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Sheer Abandon
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About the Author

Penny Vincenzi began her career as a junior secretary for Vogue and Tatler. She later worked as Fashion and Beauty Editor on magazines such as Woman's Own, before becoming a contributing editor for Cosmopolitan. She is the author of two humourous books and nine previous novels. Penny Vincenzi is married with four daughters.

Reviews

Three young British women meet on a plane to Thailand in 1985. A year later, on her way home after living the high life in Bangkok, one of them abandons her newborn baby in a broom closet at Heathrow. Fast-forward to 2000, when random circumstances reunite the three women-along with teenage Kate, who loves her nice, stable family but longs to find her birth mother. Who's the mum? There's gentle and caring Clio, a doctor trapped in a loveless marriage; high-powered and high-strung lawyer Martha, who's just been tapped to be a major political leader; or freewheeling tabloid reporter Jocasta, living glamorously in London. Vincenzi's (No Angel) novel starts with the promise of a page-turning romp a la Jackie Collins, but at more than 600 pages, it limps along. It is also heavy on the British jargon, which may throw some readers off. Others might think they've read the plot before-Shirley Conran's Lace, anyone? Unfortunately, this is a pale imitation. For larger women's fiction collections.[See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/07.]-Rebecca Vnuk, River Forest P.L., IL Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

British bestseller Vincenzi (No Angel) pulls out all the stops in this orchestral saga. In 1985, three young British women meet in a Heathrow departure lounge en route to precollege sojourns. One of them, upon her return to England, secretly gives birth and abandons the baby in a cleaning supplies closet at the airport; "Baby Bianca" captivates the public's sympathies until she is adopted. The mystery of who her mother is serves as the spine of this fat, satisfying novel, and Vincenzi creates multiple intrigues around the three women: Jocasta, a rising tabloid journalist (Vincenzi wrote for Vogue and Cosmopolitan); Clio, a physician specializing in geriatrics; and Martha, a corporate lawyer running for Parliament. It's 16 years before they all meet again, and Baby Bianca has matured into a stunning blonde teen, Kate, who is summarily exploited by a ruthless fashion editor as she searches for her mother. The various narrative themes crescendo through several all-hands-on-deck scenes, including a swank party where daughter almost meets mother, and a packed funeral where someone figures out who the father is. Although some of the male characters are too overbearing to be believed (especially Clio's sneering surgeon husband), the women are, without exception, multifaceted, smart and brave, and their happiness is hard won. A U.K. bestseller, the book offers major escape and abandon for summer. (May) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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