Bestselling British author Penny Vincenzi is one of the queen’s of women’s fiction. Her novels are classy – yet not quite trashy – plot-driven soap operas filled with memorable characters. In “A Perfect Heritage,” her latest offering, she explores the high-stakes world of a modern cosmetics company.
“So – this was it,” begins the saga.
The brilliant, colourful, joyous thing that had been born that coronation year, that she and Cornelius had created together was to change irrevocably, move out of her control. . .
The joyous thing was the House of Farrell, once a trend-setting company founded by Athina and Cornelius Farrell in 1953. Their bestselling product, The Cream, was the foundation for a line of once hugely popular and highly profitable skincare and cosmetics products. But, the company itself, like the aging Lady Athina Farrell herself, is in a decline.
Enter Bianca Bailey, a seemingly happily married mother of three. Backed by venture capitalists, her brief is to restore the company to its former glory. Imperious Athina inevitably locks horns with Bianca, who is determined to succeed regardless of the cost to her marriage and family:
If only, Bianca thought, if only she was most people. Most people didn’t have a multi-million pound company to rescue. Most people wouldn’t have run up an extra two million pounds on the investment in that company; and if they did probably wouldn’t even care. Most people weren’t about to let an entire workforce down; most people weren’t about to look totally foolish, and incompetent; most people weren’t about to lose an exceptionally high-profile, professional reputation for eve. And most people hadn’t been given an ultimatum that was impossibly awful by their husband and have to give him an answer with in the next twenty-four hours.
While “A Perfect Heritage” is essentially the story of Bianca’s struggle to turn the House of Farrell around, Vincenzi takes her readers into the lives of her supporting characters, from longtime employee Florence Hamilton who has kept many secrets and who, in fact, holds the key to the company’s salvation to Athina’s son Bertie who discovers a sense of purpose and confidence that his mother had withheld from him.
“A Perfect Heritage” is a perfect vacation read for those who like to escape with an engaging, smart and classic saga.
“A Perfect Heritage” is available at amazon.com and at your favorite New York bookstore.