A Question Of Trust by Penny Vincenzi
1950s London. Tom Knelston is charismatic, working class and driven by ambition, ideals and passion. He is a man to watch. His wife Alice shares his vision. It seems they are the perfect match.
Then out of the blue, Tom meets beautiful and unhappily married Diana Southcott, a fashion model. An exciting but dangerous affair is inevitable and potentially damaging to their careers. And when a child becomes ill, Tom is forced to make decisions about his principles, his reputation, his marriage, and most of all, his love for his child.
This is my first ever novel read by Penny Vincenzi. She is my sister’s favourite author and I decided to glance at the synopsis when I saw it on netgalley. Immediately it intrigued me and I decided I would give it a try…
What I was to uncover was, I am quite the Penny Vincenzi fan myself.
The novel is 600 pages in length and spans the years from 1936-1954. It covers many aspects of life within the era. The second world war, the changing roles of women, the sexual liberation of women, the class structure and changing political atmosphere.
Which as you can imagine is quite a lot to cover within one novel. The novel is character driven and centres around two main characters. Tom Knelston the working-class done good, that longs for a career in politics and is heavily influenced by the post-war socialist movement.
‘Politics are about principles’
Also, the beautiful Diana Southcott, born into privilege and wealth but; self-aware enough to realise that this does not always lead to a happy life.
“No I despise people who think marrying the right man, by which they mean rich and not common, is the only thing they want to do’ – Alice
The novel flicks back and forth between each character and details the choices they make and the impact they have on their own individual futures. They both chose to marry, Tom to local girl Alice and Diana to a man of her own class Jonathan. But when Jonathan is brutalised by the second world war, their love becomes divided and Diana becomes bored….
‘How Diana would fit into that future, he could not begin to imagine. Or even think about’ – Jonathan
There are secondary characters included, who are mutual friends of both Tom and Diana. One of my particular favourites was Ned. But for reasons I do not want to state as I do not want to leave spoilers in my review.
As said above the novel is long and one best enjoyed if you are invested in the characters early on. Personally, I became very invested in the characters and seeing how their lives turned out.
The author has done a fantastic job of bringing the 1940’s and 1950’s era fully alive. From the harsh realities of ww2, to Diana’s glamourous modelling career.
This title is perfect for book groups and I can imagine a whole host of debate themes would be uncovered. 4*