No Angel

No Angel

Book - 2000
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Set against the background of first the belle époque, that Edwardian era of immense luxury and immense social deprivation, moving into the horrors of the First World War and finally the outrageous glamour of the twenties, No Angel is a study in personal power, in family politics and the conflict between right and expediency; it is also a very great love story.
Celia Lytton ¿ strong willed, tough, immensely courageous ¿ moves through life taking difficult and often dangerous decisions, both for herself and for others, with far reaching consequences for all of them.
For Oliver Lytton, her husband, head of the great publishing house of Lytton, into which she moves as his wife at the age of only eighteen; for Sylvia Miller, whose own life of relentless poverty is changed forever by Celia¿s intrusion into it; for Barty, Sylvia¿s youngest daughter, removed from her family to join the Lyttons, to her great benefit ¿ and also her great cost; for LM, Oliver¿s daunting elder sister, a match for Celia in will, but not in emotional experience; for the American branch of the family, living out their own dramas in New York but drawn nonetheless into the Lytton web; and for Sebastian Brooke, author of a legendary children¿s book, whose personal as well as his professional life is taken over by Celia and with whom she makes what is perhaps the most dangerous decision of all. And of course, for Lyttons itself, changed and shaped as it is by Celia¿s leading part in its conduct.
When does the end justify the means? Can wrong ever become right? And is anything entirely black ¿ or indeed white? No Angel asks all these questions ¿ and tries to answer them. It is volume one in a series, The Spoils of Time, which follows the Lyttons through the first fifty years of the twentieth century.

Publisher: London : Orion, 2000.
ISBN: 9780752831992
Branch Call Number: VINCE
Characteristics: vii, 626 p.


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Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Mar 12, 2015

This is one of those books I'm giving an extremely high rating while making sure to note that it is kind of absurd. This is very Downton Abbey-esque in that it is, despite its classy British pedigree, at its heart a soap opera. There are love affairs, deaths, scandals, secrets, illegitimate children, and more, all set against the backdrop of 1900s/1910s/1920s England. It's a sprawling family saga and there are a lot of characters, but they're all interesting and well-drawn, and once you really get into the heart of the book it's almost impossible to put down. This isn't highbrow literary fiction; there are lots of absurd plot points like two main characters just BARELY escaping being on the Titanic, and yet if you're just looking for a fun read, this is a great bet. I lost many hours of sleep reading late into the night, and would recommend it to fans of Downton Abbey and other early 20th century period pieces. Extra props for having a complex, not always likable female character as its lead. So enjoyable.

Oct 05, 2012

A friend lent me this novel. The first in a three book series. On first seeing the size of this book I didn't think I'd bother. I'm glad I did. It was really enjoyable. I'm now looking forward to the second "Something Dangerous"

irishbrennie Sep 05, 2012

impossible to put down. The characters are very engaging and real for the Edwardian period. I was sad when the book ended but glad when I found there was a sequel. Fast read, its like talking with friends.

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