A Vision of Loveliness An Education meets The Talented Mr Ripley in dark comic gem of a novel that recreates the grubby glamour of early sixties London and introduces an irresistible anti heroine

  • Title: A Vision of Loveliness
  • Author: Louise Levene
  • ISBN: 9781408801468
  • Page: 422
  • Format: Hardcover
  • An Education meets The Talented Mr Ripley in dark comic gem of a novel that recreates the grubby glamour of early sixties London and introduces an irresistible anti heroine

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      Posted by:Louise Levene
      Published :2018-07-25T05:57:22+00:00

    One thought on “A Vision of Loveliness”

    1. Having very much enjoyed this author’s book ‘Ghastly Business’ I decided to try ‘A Vision of Loveliness’. It is a completely different novel set in a different era but just as enjoyable. Jane James and her sister were taken in by their aunt Doreen when they were orphaned during World War II. Jane starts work when she leaves school in what would now be called a boutique and endeavours to make the most of her appearance on limited resources. One day she finds a crocodile handbag under a [...]

    2. I loved it. It was so excruciatingly 1960s even though I never lived in London but in a very rural Isle of Man !

    3. The theme tune - London Is The Place For Me. Fab Fun.Blurb - Jane James knows that she must have been born to better things than a dingy bedroom in her Aunt Doreen's house in Norbury and evenings spent eating gala pie and Heinz tinned potato salad in their 'sitting-cum-dining room'. So, armed with her well-thumbed copy of Lady Be Good, she practises her French turns, her killer smile and precisely how much thigh to show when crossing her legs, and dreams of a time when she can be a part of the w [...]

    4. An interesting read about the early 60s . It is set in London and introduces you to a world where girls are allowing themselves to become older men's bit on the side for gain. It made me feel sad to see women demeaning themselves. The book showed up the great divide between the haves and the have nots . I am hoping women value themselves more today, but I'm sure that some still allow men to treat them in this way.

    5. This book was an unexpected gem. I took a chance on it after seeing a review in one of the Emerald Street newsletters from some time ago. Because of my obsession with The Hour, I've found myself really interested in reading books set in that period, 1950-60s London, and especially those with interesting female characters. This books certainly manages to create a vibrant atmosphere of London, and the world in which Janey and Suzy immerse themselves. I like that it doesn't try and sugar coat the t [...]

    6. A curious book - interesting but disquieting in many ways. Aspiring shop assistant, Jane, returns a "real croc" handbag to glamorous Suzy and, under her tutelage, becomes another model with the knack of manipulating the men who lust after her to get expensive meals and luxury items. It's the sleazy side of the early swinging sixties and portrays a woman, contemptuous of those less glamorous than herself, yet apparently unaware of what she has become in her bid to break free from society's conven [...]

    7. I bought this the same weekend as the Group and finished this on the Sunday. I wanted something like rom-com but different. It’s a little bit bitter sweet but fun to read. This time 1960’s London and Jane James wants to break away from her humdrum life living with her Aunt and working in a clothes shop. She meets Suzy St John and everything changes. Her life becomes an endless round of parties, dates and glamour. Aunt Noreen is truly hideous and Suzy St John is everything that Jane thinks sh [...]

    8. This is a chocolaty confection with sprinkles on top and a center of cyanide. The period detail is enthralling and it makes for compelling reading, but in the end I was left with a bad taste in my mouth. It aims for satire, but with no sympathetic characters and an almost completely underdeveloped protagonist, it comes across as a nasty, bitter and cynical book with little morality and no moral to the story.

    9. This book was very good at setting the 1960's scene, but I'm afraid it never really grabbed me as much as it should have done. From about three quarters of the way through I couldn't see how it was going to end and when it did, the ending just left me with something of a feeling of dissatisfaction. In fact I felt I rushed reading the end rather, not because it was un-put-downable, but because I wanted to move on to something else, which was a shame.

    10. I am not quite sure what this novel was meant to be: a light comedy, drama or commentary on some pretty unpleasant characters. Interesting story but the narrator perspective changed randomly in places which was somewhat unsettling. The ending, I agree with other reviewers, was unsatisfying. The main character, if that was who I think it was, was unpleasant, constantly critical of others and unredeemable. Had potential but not quite there for me.

    11. An interesting book. I liked the little advice things at the beginning of each chapter- a unique take on the quotes before a chapter. The characters were not very likeable, that said they were quite absorbing and so it was relatively easy to keep reading.The ending was a bit of a shock, I never saw it coming which I guess was a good thing. But I was left feeling a little weird when I'd finished. Like it hadn't really finished.

    12. I really enjoyed this book, even though its setting is quite grubby and unpleasant. Loved the 1960s setting and the very different view of women, along with the characters ability to manipulate men for gain. Janey starts off as one kind of woman and changes into another type by copying her friend. A wonderful portrait of a time in recent history that is not that far away but very different.

    13. A good novel for a book group. We had a great discussion at the end about who did it and why. We all saw something different in the characters. There is some dry humour and great description of early 60's London.

    14. Picked this up for my daughter - it sounded good on the back blurb but apparently is a rip off of Breakfast at Tiffany's and In Cold Blood. She didn't rate it very high. Probably will go to the bottom of my to read list.

    15. Very enjoyable book. The main character is witty if no articulately loveable, the account of her life is satirical and realistic in a very cynical way, and the tragic ending brought an unexpected twist. Enjoyable; shows a very ugly side of the era's superficiality.

    16. It's amazing to see that times never really changewhat has been will be again. The lives the women lived are sadly being played out again in these times. Well written, a window into that period in time.

    17. I love love LOVED this book! i picked it up in a little book store in london and my mom and i would always steal it from eachother to read it! it beautifully paints Jane's world of rags to riches and is a real page turner.

    18. Thoroughly enjoyable period piece set in post-war London when it just starts swinging. Darkly comic in parts and utterly fascinating throughout I found this hard to put down. I would have given it five stars but the ending felt a bit rushed which is a shame as it was a delightful read.

    19. I hated this book, I didn't care about the characters or what label they were wearing. I too left it after 100 pages to dump in the nearest charity shop.No substance whatsoever with flimsy whimsical characters.

    20. Seemed a bit pointless and didn't care much of any of the characters. Finished it but only because I don't like leaving books half finished

    21. Loved it. The description of the clothes, the glamour clashing with the seedier side of London. I couldn't put this down, was sad to finish it. Would recommend to those who have a 'thing' for clothes

    22. I really enjoyed this as it captured a single girl's life in swinging London.A world of cad's, playboys and Hardy Amies suits.A quick read ideal for travelling.

    23. Odd. Bits I loved. Bits really jarred. Some of the descriptions were brilliant but I didn't care about the characters. But I don't think I was supposed to.

    24. I adored the first 3/4s of this book but it just flopped in the last 1/4. The start is excellent and engaging, the characters are well drawn i just hated the end!

    25. A little long but very well written. Louise Levenes quirky turn of phrase keeps the novel interesting.

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