Author: Penny Vincenzi
Published: October 2015, The Overlook Press
Format: Hardcover, 768 pages
The House of Farrell - home of The Cream, an iconic face product that has seen women flocking to its bijoux flagship store in the Berkeley Arcade since 1953.
At Farrell, you can rely on the personal touch. The legendary Athina Farrell remains the company's figurehead and in her kingdom at the Berkeley Arcade, Florence Hamilton plies their cosmetics with the utmost discretion. She is sales advisor - and holder of secrets - extraordinaire.
But of course the world of cosmetics is changing and the once glorious House of Farrell is now in decline, its customers tempted away by more fashionable brands.
Enter Bianca Bailey, formidable business woman, mother of three, and someone who always gets her way. Athina and Bianca lock horns over the future of the House of Farrell but it is the past that tells its devastating tale of ambition and ego, passion and wonder.
Here is a tale of survival ... and a perfect heritage.
My thoughts: I've been wanting to read Penny Vincenzi for a while now - I even have a few of her older books on my shelf just waiting to be read. So of course, I jumped at the opportunity to read and review her newest book. The synopsis had me intrigued and as soon as I started reading, I knew I would love it.
While it's a fairly sizable book at over 750 pages, it moves rather quickly, sweeping you up in the world of cosmetics and The House of Farrell. It was almost like reading a soap opera in a sense, where it kept moving around so often amongst all the different story lines that were going on. While there were chapters, each is further broken down into shorter segments, little blitzes almost, on what is going on with each of the many characters and so you might not come back to one character for a while. But then there are times when it stays with the same story line for quite a bit. I really enjoyed this way of telling the story - it kept me hooked and glued to the pages, wanting to keep reading a bit more to get back to either a certain character or story line.
There were so many fun, almost delicious characters - you either really liked them or really disliked them - and then there some that were just so-so, rather bland characters, there to serve a purpose, but didn't really add much else. Of the more likeable/dislikeable characters, these were the ones I couldn't get enough of. Some were so strong and power-hungry, they didn't care who was in their way as they bulldozed their way to the top and then there those that were so weak that they were pushed around with the least amount of effort. You just wanted to scream and shake some sense into them! I'm always a sucker for the underdog and there were quite a few here, some that do get their due eventually, and some that remain where they are.
When I first started reading this, I was reminded of one of my favorite books, Barbara Taylor Bradford's A Woman of Substance. That was what called to me when I read the synopsis and stayed with me as I read the whole book. I loved that book, and the subsequent books what made up that series, and would so love to see this book turn into a series. I don't know if that's what Penny Vincenzi has planned, but boy would I love it if she did!!! In the meantime, I am now more eager than ever to pick up those books I have of Penny's and start reading them...I really do enjoy her style of reading!
GIVEAWAY DETAILS - (US only)
Thanks to the publisher, one reader can win a copy of A Perfect Heritage by Penny Vincenzi. To enter the giveaway, please fill out the form by October 5th.
This giveaway is open to US residents only and ends October 5th.