Love in the Afternoon and other delights by Penny Vincenzi

In brief: A group of short stories and essays focusing on love and relationships.

The good: It’s Penny Vincenzi.

The not-so-good: I have now read everything by her!

Why I chose it: The last Penny Vincenzi book on the shelf to read.

Year: 2013

Pages: 193

Publisher: Headline Review (Hachette)

Setting: England

My rating: 9 out of 10

In general, I’m not too much of a short story fan but I will read absolutely anything that Penny Vincenzi writes. I adore her grand novels of love, family, fortune and loss but of course, they take time to write. Love in the Afternoon and other delights was the last of her books I had on the shelf. It seemed a perfect time just before Christmas to dip in and out of these short stories and writings as it was such a busy period.

I was a little sceptical about how Penny Vincenzi would be able to tie up everything in a story over 20 pages instead of 600. I was also a bit worried if they would have the same sparkle as her novels. Of course, I worried needlessly. The stories are instantly recognisable as Vincenzi’s and the endings work beautifully. The main theme is as the title suggests, love. But it’s not just romance. There is the love between father and son (The Mermaid) and the reluctance of the son to allow a new woman into his father’s life. There are a few affairs too (Love in the Afternoon and The Glimpses, which has the best ending!). The Brooch explores sisterly love and the argumentative side that crushes it. There are also some articles by Penny Vincenzi, on getting older to her favourite books. I really enjoyed this part of the book, as I really don’t hear too much about authors themselves, let alone in written format! She proves that she is just as sparkly and witty when writing fact in addition to fiction.

Sadly, this was a fast read but it confirmed that I will definitively read anything of Penny Vincenzi’s work. I love the British tone of her novels, and the peek into the big houses and lavish parties. But most of all, I loved the twists in this short stories – they were truly delightful.

My Memorable Books of 2016

2016 has been a memorable year for a number of reasons, some good and some not so good across the world. When it came to reflecting on my most memorable books of the year, my first draft came at 15 books out of a possible 72 (21%) that I’ve reviewed on the blog! I noticed that I chose a lot of books that were funny, feel good or just plain enjoyable. That reflects my year – very busy and reading was for a time of relaxation and switching off from the world.

I’ve got six books on the ‘to be reviewed’ list, so I haven’t included them in this list but there are some great reads to come.

Here are my top 10 books that I loved in 2016, in no particular order:

While it might seem that I have a thing for blue covers, all these books made me laugh way too loudly in public, cry, exclaim out loud or smile repeatedly. Many thanks to the authors who wrote these wonderful books – you are gold! Thanks to the people who suggested that I’d love a particular book/author, you made this bookworm very happy!

What are your books of the year? Do we share any, or have I missed your favourites?

A Perfect Heritage by Penny Vincenzi

In brief: The House of Farrell, leading cosmetics brand of many years ago, is now almost bankrupt. The family business will need to take on an outsider in Bianca Bailey to attempt to turn its fortunes around.

The good: It’s Penny Vincenzi, so you know this will be a wonderful story.

The not-so-good: Some of the history of Florence and her lover was a little long at times.

Why I chose it: I will read anything Penny Vincenzi writes. Even better if it’s so heavy that I can’t lift the novel by one hand!

Year: 2014

Pages: 753

Publisher: Headline Review (Hachette)

Setting: London, France, Sydney…around the world really!

My rating: 9.5 out of 10

The words Penny Vincenzi and cosmetics company when combined got me all in a flutter when I heard about this book. I love Penny’s books and I’m a cosmetics junkie so when she writes about this, of course I’m going to read it! The real question is, why did it take me so long? I think I wanted to savour this big book, so I waited until I was on holidays to really get the most out of it (translation: stay up very, very late reading). It’s also pretty big at 753 pages, and I don’t read too many chunksters these days for unknown, likely trivial reasons.

A Perfect Heritage has everything I want in a Penny Vincenzi book:

  • Gorgeous dress on front cover
  • A list of characters (I literally swoon over these, then think I’ll never remember them all but of course, I do because Penny Vincenzi is a master at making each one a complete individual)
  • A number of boardroom battles, cloaked in civility
  • Some truly gorgeous characters
  • At least one heinous villain
  • Blind twists in plot
  • A happily ever after for the characters I’ve come to regard as close friends.

