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More Than You Know: A Novel
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More Than You Know: A Novel

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  751 ratings  ·  145 reviews
It all comes down to love or money in a harrowing custody battle over a little girl, set against the glossy backdrop of the magazine and advertising worlds in 1960s London.

A privileged girl from a privileged class, Eliza has a dazzling career in the magazine world of the 1960s. But when she falls deeply in love with Matt, an edgy working-class boy, she gives up her ritzy...more
Hardcover, 585 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by Doubleday (first published January 1st 2012)
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Really, I wanted to give this one star, but since I like Vincenzi so much normally, I bumped it up.
What a disappointment! After waiting and waiting for her new book, I could not believe the drivel I was reading. The 2 main characters, Matt and Eliza, were both so unsympathetic. His character enraged me; he was such a misogynistic asshole. And Eliza completely let him treat her like utter crap. For someone who was working so high up in the fashion world before her marriage, this was a pretty big...more
Posh fashion editor Eliza Clark defies beginning to crumble class barriers by falling hard for working class, self-made property developer Matt Shaw in the trendy London of the swinging 60s and early 70s. It’s a passionate relationship that ends in divorce and a fearsome custody battle—this isn’t a spoiler because the book opens on the day before the judge’s decision in 1971, then hops back to 1958 when Eliza, in mid-curtsey to the Queen, decides it’s time to rid herself of her virginity. Eliza...more
I loved this book and all the complexity it delivered. Its set in an era where wives are little more than babysitters, and the girl (I read this book quite some time ago, forgot her name) wants to break stereotypes and hold a high-profile job in a field where no one is irreplacable-and does so, well, until she meets her husband, Matt, who confines her to the house of duties of taking care of their child. Push comes to shove, and they file for divorce.
This book infuriated me because I am a self-p...more
"And how had that happened, that her marriage, her really rather amazing marriage, entered into with such happiness and love and hope, had become Shaw v. Shaw . . . " Funny, this "amazing marriage" must have been from a different novel because I sure as hell didn't see Eliza and Matt's marriage as "amazing." Emotionally abusive, yes. Parents playing off one another to raise a young girl who is inevitably going to turn out to be a horribly spoiled, self-centered brat, yes. I missed the intense pa...more
This book has been languishing on my TBR shelf for a few months now. I have picked it up started it and then stopped and picked up something else to read. Well I finally broke down and decided to stop procrastinating and read MORE THAN YOU KNOW by Penny Vincenzi. Now I know why it took me so long to read this tome. The story is akin to a rehash of an old Jeffrey Archer or Danielle Steel plot from their halcyon days in the 1970’s and 80’s. Both Archer and Steel’s writing formulas were fairly cons...more
More Than You Know
Penny Vincenzi

What's it all about?

Matt and Eliza and their long long road to unhappiness...their story is the heart of this book but there are many other key characters and their stories that intertwine with Matt and Eliza's.

What are my thoughts?

My thoughts are many characters and so much to think about while so much is going on!!!

I loved every word of this lovely long English novel. It was my perfect cup of English tea although most of the characters were cof...more
Review first published on my blog:

More Than You Know is a saga of a family and the people who surround them. It is set in 1960s London in the world of high fashion and real estate. It is the story of Eliza, a woman from the "upper" class of London, and Matt, a working-class man making his own way in the world. It is the story of how they come together, the family they create, and how that family falls apart and comes together.

More Than You Know is also th...more
This is one of those times that if there was a 1/2 star option, I would give this book 3 1/2 stars. And, quite frankly, it would depend at what point in the book I was asked to rate it. I have read one other Vincenzi book, and loved it. This one took a lot longer to get into, and even then, there where several points when I really did consider giving up on it, which is quite rare for me. The main issue that I kept coming back to was that frankly, I couldn't stand either of the main characters, M...more
Susan Johnson
This book is an extremely readable novel. Set in the 1960's it is the story of a marriage which founders under the weight of it's own passion. The backdrop is swinging London with lavish references to the social and fashion world. Names, from designer Mary Quant, model Jean Shrimpton and photgrapher David Bailey are dropped.
Eliza comes from the upper class of debs and royal presentations but scorns suitable marriage prospects and longs to be involved and write about the fashion world. Her husban...more
I love Penny Vincenzi, though I can’t tell you exactly why.

