Jeanette's Reviews > Scandalous Risks

Scandalous Risks by Susan Howatch
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's review
Jun 25, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: mygreat2007rereadadventure

This is the fourth book in the Starbridge series and is narrated by Venetia Flaxton, a young woman of intellect and means but no direction, and centers around her strange affair in 1963 with 61-year-old Neville Aysgarth, dean of Starbridge Cathedral.

This book had me grinding my teeth in frustration with Neville. Everything Jon did in the previous book to help him get back on a correct spiritual path seems to go down the drain with his obsession with Venetia. Marrying Dido was the worse possible thing he could have done both for himself personally and also for his children. Because he doesn't love her but feels guilty for marrying her he overcompensates by doting on her while suppresses his own needs and desires. This conflict ends up being a recipe for a disaster for not only himself and his family but has disastrous consequences for Venetia as well.
To compound his problems Neville also indulges in high risk behaviours managing the cathedral. Much is made in this book about his alcoholism but personally I thought his addiction to adrenalin and to living on the edge of disaster was a bigger problem.

In the background of all this drama we see the return of Charles and Lyle Ashworth, the main characters in Glittering Images. Charles is now the Bishop of Starbridge and represents the conservative wing of the CoE, a position which puts him into conflict with Neville over the cathedral management.

Meanwhile, the offspring of the older characters are romping though the 1960's putting additional grey in their parents hair and courting disasters of their own.

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