Popsugar Reading Challenge 2022 Book 11

This was a hard one as lots of the things veing released soon were either books I had already read or not ones I was particularly interested in. Then I saw Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan which is heading to UK Netflix in April so a perfect fit for the prompt amd borrowed in from my local library.

What it’s about?

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?

What I think:

This was definitely a gripping read.

Given the state of the actual British Government it’s also quite depressing.

Rich, entitled students linked by school and family connections go on to become rich, entitled and corrupt politicians.

The court room drama is really compelling. Sophie is determined to stand by her man and support his political career, but as she listens to the evidence she has more and more doubts about whether or not he is telling the truth about his affair.

Both Sophie and Kate are such interesting characters. Sophie comes across at first as simply a wife and mother with too much money and too much time on her hands. As her story unfolds the reader sees how much more there is to her and what power she actual holds.

Kate is a workaholic. She takes on sexual assaults cases that are traumatising for everyone involved, especially the victims. She knows that James is guilty, but convincing a jury to put aside their own biases and believe his victim is going to be tough.

Ultimately, both women are fight for what they believe it and to save what is important to them.

What is so depressing is that for the majority of the book, James is relatively unaffected by everything. His career falters but doesn’t end, his colleagues stand by him and PR gets to work rehabilitating him in the eyes of the public. He smiles and charms and expects people to support him.

I won’t spoil the ending as I’m sure lots of people are planning to watch the show when it drops, but it was definitely satisfying.

I’m going to be interested to see how the series compares to the book.

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