Generally stated, the present invention provides a distinctive absorbent article comprising a backsheet layer, and a topsheet layer which is disposed in facing relation with the backsheet layer. An absorbent body is interposed between the backsheet layer and topsheet layer. The absorbent body includes a retention portion which comprises a matrix of substantially hydrophilic fibers having a distribution of high-absorbency particulate material therein. The hydrophilic fibers and high-absorbency particles can be provided in a fiber-to-particle weight ratio within the range of about 70:30 to about 30:70. A surge management layer, comprising bicomponent fibers having a denier of not more than about 3 d, is located adjacent at least one major, facing surface of the topsheet layer, and can cooperate with the article components to provide for a liquid Penetration Rate index of not less than about 2.67 ml/sec.