Penny Vincenzi’s latest book takes a while to get going and untangle but once it does has plenty to keep the reader hooked on the outcomes for all of the characters.
Although there are a huge number of characters whose lives intertwine in this latest novel by Penny Vincenzi (so much so there is a character list at the beginning of the novel), the majority of the story centres on the charismatic Tom, his wife Alice and Tom’s old acquaintance Diana and certain life choices they all make that threatens all of their futures in different ways.
The main problem with A Question of Trust is the length of time before the reader is fully able to feel engaged with the characters and their lives. While Vincenzi’s attention to detail in all elements of the character’s lives and surroundings is admirable, adding a sense of glamour to proceedings, the constant chopping and changing of perspectives can be quite disorientating.
Every incident that occurs in the book, whether it is the discovery of an affair or an unexpected death, it all comes across as a series of snapshots of the character’s lives that have been put together and meanders its way through.
However, despite this Vincenzi has created some wonderful characters such as Ned, Julius and Alice – who although are flawed in their own ways are the most likeable and warmly created characters of them all. Diana’s attitude can come across as vicious and spiteful – despite a vulnerability towards the end that softens her character, while Tom is one of the most selfish character’s I have ever read about in a book. His attitude towards his wife and children in contrast to his dedication to politics and his principles makes him distinctly unlikeable by the end.
It is a novel that really gets to the heart of of human flaws and why we react to situations the way we do, written with style, grace as well as using vivid description that makes the story really jump off the page. Vincenzi also successfully brings in important parts of British history – including the introduction of the NHS and its struggles – to add some extra context to individual stories.
Overall, despite the slow start and certain moments that could have perhaps been edited out as they don’t really have much impact in the main part of the story, A Question of Trust has plenty of passion and heart that keeps the reader engaged with the characters from beginning to end.
A Question of Trust is available to buy now.