If you haven't read the first books in the series that began with A
Woman of Substance (followed by Hold the Dream and To Be the Best)
don't let that deter you from reading this spellbinding novel, the
fourth in the set. At the heart of this saga is Paula O'Neill,
granddaughter of the remarkable Emma who battled her way out of
grinding poverty to build her own retail empire and become a woman
of substance. Paula believes that Emma's business and fortune are
secure, but bitter sibling rivalry has long divided the family.
Evan Hughes, a young American fashion designer, walks into Emma's
prestigious London store and into this most volatile of situations.
On her deathbed, Evan's grandmother had told her she must find Emma
Harte, and Evan is dismayed to discover Emma has been dead for some
30 years. However, she decides to apply for a job in the store and
is taken on. Everyone who meets Evan is struck by the fact that she
bears an uncanny resemblance to Paula O'Neill, and Paula turns to
Emma's recently discovered wartime diaries to see if there is any
clue to Evan's identity. The narrative switches to London during
the Blitz and we see Emma courageously holding her family together
as sirens wail, bombs drop and her sons go off to war. It is her
indomitable willpower and strength that carry her, and those who
depend on her, through. As Paula reads Emma's diaries from
beginning to end she discovers the secret Emma Harte took to her
grave to protect others. This is a compulsive read; little surprise
when one considers that Barbara Taylor Bradford is a gifted
storyteller and a bestseller in 89 countries. Her novels have been
translated into 39 languages and there are more than 61 million
copies of her books in print. (Kirkus UK)
The book the fans have been waiting for: the much-anticipated
sequel to the phenomenally successful A WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE. The
legendary Emma Harte, heroine of A Woman of Substance, returns...At
the centre of this sweeping saga stands Paula O'Neill, beloved
granddaughter of Emma and the guardian of her vast business empire.
Paula believes that all that Emma left to the family is secure.
However, beneath the surface sibling rivalry and discontent are
beginning to flare. Into this volatile mix walks Evan Hughes, a
young American fashion designer. On her deathbed, Evan's
grandmother told her to find Emma Harte. But Emma has been dead for
thirty years; and Evan bears an uncanny resemblance to Paula
O'Neill. Troubled by Evan's presence, Paula turns to Emma's
recently discovered war-time diaries to find the truth...The
decades fall away. It is London during The Blitz and Emma Harte
comes vividly back to life. Working hard under war-time conditions,
she is also holding her family together as bombs drop, sirens wail
and her sons go off to war. As she struggles to cope, the
indomitability, will power and strength that have forged Emma into
the woman she is all come to the fore. As the pages unfurl, Paula
discovers the secret Emma Harte took to the grave to protect
others. Emma's Secret is vintage Barbara Taylor Bradford. Emotion,
drama, intrigue and passion fill the pages in a spellbinding novel
which only she could write.
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