Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford

Book Description:

In 1905 a young kitchen maid leaves Fairley Hall.  Emma Harte is sixteen, single and pregnant.

By 1968 she is one of the richest women in the world, ruler of a business empire stretching from Yorkshire to the glittering cities of America and the rugged vastness of Australia.

But what is the price she has paid?

A magnificient dynastic saga, as impossible to put down as it is to forget.  A Woman of Substance is truly a classic novel of our times.

My Review:

While I wouldn't put this book in the same league with Gone With the Wind as some people have, I did enjoy the story immensely.  The characters were fully and richly conceived.  My only complaint there was that Emma sometimes seemed to good to be true.  Some of the other characters were just a little too despicable, too.

The story kept my interest throughout.  I enjoyed the plot twists and turns, and I especially enjoyed the descriptions of clothing, buildings and furnishings.  However, since I prefer historical fiction, primarily in the 16th and 17th centuries, the time period of the early- to mid-20th century didn't really grab me.

This is the second book I have read by Barbara Taylor Bradford, and this one was far superior to Her Own Rules.  Since this was Ms Bradford's first book, I assume she put everything she had into it.  She also wrote two sequels to A Woman of Substance, and I wouldn't mind reading them, if they happen to come along, but I won't go out of my way to get them.  I suspect they will not be as good as this book, plus they will undoubtedly focus on a more current time period, even, than this book did.


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