The storyline of A Perfect Heritage centres on The House of Farrell, a decaying cosmetics house that hasn’t kept up with the times. It clings to one hero product, The Cream, but it’s outdated and old-ladyish. Enter Bianca Bailey (top business mind with an awesome name) to turn the company around and make it popular again in the Queen’s Jubilee year. Bianca knows what hard work is, but she hadn’t thought that working with Lady Athina Farrell, co-founder would be so difficult. Lady Farrell sees herself as THE name and The Boss of the company. She’s also not averse to underhand tactics to get her way. It’s a full battle to try to bring the House of Farrell forward, which has disastrous effects on Bianca’s home life. The employees of the House of Farrell, both old and new, have their own problems and secrets. Some of these in turn could be problematic for the company…

One of the strengths of Penny Vincenzi’s writing for me is the detail she puts into her characters. I now know so much about Bianca, husband Patrick and their children I feel like I should be sending them a Christmas card this year! Each member of this novel’s cast is intricately drawn and truly individual. No need to refer to the character list after very long! I could see the lines of stress on Bianca’s face as Athina usurped her and the joy as she solved a seemingly unsurmountable problem. I could see Bertie Farrell bumbling around the office blindly, yet caring so much for his staff. I cried with Susie as she was blackmailed and all along, the wise eyes of Florence helped to guide the House of Farrell gently but forcibly forward.

There’s a lot of tension in this book as the House of Farrell falls into one calamity after another. Some were so dire that I couldn’t possibly see how Bianca and co could find a way out. True, not all of the solutions were successful but this dose of real life only made the story sparkle more for me. A page-turner with an engaging set of characters – what more could you ask for in a book?

Mailbox Monday 23/6/14

There was nothing in my mailbox all of last week – possibly a good thing, as it’s been raining and windy most of the week. Not the safest book weather! I did brave the weather on Saturday to get my hands on several new releases. I did get drenched on the way back to the car (my jumper still isn’t dry 24 hours later), but I think it was worth it to pick these up. What do you think?

I’m a huge fan of Penny Vincenzi (she’s an auto-buy for me), so I needed to buy A Perfect Heritage. At 753 pages, this sounds good. It’s about a cosmetics house, warring women in business and ‘ambition and ego, passion and wonder’. Plus, you have to love a book with a character list! I don’t think The Silkworm needs much of an introduction, being from J.K. Rowling / Robert Galbraith, but it’s the second book featuring Cormoran Strike, private detective. He’s investigating a missing novelist, which turns into murder. I just love the names J.K. Rowling comes up with – why didn’t we twig last year?

I read a short story last week by Melanie Milburne (Engaged at the Chatsfield) and I’ve been completely sucked into the luxury hotel world of The Chatsfield. This is an interactive series, with eBooks, books, novellas and a website where you can ‘check in’ (my book even has a reservation number for my ‘stay’!). I’m a little bit late to the series, so couldn’t find book 1 (you can still get it online) but there’s 8 books in total. They’ll be out once a month. This is perfect light reading for me when I’m snowed under or just after something fun and light. I also read Marion Lennox for the first time early this year and found her books fun and light-hearted. I couldn’t resist three medical stories (medical books are my catnip as Smart Bitches, Trashy Books would say)! Seriously, if anyone could recommend medical fiction of any type, I’d be grateful.

Do stop in at the Mailbox Monday blog for links to everyone’s mailbox goodies. Overseen by Vicki (I’d Rather Be at the Beach), Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) and Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit), I’m sure you’ll find something you want to read, as well as more great books!

Exciting New Book Releases for June 2014

Sometimes being crazily busy has its benefits – namely that when I’ve got time, I can sit down and finally read all the emails relating to new releases. Here’s a sample of my wish list for June – please note that all release dates are Australian, which may be earlier or later than your country. I’ve also chosen these books on my own fancy, though I do admit that shiny catalogues and pretty emails entice me to look further…

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey

From the publisher (Penguin Australia):

What if you could remember just one thing?

Maud is forgetful.  She makes a cup of tea and doesn’t remember to drink it.  She goes to the shops and forgets why she went.  Back home she finds the place horribly unrecognizable – just like she sometimes thinks her daughter Helen is a total stranger.

