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Authors: Penny Vincenzi

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The Decision

BOOK: The Decision
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About the Author

Penny Vincenzi is one of the UK’s best-loved and most popular authors. Since her first novel,
Old Sins
, was published in 1989, she has written fifteen bestselling novels, most recently
The Decision
and the number one bestseller
The Best of Times


Her first ‘proper’ job was at the Harrods Library, aged sixteen, after which she went to secretarial college. She joined the
and later became a journalist, writing for
The Times
, the
Daily Mail
amongst many others, before turning to fiction. Several years later, over seven millions copies of Penny’s books have been sold worldwide and she is universally held to be the ‘doyenne of the modern blockbuster’ (


Penny Vincenzi is married, with four daughters, and divides her time between London and Gower, South Wales.


For more information visit

By Penny Vincenzi


Old Sins

Wicked Pleasures

An Outrageous Affair

Another Woman

Forbidden Places

The Dilemma

The Glimpses (short stories)


Almost a Crime

No Angel

Something Dangerous

Into Temptation

Sheer Abandon

An Absolute Scandal

The Best of Times

The Decision

Copyright © 2011 Penny Vincenzi
The right of Penny Vincenzi to be identified as the Author of the Work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
Apart from any use permitted under UK copyright law, this publication may only be reproduced, stored, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, with prior permission in writing of the publishers or, in the case of reprographic production, in accordance with the terms of licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency.
First published as an Ebook by Headline Publishing Group in 2011
All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Cataloguing in Publication Data is available from the British Library
eISBN : 9780755383849
An Hachette UK Company
338 Euston Road
London NW1 3BH

About the Author

Also by Penny Vincenzi

Copyright Page

Title Page



Character List


Part One: The Engagement

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Part Two: The Marriage

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

Chapter 51

Chapter 52

Chapter 53

Part Three: The Divorce

Chapter 54

Chapter 55

Chapter 56

Chapter 57

Chapter 58

Chapter 59

Chapter 60

Chapter 61

Chapter 62

Chapter 63

Chapter 64

Chapter 65

Chapter 66

Chapter 67

Chapter 68

Chapter 69

Chapter 70

Chapter 71

Chapter 72

Chapter 73


For Paul, who was always there. And for Polly, Sophie,
Emily and Claudia, for getting me through.

As always, the list of couldn’t-have-done-without-the-help-of is long, possibly longer even than usual, and huge thanks to so many people.

Michael Drake, legal superbrain, took me painstakingly, patiently and above all inventively through all the complexities of divorce and custody in the 1960s and ’70s, escorted me round and indeed into the Royal Courts of Justice and Lincolns Inn Fields, responded to my interminable and often crass emails always within hours and usually minutes, suggested sub-plots, improved upon scenarios and never for an instant even implied that his hugely valuable time might be better sent. A complete star, you are, Michael, and thank you.

James Marshall not only arranged access to some of the great names in advertising in sixties London, he was just the best fun and the most informative guide on a whistle-stop tour of Milan, which took in an evening at La Scala, a trawl of the very best restaurants and shops and an introduction to some truly wonderful characters. Including the lovely Phyllis Achilli, who created for me a whole world in which to set that part of my story, Tai and Rosita Missoni, who hosted us in their box at La Scala and Peter and Mariella Van Shalwick, who cast a further bright light on the lifestyle of the city then.

I would also like to thank Jackie Hollows for so tirelessly and generously sifting through her past as a very glamorous air hostess in the sixties for wonderful funny, intriguing and colourful stories and detail; the book would have been the poorer without her.

The fashion element in the book is crucial; I spent my own early professional life in fashion but I still drew heavily on the recollections and stories of many of the leading stars in journalism. Felicity Green, Fleet Street legend herself, and my mentor indeed, opened up her wonderful memory store for me, especially relating to the Paris collections; Shirley Lowe, starry journlist, who inspired a whole strand of the story by reliving her own fashion editor past; John Bates, one of the leading fashion designers of the day (I was lucky enough to own not just one, but two, of his dresses) and John Siggins, his director and partner; and Liz Smith iconic fashion editor and also, like my heroine Eliza, fashion consultant to a famous advertising agency.

David Smith, husband to Liz, a dear friend, and a star of both journalism and advertising, provided wonderful anecdotes about both those worlds, but also some brilliantly funny recollections of his own National Service days. Very sadly he died just as this book went to press; his stylish, slightly old-fashioned sense of humour and turn of phrase were truly life enhancing for everyone lucky enough to know him.

BOOK: The Decision
8.28Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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