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Extended Audio Sample Sheer Abandon Audiobook, 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 (1,351 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Penny Vincenzi Narrator: Susan Duerden Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2007 ISBN: 9781415938775
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A number-one bestseller from one of Britain’s most popular novelists, Sheer Abandon is an all-consuming story revolving around the consequences of a desperate act.

Martha, Clio, and Jocasta meet by chance at Heathrow airport in 1985 as they are starting off on separate backpacking adventures, and they decide to spend the first few days of their trips together in Thailand. When they go their separate ways, they vow to get together in London the following year. But many years pass before the three cross paths again, and the once-capricious, carefree girls now all have thriving careers. One of them, however, harbors a terrible secret: on her return from her pre-college excursion, she abandoned her just-born daughter at Heathrow.

Clio has fulfilled her ambition of becoming a doctor, only to find herself trapped in a marriage to an arrogant surgeon who belittles her and her professional achievements. Martha is a highly paid corporate lawyer, just embarking on a political career. Dedicated to her job, she has had little time for personal relationships and lives a busy, but lonely life. Jocasta, a tabloid newspaper reporter with an infallible instinct for the big story, is in love with a charming colleague who can’t make the permanent commitment she longs for. The infant abandoned at Heathrow has grown up under the loving care of her adoptive family. Now a beautiful teenager named Kate, she sets out to find her birth mother—a quest that unexpectedly brings the women together and exposes the secret buried so many years before.

Impossible to put down, Sheer Abandon is top-notch women’s fiction.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • It’s time Americans caught Vincenzi fever, because it’s almost a crime she’s not better known here . . . 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. It’s perfect escapism. USA Today
  • She’s the plot-twist queen. Adriana Trigiani, author of the Big Stone Gap trilogy and The Queen of the Big Time
  • Vincenzi pulls out all the stops in this orchestral saga. . . . The mystery of who [Baby Bianca’s] mother is serves as the spine of this fat, satisfying novel . . . The various narrative themes crescendo through several all-hands-on-deck scenes . . . 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. Publishers Weekly starred review

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy Meyer | 2/18/2014

    " This novel was more difficult for me to get into (I probably would have given this a 2.5 star rating if possible). It could have been the political arena that it was based in as I have no interest in politics. The characters were difficult to grasp at first but once I figured out everyone's role in the story then I had begun to 'enjoy' it more. When he big secret is revealed (I was able to figure it out before hand), I began to wonder how the author would tie it all together for the ending. I wasn't disappointed with the ending, but I am not able to say that had been different I would have liked it better. I am not sure I would read a sequel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Babete | 2/14/2014

    " Confesso que me surpreendeu pela positiva! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Frances | 2/13/2014

    " Total candy of a read, but that's okay after reading Brooks' awesome book about the plague. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dorcas | 2/12/2014

    " The book was quite long. I did not enjoy the politics and was more interested in discovering who were Kate's parents and the storyline around it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Edie | 2/12/2014

    " This book is a little mystery, a little romance and some crazy twists of events. A group of friends goes traveling after High School graduation and all go seperate ways with the agreements to meet up after they return, but never do. One ends up having a baby and abandoning it in the Heathrow Airport, and they all run into each other (small town type of thing)to discover who had the baby...as she is searching herself for her mother. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lissie Grace | 1/30/2014

    " So far I am loving this book. Looking fwd to reading others by her. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alexandra | 1/26/2014

    " Amazing summer read! Quite the page-turner. Loved it!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Minerva | 1/21/2014

    " I am enjoying this book, although I worked out who the parents are about half way through. A good read on a cool Autumn evening. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lindsay Jenkins | 1/18/2014

    " Beyond predictable. Way too long of a story to get the point across. This book had badly developed characters, too much description where It was unnecessary. Would not Recommend. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Caroline | 12/29/2013

    " Disappointing. The premise was intriguing--three young women vacation together, one ends up secretly giving birth in an airport restroom. But which woman ? Unfortunately for the reader the author drops broad hints, leaving no doubt as to not only who the mystery mother is but who the father is too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cara | 12/23/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book - it's pretty long (600 + pages) and now I miss the characters in the book. (Always a sign of a good read!) What about Kate? Ed? Clio & Fergus? Nick? Jocosta? The Hartleys? I really liked it. I think I will search out some more of her books! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gemma | 12/8/2013

    " a long but captivating book that needs to be followed up with a more light hearted book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melinda | 12/5/2013

    " It's like reading a whole year's worth of a daytime drama. It goes on and on, but you don't really want it to end. Really great book if you just want to settle down with some flawed characters for a while. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sandy | 8/26/2013