But there’s one thing Maud is sure of: her friend Elizabeth is missing.  The note in her pocket tells her so.  And no matter who tells her to stop going on about it, to leave it alone, to shut up, Maud will get to the bottom of it.

Because somewhere in Maud’s damaged mind lies the answer to an unsolved seventy-year-old mystery.  One everyone has forgotten about.

Everyone, except Maud . . .

I think: this will be not only interesting, but a heartbreaking insight into dementia. Part mystery and part unveiling of the ageing mind – this book is going to be fascinating.

 

 

A Perfect Heritage by Penny Vincenzi

From the publisher (Hachette Australia):

A family. A firm. A lifetime of secrets. A PERFECT HERITAGE is the irresistible new novel from the No. 1 bestselling author Penny Vincenzi, the original and the best.

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 within the Berkeley Arcade, Florence Hamilton plies their cosmetics with the utmost discretion. She is sales advisor – and holder of secrets – extraordinaire.

But the world of cosmetics is changing, and the once-perfect heritage of the House of Farrell is now under threat, its customers tempted away by more fashionable brands.

Enter Bianca Bailey, formidable businesswoman, 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… and survival.

I think: it’s no secret I am desperate for this book as I adore all of Penny Vincenzi’s books. She writes books combining work, love, family and history in a seamless, unputdownable fashion. At 528 pages, I’ll be AWOL all weekend and then some!

Written in my own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon

From the publisher (Hachette Australia):

The latest epic volume in the multi-million-copy bestselling Outlander series.

It is June 1778, and the world seems to be turning upside-down. The British Army is withdrawing from Philadelphia, with George Washington in pursuit, and for the first time, it looks as if the rebels might actually win. But for Claire Fraser and her family, there are even more tumultuous revolutions that have to be accommodated.

Her former husband, Jamie, has returned from the dead, demanding to know why in his absence she married his best friend, Lord John Grey. Lord John’s son, the ninth Earl of Ellesmere, is no less shocked to discover that his real father is actually the newly-resurrected Jamie Fraser, and Jamie’s nephew Ian Murray discovers that his new-found cousin has an eye for the woman who has just agreed to marry him.

And while Claire is terrified that one of her husbands may be about to murder the other, in the 20th century her descendants face even more desperate turns of events. Her daughter Brianna is trying to protect her son from a vicious criminal with murder on his mind, while her husband Roger has disappeared into the past…

I think: I’m really looking forward to reading more in the Outlander series, as I devoured the first four books about Claire and Jamie during uni holidays one year. It looks like things are getting complicated though in this time travel series – but I know I’ll enjoy the 800 page tome!

Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth


From the publisher (Allen & Unwin):

You know how it is. Saturday afternoon. You wake up and you can’t move. I blinked and the floaters on my eyeballs shifted to reveal Tyler in her ratty old kimono over in the doorway. ‘Way I see it,’ she said, glass in one hand, lit cigarette in the other, ‘girls are tied to beds for two reasons: sex and exorcisms. So, which was it with you?’

Laura and Tyler are best friends who live together, angrily philosophising and leading each other astray in the pubs and flats of Manchester. But things are set to change. Laura is engaged to teetotal Jim, the wedding is just months away, and Tyler becomes hell-bent on sabotaging her friend’s plans for a different life.

Animals is a hilarious, moving and refreshingly honest tale of how a friendship can become the ultimate love story.

I think: I have read so many good things about Emma Jane Unsworth from UK bloggers that I’m really looking forward to this one. It seems like an honest story about friendship, no holds barred.

 

 

Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch

From the publisher (Text Publishing):

When a medical procedure goes horribly wrong and famous actor Ralph Meier winds up dead, Dr Marc Schlosser needs to come up with some answers. After all, reputation is everything in this business. Personally, he’s not exactly upset that Ralph is gone, but as a high profile doctor to the stars, Marc can’t hide from the truth forever.

