic reader.

I want more

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sally
  • 05-09-15

Classic Penny Vincenzi

Great for fans or for a first introduction - this saga kept me listening happily for the full 32 hours. Great entertainment in the chick lit/ saga category.