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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

For anyone interested in high society London life...A Face To Die For by @janwarby


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A Face To Die For

By Jan Warburton

Genre: Women's Fiction


Book Synopsis

Pure nostalgia: London in the swinging sixties - about a young graduating art student, Annabel Spencer, and her eventual rise to fame as a fashion designer. How a strikingly beautiful girl whom she meets for a brief period at college becomes pivotal to her success and how these two women's careers and love lives become uncannily entwined.

It tells an intriguing love story hampered by loose morals, drug taking and emotional conflict - at a time when anything risqué goes - and frequently does. This novel reveals the scandal and glamour of a fascinatingly decadent and revolutionary period in history.

Lyn's Rating





Lyn's Review


I was already engrossed in this book following my 'look inside' and knew I would enjoy it. Which, of course, I did - from start to finish. In fact the intricate plotting and close attention to social and historical detail meant I could hardly bear to put it down and often sat up late into the night reading it. I won't summarise events as other reviewers have already done that so excellently.

I can perfectly see why anyone who 'seized the day' during those so-called Swinging Sixties would love this nostalgia trip. It wasn't quite my era, but I was certainly acutely aware of it, being on the tail end of it; so this fascinating glimpse into a world all young girls of that time dreamed of kept me totally captivated. Very well done to the author for capturing the era so beautifully - this novel reads like a valuable (and very entertaining) piece of social history.

The main character, Annabel was very interesting but I found her self-absorption and amorality a little unattractive. It made her rather brittle and unlikeable - not that that in any way spoiled my enjoyment of the story. I know she showed great kindness to certain people (Kate and Lynda among many) but her generosity was invariably motivated by self-interest. I couldn't be sure whether the author intended me to empathise with her or not; I suspect she wanted to portray her realistically 'warts and all', which is commendable.

To give examples would create plot spoilers which I wouldn't dream of doing as I heartily recommend this book and hope many people will read it and decide for themselves about Annabel. I'm afraid I found myself wishing for her to receive her comeuppance at the end! On the other hand I found Kate complex and fascinating and couldn't wait to find out more about her and what it was that made her seem so vulnerable.

I'd love to give this novel five stars for the rich enjoyment it's given me over the past few days, but my reading experience was slightly marred by poor editing. Such a story really deserves to be fault-free but the punctuation and grammatical errors did begin to grate. The writing too, especially the dialogue, needed just a bit more spark and colour (though it did improve as the story progressed). For this reason I'm going to give it four stars (because I can't give 4.5!) but for anyone interested in high society London life during that fascinating era, I guarantee you will thoroughly enjoy 'A Face to Die For'.

Maturity Disclaimer: The story is set in the world of high fashion in the permissive Swinging Sixties; hence references to drug-taking.

Review Disclaimer: This book was provided free of charge by either the author or publisher. There was no financial gain in regards to this review, and the opinions presented above were not artificially influenced in any way.

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