Anatomy of a Scandal

Anatomy of a Scandal

by Sarah Vaughan

Overview: You want to believe your husband. She wants to destroy him. 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?

Deanna Boe (09/03/18) This is another book that jumps back and forth between 1992/93 and 2017. The early years deal with three people who are at Oxford together for their first year: Sophie, Holly, and James. The 2017 year deals also with James, Sophie, but then Kate and Olivia. There is an interesting twist when it comes to these last four characters, but I hesitate to tell it because I don’t want to spoil that surprise. Perhaps you will guess it as the storyline goes along.

Holly is average looking, but extremely intelligent. She is not from a wealthy or well known family, but through diligence has earned a scholarship to Oxford. Sophia and James both come from wealthy families and each is extremely good looking. Sophia and Holly become somewhat friends simply because Sophia needs help in her studies. James belongs to a “secret” type of organization. His best friend from childhood, Tom, also goes to Oxford and is part of this group.

Something horrible happens to Holly at the end of her first year which causes her to not return to Oxford after all of her hard work to be accepted there. James continues to have all types of affairs and just before he and Tom graduate they are able to escape from being part of a horrible scandal. In the meantime James finally settles down and marries Sophia. We now jump forward to 2017. James has a high position in government and Tom is the Prime Minister. It is then that James is caught up in the humiliation of being accused of rape. Was it rape? Or was Olivia simply upset because James had broken off his affair with her? This is where Kate plays a major role in the whole sordid affair. Who exactly is Kate? That is for you to find out. There is one line in the book that I found quite ironic since it is stated by James: “The trouble with women is they lack the courage of their conviction.” Will it hold true in the end?
Rating: ****

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