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Extended Audio Sample An Absolute Scandal: A Novel, by Penny Vincenzi Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,062 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Penny Vincenzi Narrator: Rosalyn Landor Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Penny Vincenzi, master of the contemporary blockbuster, returns with a moving, engaging portrait of people coping with a notorious financial disaster and its unpredictable emotional repercussions.

Set during the boom-and-bust years of the 1980s, An Absolute Scandal follows the lives of a group of people drawn together by their mutual monetary woes when the great financial institution Lloyd's undergoes a devastating downturn.

For Nigel Cowper, this means the destruction of his family business. His wife, Lucinda, is willing to do everything she can to help him - except give up her irresistible lover. The powerful, charismatic banker Simon Beaumont and his wife, a highly successful advertising executive, lose everything they worked so hard to acquire. But the ultimate tragedy is something that neither one could have anticipated.

The well-to-do are not the only ones suffering: a self-sufficient widow is suddenly deep in debt; a single mother struggles to maintain a comfortable home for her children; and a schoolmaster and his frustrated wife find that financial problems deepen the cracks in their troubled marriage.

As their lives begin a downward spiral, these characters intersect in ways they never saw coming. Written in what has become her signature style of both wit and candor, Penny Vincenzi draws back the curtain and offers an inside view of the greed and social power plays that occur behind the closed doors of upper-crust society...where money isn't everything. Sometimes, it's the only thing.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Everything is outsized in Vincenzi’s fiction: sex, money, personality, emotions, plot. And yet she gets all the details—about human behavior and women’s conflicted lives—just right. USA Today
  • Penny Vincenzi is poised to fill a gap in the American realm of Cinderella fiction. With so few current writers able to summon the quaint allure of such women’s fiction without stooping to sensationalism, Ms. Vincenzi really is an anomaly. Janet Maslin, New York Times
  • “Soap opera? You bet – but with her well drawn characters and engaging style, Vincenzi keeps things humming. Joanne Kaufman, People

    “Transcends the testosterone-drenched nature of a typical thriller, delivering vivid female characters through crisp, clean prose and in-depth coverage of their relationships, families and personal anxieties . . . fascinating. Sheer Abandon is what the British call hammock reading: a brick of a book to while away a country afternoon or two.
  • “Penny Vincenzi’s Sheer Abandon is the work of a master, offering a large cast of amazingly three-dimensional characters involved in an expertly manipulated plot . . . Full of snappy dialogue and provocative moral implications, Vincenzi’s novel makes it very hard not to care. Marion Winik, Newsday

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Reba N. | 2/19/2014

    " Lots of characters so I'm glad for the cast list at the start of the book but really moves along well. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Bill | 2/13/2014

    " Too long and too much. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Ellie Revert | 2/11/2014

    " Great summer read! We have spent a fair amount of time in England, and have heard about the Lloyd's of London travesty--this helps and I will google to learn more. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jeanne | 2/11/2014

    " I love Penny Vincenzi. Excelloent escape reading. She makes you feel right at home in Britain. "

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