It all started the previous summer. Marc, his wife, and their two beautiful teenage daughters agreed to spend a week at the Meier’s extravagant summer home on the Mediterranean. Joined by Ralph and his striking wife Judith, her mother, film director Stanley Forbes and his much younger girlfriend, the large group settles in for days of sunshine, wine tasting, and trips to the beach. But when a violent incident disrupts the idyll, darker motivations are revealed, and suddenly no one can be trusted. As the ultimate holiday soon turns into a nightmare, the circumstances surrounding Ralph’s (later) death begin to reveal the disturbing reality behind that summer’s tragedy.

Featuring the razor-sharp humour and acute psychological insight that made The Dinner an international phenomenon, Summer House with Swimming Pool is a controversial, thought-provoking novel that showcases Herman Koch at his finest.

I think: that this book by the author of The Dinner could raise just as many animated discussions for book clubs as his previous work. I’m interested to find out the mystery behind it all…

 

Have you read any of these books? Which ones interest you?

Mailbox Monday 20/1/14

A new year means a new home for Mailbox Monday. Originally created by Marcia of To Be Continued, you can find the linky list all year round at Mailbox Monday.

Fortunately the weather cooled down last week in the West, but not until a bushfire had claimed 55 homes. There are still a number of bushfires raging in South Australia and Victoria after the heat moved east. It’s really not nice when the ABC Emergency tweets are prominent in the Twitter timeline. My thoughts go out to everyone who has lost something or someone.

In terms of books this week, I bought three from Bookworld’s post-Christmas sale that were nicely discounted. Due to all the public holidays, the arrival was a bit delayed but it’s not like I don’t have anything to read! I chose three books:

The Book of Fate by Parinoush Saniee has intrigued me for quite a while. Translated from Persian, it is the story of Massoumeh in a changing Iran. I love the cover of My Life in Black and White by Kim Izzo. It’s about Clara, who goes to London to get her boyfriend back, but ends up investigating a mystery involving her grandmother. Penny Vincenzi is an author who is a ‘must-buy’ for me. Love in the Afternoon and other delights is not her usual thick novel, but a collection of short stories and newspaper articles. Plus, it has an excerpt from her new novel (no title given, but it may be A Kind of Promise or A Perfect Heritage, out mid-2014).

I also received a surprise book in the mail, courtesy of Penguin Australia and The Reading Room. It was a copy of Close Up by Kate Forster and I want those sunglasses on the cover! (Also the lipstick too – what a gorgeous red-coral).

This book is about three women from different backgrounds trying to make it in Hollywood. Described as racy and glamorous, I think it sounds like a perfect beach read!

What finds were inside your letterbox this week?

New Releases for March

Another new month upon us! I quite enjoy the start of the month because of the number of emails I receive from publishers and bookshops about their new releases. I’m always a sucker for a new release, so here are the books tempting me at the moment.

Heartbreak Hotel by Deborah Moggach (Random House)

From the website:

At Myrtle House, the twin beds have never been so busy…
The irrepressible Russell ‘Buffy’ Buffery has upped sticks from London and moved to a decrepit B&B in rural Wales. He needs to fill the beds, and what better way than with ‘Courses for Divorces’, his new money-making wheeze.
Those checking in include: Harold, whose wife has run off with a younger woman; Amy, who’s been unexpectedly dumped by her (not-so) weedy boyfriend and Andy, the hypochondriac postman whose girlfriend is much too much for him to handle.
Under Buffy’s tutelage, these casualties of the marriage-go-round find themselves re-learning all those skills never thought they’d need again, and a whole lot more besides…

The Vogue Factor by Kirstie Clements (Random House/University of Melbourne Press)

From the website:

In May 2012 Kirstie Clements was unceremoniously sacked after thirteen years in the editor’s chair at Vogue Australia. Here she tells the story behind the headlines, and takes us behind the scenes of a fast-changing industry.
During a career at Vogue that spanned twenty-five years, Clements rubbed shoulders with Karl Lagerfeld, Kylie Minogue, Ian Thorpe, Crown Princess Mary, Cate Blanchett, and many more shining stars. From her humble beginnings growing up in the Sutherland Shire in Sydney to her brilliant career as a passionate and fierce custodian of the world’s most famous luxury magazine brand, Clements warmly invites us into her Vogue world, a universe that brims with dazzling celebrities, fabulous lunches, exotic locales and of course, outrageous fashion.
Amidst the exhilaration and chaos of modern magazine publishing and the frenzied demands of her job, Clements is always steadfast in her dedication to quality. Above all, she is always Vogue.

