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The Decision

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  2,333 Ratings  ·  278 Reviews
Set against a vibrant sixties backdrop, this is the story of two bright young things: Eliza, an ex-deb making a splash in the world of fashion, and Matt, a working-class boy carving out a serious name for himself in property. Their story begins with a love affair, closely followed by a marriage, followed by a baby. But whilst their relationship is at first fuelled by passi ...more
Paperback, 768 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Headline Review (first published September 1st 2011)
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Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Amanda Milburn
Jul 11, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Also called 'the decision', this book disgusted me. I normally really enjoy Penny Vincenzi but this was beyond the pale. The entire book seemed to condone an incredibly abusive man and made for very uncomfortable reading. I would not recommend.
Aug 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read several of Penny Vincenzi books and am yet to be disappointed by them. When I first read the back of her new one, I didn't know if I could read it as I wasn't sure of the fighting over the child element, I am a bit sensitive about things like that. I need not have worried. As usual with Penny Vincenzi, she tells you the story of the characters involved and very usually goes right back to the beginning of where that relationship started which was the case here. In my opinion she is on ...more
Jan 24, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-ez-rat
This is a legacy book where we start following the characters straight out of school and follow them for a decade or so as they meet romantic partners and those relationships end or lead to marriage, kids and divorce.

I found this a tough read, not that the content was difficult, but there were a lot of characters to keep straight and it was slow going compared to many of the books I read.

This is not a book full of sex, in fact, the sex scenes that did happen were very tame and gentle so if you
Sam Still Reading
Oct 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like chick lit with brain activity
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: read other books by the same author
I really like Penny Vincenzi’s books – you know that you are guaranteed an interesting plot, well written characters and an element of surprise. The Decision is no exception. It is slightly unusual in that you know what will happen to the main characters Eliza and Matt ultimately – it’s no secret that they will get divorced. But it is an interesting reflection on what leads to a marriage and then its downfall. All but the epilogue is revealed by the blurb on the back cover. Is it still worth rea ...more
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 c
Apr 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: r-lt
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
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
Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fluffy-fiction
"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
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
Mar 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
May 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Beth Lloyd
Apr 17, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The final chapter was the only time it grasped my attention. The final chapter was good, the previous 11000000 chapters (well that's how many it felt like) were slow, and many of them could have been edited out with no impact to the storyline. It had potential to be good, but it was too long, too many characters (It was hard to keep track and I kept confusing certain people and having to go back to make sense).
I wanted to give up, but I had already spent weeks and weeks (normally a book takes m
Kate Loveday

I have previously read and enjoyed several of Penny Vincenzi’s books. However, with over 700 pages I found The Decision rather slow going, particularly in the first half, and skimmed through many of the long descriptive passages. The book begins with the revelation that a divorce is pending. Through the rest of the book we learn the poignant story of Eliza and Matt, from the madly passionate love that draws them together through the heart-breaking disintegration of their marriage, and the hurt i
Liz Balaam
May 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The thing I love about Penny Vincenzi is that her characters are so real and believable. I can't stand books where the characters are ultra rich and pages are dedicated to their designer clothes, expensive jewellery, flashy cars and the type of champagne they drink. Sure there are people like that but not in the circles I move in. In this book Matt made money, but he was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth - he worked for it and was therefore a believable character. I also liked that Eliza ...more
Zeta Dina
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-read-2017
Svijet koji je prikazan pokazuje nacin zivota bogatih obitelji, siromasnih I sto se dogodi kada netko tko nije imao nista postane bogat I priznat u visokom drustvu. Karakterizacija likova je dobro izvedena, saznajemo puno kroz njihova djela ali I unutarnje monologe koji, da su receni glasno, svakako bi promijenili tijek stvari. Znaci I oni sami igraju igru principa I osvete a ne onoga sto osjecaju.
stvarno me je u nekoliko navrata izivcirao odnos Meta I Elajze, zasto se uopce udavala kad je znala
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
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Every year I indulge in the shameful pleasure of the latest Vincenzi, but the pleasure is waning because her template never changes. This one is set in the 1960s, so every few chapters Kennedy is shot or Twiggy is cited, but the stuff in between is pretty standard. One new thing: I bought the e-book version of this book and had lots of fun running searches on her favorite words, like "terribly" and "darling" and "lovely." That last search made steam come out the sides of my poor Nook.
Apr 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another triumph for Penny Vincenzi. Like all her books, this one is absolutely riveting. It made me lose sleep - I couldn't put it down.

It gives a poignant portrayal of marriage breakdown and what the effects can be on friends and family.

I found the judge's decision in the custody/residency case somewhat unrealistic, but hey that's fiction !

Karen Klein
Mar 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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...........
Cindee Zurko
This book would have been good with just one of the many plots. There were two many subplots, and way too many characters to keep track of; and I often was confused about when a particular event/action actually took place.
Sherry Shapiro
I heard Penny Vincenzi was a good author and this is the first book of hers that I read. It was ok. I didn't love the story and there were too many characters.
Efemmeral Ephemeral
The writing was forced and immature. Fifty pages in I quit; I simply didn't want to learn anything more about the shallow, simply drawn characters.
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.
Nov 04, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't really enjoy this book, it was very slow, I am surprised I stuck with it to the end, I wouldn't recommend.
Jul 04, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Tedious characters in a tawdry social landscape

Usually the characters with which Vincenzi peoples her upper class environs move the story forward with such vim and charm amongst the dross that her lack of social concerns other than those of the rich can be forgiven. After all, every novel does not have to teak at our social consciousness, raise and deal with issues with a feminist or concerns with fairness to be a good read. However, this novel not only fails to introduce any such concerns, but
Feb 12, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: firstreads
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
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Mar 21, 2015 11:16AM  
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  • The Last Storyteller (A Novel of Ireland, #3)
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  • Strindberg's Star
  • Marrying Up
  • Helen Keller in Love
  • The Loved and the Lost (The Verona Trilogy #3)
  • Tongue In Cheek (Lodes Chronicles, #2)
  • City of Promise: A Novel of New York's Gilded Age (Old New York, #4)
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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
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