Part of it is the rich world she delivers. I know little about London in the 1960s, or about fashion magazines, or about real estate, but I was immediately drawn into Eliza and Matt’s lives. I enjoyed reading about how they flit in and out of each others’ lives before they marry. I also liked seeing the social changes happening in the world during that time period.

A larger part of it is the dialogue. Vincenzi relies heavily upon dialogue...more
Vanessa Pinto

Hard to put down. It was a confusing start with so many characters to introduce, each having their own story that intertwined with each other in one fashion or another. I enjoyed the book and the plot immensely, however it took me on an emotional roller coaster and at times very maddening. Unfortunately, curiosity got the best of me and the need to know what happened to Eliza. I feel that the author portrayed the events and atmosphere of the 60's realistically. Difficult to put it into words wi...more
Karen Klein
Need to check my library due dates before I start reading.....have some others that are due way before this one! :) Will get to it soon....

Started again last night!

Finished - I just really like her writing...........
I enjoyed this book early on but eventually found it too predictable, and it took to long to get to where I knew it was going.
This was an interesting story to listen to as we follow the social circles of all the characters involved. Not only do we get an up close look at Eliza's life, but we also get to see things from Matt's perspective as well. Getting to know Matt and Eliza's siblings was like the icing on the cake.

After Eliza ends an engagement, she finds herself falling in love with Matt, a self-made entrepreneur. A whirlwind romance results in a wedding between the two, leaving Eliza compromising the life she led...more
I received a free copy of this book through the GoodReads First Reads program.

As much as I hated a lot of the characters in this book, I wanted to give it 4 stars because it did draw me into the story. I wanted to give it 4 stars, and planned to, up until the last 25 or so pages, when suddenly I realized I was quite likely to hate the ending as well as all those people. As a result, I warn that there will be spoilers toward the end of this review.

"More Than You Know" is set, for the most part, i...more
This is a Not-So-Closet Geek review:

This was my first Penny Vincenzi novel, and I've found reading it to be a rewarding, if not pleasant, experience.

More Than You Know follows two people from different worlds as they stumble into love and later crash out of it. It elegantly shows how a marriage with so much love can go so wrong. This is the first time I've read an up-close portrayal of a divorce and found it successful in it's representation. The pain in this novel...more

In More Than You Know, Vincenzi explores not only the world of fashion design, but of lifestyles and marriages; one marriage in particular.

Eliza Clark's family has always hoped she would make a brilliant marriage to someone rich and powerful. Eliza, although she enjoys her life as a deb, she does have other ideas. She's in no hurry to marry while she pursues her dream of fashion editing in London in the early 60's. It's a heady business and she can't get enough of it, until . .

Until the day she...more
It's interesting because I just re-read all of the reviews for this book and everyone just LOVED the book. And, well, I did not love this book. I even feel conflicted about giving it 3 stars. I think it's a very well written book. It's a very readable book. And personally, I really enjoyed *all* of the cast of characters EXCEPT the two main characters: Matt and Eliza. To be honest, I hated them. Matt I found patronizing and rude and a horrible husband and, yes, a horrible father (refusing to set...more
This book is hard for me to rate. It was more like a 3.5 star for me. There were things that I loved and other things that I cared for less.

What I loved; the author has a very easy writing style she is descriptive and the story flows easily. You want to laugh and cheer and yell at the characters all at the same time. There is a glamorous picture of the rich and famous in the fashion world of London in the late sixties and early seventies. The book is fun and the fashion references are amazing....more
Jennifer Veurink
First of all, I won this in a goodreads giveaway - so THANK YOU!!! This was my first Vincenzi book and I have to say I was disappointed! I found none of the characters very likeable so I didn't really ever care much about what happened. And I basically already knew what was going to happen because of the back cover!!! A note to the publishers: YOU TOLD US EVERYTHING THAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN ON THE BACK OF THE COVER!!! Only the last 50 pages were left to wonder about (and this was a 500+ page boo...more
Mid-Century London is the setting at the beginning of More Than You Know: A Novel. The author paints a lush backdrop for this period piece, showcasing the times as they were. Sweeping from the fifties into the early seventies, we are gifted with a peek into the lives of Londoners who are privileged and well-born; and alongside them, we see the hard working blue collar class, with some notables who pull themselves up by their own efforts.