(I’ve read an excerpt of this in a magazine and enjoyed it. I love behind the scenes stuff!)

Gossip by Beth Gutcheon (Allen and Unwin)

From the website:

Loviah French owns a boutique dress shop in Manhattan. She has two best friends: Dinah – a columnist covering New York’s wealthiest – and Avis – a prominent figure in the art world. Despite the deep affection they both feel for Loviah, Dinah and Avis have been allergic to one another since an incident decades earlier that has been remembered and resented. But when a marriage means that Dinah and Avis must set aside their differences, Loviah must manage her two friends’ secrets as wisely as she can. Which is not wisely enough, as things turn out – a fact that will have a shattering effect on all their lives.

Fractured by Dawn Barker (Hachette)

From the website:

A compelling, emotional knockout debut from a brilliant new Australian author.

An unforgettable novel that brings to life a new mother’s worst fears.

Tony is worried. His wife, Anna, isn’t coping with their newborn. Anna had wanted a child so badly and, when Jack was born, they were both so happy. They’d come home from the hospital a family. Was it really only six weeks ago?

But Anna hasn’t been herself since. One moment she’s crying, the next she seems almost too positive. It must be normal with a baby, Tony thought; she’s just adjusting. He had been busy at work. It would sort itself out. But now Anna and Jack are missing. And Tony realises that something is really wrong…

What happens to this family will break your heart and leave you breathless.

(Dr Dawn Barker will be speaking at the South Perth library in May if you are in W.A.!)

Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O’Farrell (Hachette)

From the website:

The stunning new novel from Costa-Novel-Award-winning novelist Maggie O’Farrell is a portrait of an Irish family in crisis in the legendary heatwave of 1976.

It’s July 1976. In London, it hasn’t rained for months, gardens are filled with aphids, water comes from a standpipe, and Robert Riordan tells his wife Gretta that he’s going round the corner to buy a newspaper. He doesn’t come back. The search for Robert brings Gretta’s children – two estranged sisters and a brother on the brink of divorce – back home, each with different ideas as to where their father might have gone. None of them suspects that their mother might have an explanation that even now she cannot share.


Love in the Afternoon and Other Delights by Penny Vincenzi (Hachette)

From the website:

A fabulous collection of short stories and essays by much loved and multi-million-copy bestselling author Penny Vincenzi.

From her sweeping novels to her searing journalism, Penny Vincenzi has been writing all her life, and this is a collection of her work brought together in a single edition for the first time. As well as ten stunning short stories, Penny also shares some of her thoughts on a huge range of subjects from love and relationships to work and families, and gives us a peek at the tantalising first chapter of her new novel – making LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON AND OTHER DELIGHTS a must-have for any Vincenzi fan.

I love Vincenzi’s writing, so this is a must have!


The Lost Boy by Camilla Lackberg (Harper Collins)

From the website:

A woman jumps into her car, her hands bloody as she grips the steering wheel. With her young son in the back seat, she flees to the only safe place she knows: the island of Gråskär outside of Fjällbacka.

A couple of days later, a man is found murdered in his flat. Mats Sverin was the council′s financial director and nobody has a bad word to say against him. But when detective Patrik Hedström and his team start looking into his life they uncover a number of shocking secrets.

It turns out that the man had visited Gråskär before he died. Locally the island is known as Ghost Isle; they say it′s haunted by the dead and that they have something to tell the living…

Is there anything here that tickles your fancy?

Please note that these are Australian release dates and publishers. I compile this type of post for my own interest (so handy when you don’t know what you want for your birthday!) and don’t receive payment to do so. I’m just a nosy bookworm who wants to know the latest!


Mini Reviews: May 2010

These short reviews come from before I started blogging- they were recorded on sites like Library Thing and Goodreads. That’s why I’m giving you a month at a time!

