Author: Sarah Vaughan
To Be Published: January 23, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: November 25-December 9, 2017
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars
Book Description from Amazon:
An astonishingly incisive and suspenseful novel about a scandal amongst Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake.
Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.
Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.
Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.
Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?
It seems like we are hearing daily now of sex scandals and the issue of consent in the entertainment and political arenas. Anatomy of a Scandal deals with this issue as well in the political field in Britain. It is told through multiple points of view: James, Sophie, and Kate. Scandal also moves between past and present. It is clearly shown who the narrator is and when, so it prevents reader confusion.
It is a character driven novel and we find out how the past affects who people become. It was intriguing to read how one event can shape a whole person’s life. It is a slow moving novel but I found myself interested in the court case. You wonder throughout the novel if James is guilty or not. We do get the answer to this question.
I felt for Sophie throughout the novel as she tries to decide what she is going to do: Support her husband or not? She wonders did he do this or not? I liked Kate a lot. She is a very tough barrister that I would like to see more of. She did have to grow on me but she became my favorite character.
Though slow moving, the plot twists keep you going. I had difficultly reading it because it was almost too glacial for me, but then we would get a twist and it would keep me wanting to read it. I absolutely loved the end! I wanted more when I was finished. The ending was very satisfying for me.
Anatomy of a Scandal is recommended. Special thanks to Atria Books and Emily Bestler Books for sending me a print arc copy!