    " I couldn't finish this book. It was self indulgent and drug on and on "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 D Wedd | 5/27/2013

    " Not a book I would have picked out myself, but I enjoyed it. There is a bit of a mystery although its soon solved, but there is enough of a what will happen next to keep the pages turning - which is good as it is a very long book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dorothy | 4/30/2013

    " Vincenzi's books are so unnecessarily dense with characters' day-to-day details that the payoff is pretty much not worth it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 3/13/2013

    " Pretty good book with an interesting plot! There was also a massive twist but by the end of it the ending was pretty predictable. Another great Vincenzi read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tina | 12/21/2012

    " I love Penny Vincenzi's books. She has great character's and storylines. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lael | 9/14/2012

    " Total fluff, but very addicting fluff. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin K | 8/26/2012

    " So good. It is a pretty long book and I read it in 3 days because I just couldnt put it down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann | 5/29/2012

    " THis book was long and took a few weeks to get through. Interesting because it was written by an English woman based in London so some vocab was different. Good story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 kristine | 5/20/2012

    " This book was ok but could have been about 300 pages shorter! It got a bit tedious... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ellie Revert | 4/7/2012

    " This was quite a voyage of a book! As I am an Anglophile, her writings intrique me because I can picture so many of the places she mentions. It was a great beach read---while being snowbound at Christmastime in Seattle. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patti | 2/16/2012

    " I picked this book cause it was so long, and thought I would be reading for weeks. Instead I could not put it down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christine | 11/17/2011

    " I read this on a plane and it was perfect. Not too heavy yet engaging enough to get me through a cross country flight. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Cassie | 11/12/2011

    " gave up barely 20 pages into it. simply blah "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sgitt2214 | 9/7/2011

    " only on page 80 but liking it alot. Looks like it will be a 4 star at least. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 7/3/2011

    " I was really liking this book. Then it just dragged on an on and the end just fizzled out. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lynn | 3/18/2011

    " Way too many characters, each with too many details and side scandals. I gave up about 20 pages into it because I wasn't enjoying all the characters. Had the potential to be a really good story though so I was disappointed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth | 2/27/2011

    " My introduction to Penny Vincenzi and I loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Babete | 2/13/2011

    " Confesso que me surpreendeu pela positiva! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Penny | 1/10/2011

    " I had a harder time getting into this novel and recognizing just who the characters were and what their relationships were. Once I was halfway through the book, I was ok. I just didn't enjoy this story as much as the 1st by this author. It must be an identity thing again. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jody | 9/24/2010

    " This book started off with promise. I expected it to be a breezy book that would be good to read at the beach or on a lazy vacation. But it was about 300 pages too long and very soap opera like with a predictable plot line. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Olean Public Library | 8/20/2010

    " -It’s very enjoyable. This author is popular in Britain, and I wanted to find out why. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 kristine | 8/19/2010

    " This book was ok but could have been about 300 pages shorter! It got a bit tedious... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patti | 8/18/2010

    " I enjoyed this book. The story was entertaining, though predictable. It was too long. It could easily have been at least 100 pages shorter without losing any character or story development. The writing is good but there is nothing to keep you thinking about the book once you finish. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 eb | 7/11/2010

    " Two people who make life worth living: Nette and Penny Vincenzi. The former introduced me to the latter, and thank God, because a beach isn't a beach unless you're sitting on it with a deliriously trashy PV tome in hand. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 6/14/2010

    " A long and easy to read story with great characters, I loved it. Not too deep or complex, perfect to pick up and put down. Took a while to finish and there were moments where I wanted to fast forward but overall was a good satisfying read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Denise | 2/20/2010

    " First time that I've read a modern English writer. The writing style is somewhat different. Seemed a little wordy, but I did enjoy the plot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dorothy | 1/21/2010

    " Vincenzi's books are so unnecessarily dense with characters' day-to-day details that the payoff is pretty much not worth it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Fulu | 1/12/2010

    " its too long and the politics stuff does not help the plot along that much. She tries to be too clever with ending and leaves the reader with too many questions...and regrets. i only liked the Martha and toyboy relationship. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jillian | 12/18/2009

    " nothing earth-shattering here, but a well-developed ensenmble cast ofcharacters... "

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About the Author
Author Penny VincenziPENNY VINCENZI is the author of several novels, including No Angel, Something Dangerous, and Into Temptation. Before becoming a novelist, she worked as a journalist for Vogue, Tatler, and Cosmopolitan. She lives in London.
About the Narrator

Susan Duerden is a critically acclaimed audiobook narrator. Her reading of The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht earned her an AudioFile Best Voice Award and a Booklist Editors’ Choice Award. She has won ten AudioFile Earphones Awards.