So Much for That: A Novel by Lionel Shriver

Well, so much for that.
This book wasn’t what I thought it was going to be- an opinionated piece about America’s health care system. Sure, we get that it costs the individual a lot to be treated for cancer and that aged care homes are expensive (although not really that much different to Australia with the thousands in ‘care’ [as in ‘we don’t’] fees and bonds up to a half a million). But I digress- although I’m sure that the character of Jackson would be happy with that.
Essentially this is about life and facing death in several different forms and how everyone copes. Dark and serious in places, light and sunny in others. I enjoyed this more than The Post Birthday World but I don’t know that I’d tell you to go out and buy this. It’s well written, but don’t assume that it will be an easy ride. Much like life itself.

7.5 out of 10.

Old Sins by Penny Vincenzi

I think this is one of the earlier books by this author. It’s a bit muddled towards the end (yes, we know exactly what’s happened but wait patiently for the characters to realise) and a bit dated. Some of the dilemmas could have been easily solved with DNA technology and a mobile phone (had they been invented). There’s also a lot of sex involved, some of it a bit creepy.
All that aside, this is a great bonkbuster holiday novel. I would suggest starting with some of the author’s other novels first though.

8.5 out of 10.

New Europe by Michael Palin

Palin’s writing really transports you to Europe. From misery at Auschwitz to a fashion catwalk, I smiled and wiped away tears at various points. Very well written travel book with a good dose of history thrown in. Can’t wait to read some more of his books.  (NB. My first Palin!)

8.5 out of 10.

Sushi for Beginners by Marian Keyes

A delightful chick lit from the master, Marian Keyes. This sticks with familar topics such as single women in Dublin and life on a magazine. There’s Lisa, the reluctant new editor of Colleen magazine, Ashling the ‘ever prepared’ deputy and Ashling’s married friend with children, Clodagh. Add in a variety of nice sounding men and you’ve got a recipe for a bumpy ride.
I originally aimed to read this book on holidays but never got around it- instead, reading it during a very busy time. I suspect it would be good either way- easy to pick up and put down, engaging story and language that’s easy for a tired/relaxed brain to navigate.
My only criticism is that time seemed to fly after the launch party- months go by in pages- I suppose it had to end somewhere. I much prefer this to her latest book.

8.5 out of 10.

Playing the field by Zoë Foster

Fairly well written chick lit (with bonus extra adjectives) about a relationship of your average Aussie girl with high profile football (rugby) player. The plot doesn’t really advance beyond meet the boy, insecurities compared to other WAGs, problems with ex-girlfriend, repeat. The twist at the end wasn’t terribly plausible, but it was a bit different. Nice book, but nothing special.

7 out of 10.

For Crying Out Loud: v. 3: The World According to Clarkson  by Jeremy Clarkson

Ahh, Clarkson is back and he hasn’t become any less opinionated (if anything, he’s more spot on…or am I getting older?). His witticisms are spot on and there’s some insider Top Gear trivia for the fans. A great train read (but don’t read in a silent carriage- you’ll be glared at for laughing).

8 out of 10.

Old Book Reviews – March 2007

A little bit of background: in March 2007 I discovered the Library Thing website and was inspired to start writing short book reviews of what I read. The aim was to see what others thought of the books I’d read as well as keep a record for myself. I am slowly going through these and will post them here a month at a time with ‘new’ snippets in italics if I see fit. As you can see, I hope my book reviews have improved a little since then…

Forbidden Places by Penny Vincenzi (8 out of 10)

Not the best she’s ever written, but this book kept me up late on several occasions! – March 9, 2007

 

(NB. Very good for aeroplane flights, Penny’s books.)

After You’d Gone by Maggie O’Farrell (8.5 out of 10)

This book starts off as a puzzle- trying to work out where everything and everyone fits in and why. Eventually you see the whole picture and see how Alice got to this point. A haunting, moving read. – March 10, 2007

 

(NB. I’m not sure how I read this in one day either).

 

Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory (8 out of 10)

Good book- not as sophisticated as The Other Boleyn Girl, but a good read to brush up on your English kings and queens. – March 20, 2007

 

(NB. Would definitely recommend now over her more recent ‘Queen’ books).

The Other Side of the Story: A Novel by Marian Keyes (9.5 out of 10)

Great book- well written, likeable characters and an engaging story. The best women’s fiction I’ve read for ages. – March 26, 2007

(NB. Another great aeroplane book, better than her more recent novels IMHO).