Thursday, 14 March 2013

Review of Love in the afternoon and other delights by Penny Vincenzi

 This is another of my favourite authors and my bookcase groans with the weight of some of her previous heavyweight by totally fabulous novels. This book is a wonderfully refreshing collection of her short stories and an insight into the author via interviews and memoirs.  I was a bit anxious that maybe her short stories wouldn't live up to my expectations as she paints such brilliant characters in her novels but I was not disappointed.

With the theme of love tying all the stories together there's divorce, marriage, affairs and family love all covered in the ten short stories.  It's hard to say which story I enjoyed the most but I particulary enjoyed a story called 'The Glimpses'.  This is the story of James.  He's a married family man that works in insurance. He takes family holidays in the south of France, has a dull sex life and wears Marks and Sparks socks.  He feels he's missing out on life and wants more.  He takes to visiting art galleries, designer furniture and clothing shops and dreams of living the highlife.  He's invited to an art function and suddenly his credit card takes a hit buying a designer outfit which will enable him to blend in with the crowd.

It's there he meets Georgina.  Young, beautiful and very rich.  It's not long before they are both meeting up for illicit lunches and he's spending more and more time with her. His credit card takes hit after hit and before long it's maxed out. However, they both fall head over heels in love and suddenly he's living the dream of Champagne, parties and nights in her clutter free designer apartment.

 He eventually slips up and his wife finds out about the affair and they ineviatably split up.  Throwing him out he heads over to Georgina's feeling happier then he's felt for years.  This is short lived as a Georgina has a bomb shell of her own to throw at him.

I really enjoyed this book and whizzed through it in a matter of two days.  It was also nice to learn a little more about one of my favourite authors and get a taster of her new novel which I can't wait to read in full.

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