Love In The Afternoon was published by Headline on 14 February 2013 and is a collection of ten short stories, some articles about life in general and then, at the back, a glimpse of her new novel. I have something of love/hate relationship with short stories. When they are done well, I love them, but must admit that generally I tend to feel a little let down by them. I wondered just how Penny Vincenzi would fare, a short story is a long way from her trademark lengthy novels and she acknowledges in her Introduction how difficult it can be to write a successful short story.
In my view, Penny Vincenzi really has no need to worry. Unlike other collections of short stories, there were none of these that I wanted to skip, none of them that I didn't enjoy and each one was a satisfying read. I really love Vincenzi's world - she always creates characters that seem so realistic, even if they tend to live in a world of glamour and beauty and luxury. These stories are all themed around love, but are not all romantic. They explore every emotion that can be associated with a love affair, from jealousy to lies to passion and as the title of the collection indicates, they really are a delight to read.
There are ten short stories in all which are followed by a collection of Vincenzi's articles and snippets all about life. There is her opinion of motherhood and how it can change a marriage; what she thought of the 1980s, and a really lovely insight into what it was like to work for Marje Proops. And then, to really tantalise the tastebuds, included right at the end of the book, is the first chapter of her next novel.
I enjoyed every one of the stories, and the articles and despite my initial reservations, I was not disppointed in the least by this book, in fact I'd really love to read more of Vincenzi's short stories.
Spend a very pleasurable few hours reading this book, I don't think you will be disappointed.
My thanks go to Georgina Moore, Publicity Director of Headline Books for sending a copy for review.
Find out more about Penny Vincenzi at her website here, her Facebook page is here and her Twitter account can be followed here