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The Best of Times


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About the Author

Since her first novel, OLD SINS, was published in 1989, Penny Vincenzi has written fourteen novels, most recently AN ABSOLUTE SCANDAL, a massive Sunday Times" No.1 bestseller. After college she worked as a journalist, writing for The Times", Vogue" and Cosmopolitan "amongst many others, before turning to fiction. Over five million copies of Penny's books have been sold worldwide and she is one of the UK's best-loved and most popular authors. Penny Vincenzi is married, with four daughters, and lives in London.


Vincenzi (An Absolute Scandal) never ceases to entertain. Her latest novel engages readers in the lives of the drivers, passengers, and onlookers who become entangled after surviving a major collision on a London highway. We are briefly introduced to each character and then zoomed to the crash; the rest of the story details how each person is changed by the crash, the friendships made through surviving, and, of course, the love lives of each individual. The characters are from all different walks of life, from a doctor to a farmer and a young actress to a matriarch, and we see them try to make up for wicked mistakes they made in the past and "fix" their lives. Vincenzi even throws in a twist, using a mysterious hitchhiker as the only person who actually saw what really happened at the crash. VERDICT Vincenzi introduces so many characters that sometimes it is hard to keep track of who is who, but, overall, this is an exciting, intriguing, saucy novel. A perfect summer vacation read. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 3/1/09.]-Marianne Fitzgerald, Annapolis, MD Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Bestseller Vincenzi's diverting if charmless latest delves into the lives of a massive cast brought together by a multicar accident on a London highway. The brisk, journalistic style makes it hard to fall for any of the characters, whose lives are filled with high and low drama: a truck driver racked with guilt over the accident; his terrified passenger, who flees the scene; a successful doctor trying to break up with his mistress; a groom and best man already late for the wedding due to scandalous circumstances; and a widow headed to reunite with a past love. After the crisis, their lives intertwine tangentially as, among others, the best man starts a relationship with an ER doctor, the truck driver's wife becomes close with the widow, and the mistress falls for the farmer whose land overlooks the accident scene. The story brings them all back together at the inquest, the cause of the accident is revealed and apologies are made. Though everyone gets their predictably happy ending, the way the obvious resolutions drag out makes this something like a once-enjoyable guest who has long outstayed his welcome. (July) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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