Against this backdrop, we view the issues of the times: wom...more
Virginia Campbell
A great big, juicy read, "More Than You Know" is author Penny Vincenzi's homage to the glamorously gritty and endlessly fascinating period of history known as "The Sixties". Radical, revolutionary, and refreshingly ridiculous, the 1960's swept away remaining traces of the after-war fifties, and set the stage for the upcoming platform-shoed seventies. Set in high-fashion, high-drama London, and taking the reader to some of the most fabulous cities around the world, "More Than You Know" is also th...more
I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Great pacing in this novel--a few paragraphs on one character, then a few on another. It makes for a quick read. I rarely read synopses of books before I read them & there is a prologue here which hung over & clouded everything I read--I just wait for that to happen. I do not like knowing the outcome before I read it! This "hero" is horrible! Not at all attractive. He treats everyone terribly. Constantly, I questioned why the he...more
Andrea (Cozy Up With A Good Read)
Originally reviewed on Cozy Up With A Good Read

When I started this book I was not quite sure what I was getting into, I've heard a lot about Penny Vincenzi but never actually read anything by her. I also really enjoy books by European authors, especially English/Irish ones, I just seem to enjoy the different setting. I was expecting this to be a big court battle (a little like Jodi Picoult's novels). What I actually got was something so different and yet amazing! I found myself continually surpr...more
A. Elizabeth
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

In this novel of hijinks among the wealthy London set, Eliza is a privileged debutante turned successful working girl vying for success in the high fashion industry in 1960s London. She's gorgeous, savvy, intelligent, and ambitious--the toast of the town. Her story glitters with fascinating details about the world of fashion before the advent of the Internet, plastic surgery, and “women’s lib.” But while the details are fresh, the plot eventually takes a familiar turn: Eliza dumps her high socie...more
More Than You Know (Vincenzi, 2012) spans two decades in the lives of Matt, Eliza, and their families in and about London. Quickly, I would describe this book to be a complex, witty reflection not only on the two decades presented (1950's through 1970's) but also a glimpse at how many of the issues plaguing society fifty years ago still rear their ugly heads.

This book has come at an immensely fortunate time, as much good writing does, and I found myself absolutely unable to put it down for the p...more
Priscilla Melchior
"More Than You Know" is billed as the story Eliza Clark, whose stormy marriage to Matt Shaw serves as the centerpiece of the book. But Eliza and Matt are just the beginning, and the reader is served notice by a two-page listing of a "Cast of Characters" before the book gets under way. Keeping these characters in line is no mean feat.

It's worth the effort. The 20-some years spanned by the story are brought alive in London, Milan, Paris and even a small island off the coast of Greece. Characters r...more
This book has been making me late for work. There is the posh sister-brother pair, Eliza and Charles, and the working class sister-brother pair, Scarlet and Matt. It's London in the 60's. Eliza has a career she loves. And I love that Vincenzi loves women characters who love work, and are smart, and great looking, and have great adventures, and are vulnerable. Not finished yet, but loving it....
Eliza and Matt are a fiery combination, date, find each other exciting, get pregnant, get married. Matt...more
Diana H.
Eliza Clark is from the privileged British class-system. She has moved from her status as a debutante to a career in high-fashion. She is expected to marry well (that is, she’s supposed to marry a rich young man from her own class). However, Eliza falls in love with a young man who has made himself a success. Matt Shaw has no connections and no family money. His money is what he has earned and he is what he made himself.
Matt is however, highly-successful…and rich.
This is their story. It follows...more
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I'm currently taking part in a Q&A Group here on Goodreads to discuss my latest novel, Sheer Abandon . To post questions, please visit: I look forward to an active discussion together.

I was nine years old when I embarked on my storytelling career. I wrote my own magazine called “Stories”, which I copied out three times on carbon paper and sold for two...more
More about Penny Vincenzi...
No Angel (The Spoils of Time, #1) Something Dangerous (The Spoils of Time, #2) Into Temptation (The Spoils of Time, #3) The Best Of Times Sheer Abandon

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