Twenty-five years ago, word of mouth made A Woman of Substance an instant bestseller. Now Bradford continues the Harte family sagathree decades after heroine Emma Harte's death.
It is the dawn of a new century, and Emma's granddaughter, Paula O'Neill, now runs the Harte business empire in England. Evan Hughes, an American fashion designer, travels to England in search of Emma, to fulfill her own grandmother's deathbed wish. But Emma has been dead for 30 years, and Evan's striking resemblance to Paula is unsettling. Paula turns to Emma's wartime diaries for answers and rediscovers the strong, indomitable woman whose pure will power built an empire. She also uncovers a secret Emma took to the grave.
Filling in missing pieces from A Woman of Substance and introducing readers to another generation of Hartes infuses the original story with new energy. Emma Harte is one of those characters whom we never want to leave behind, and thank goodness Bradford has brought her back to us with a story worthy of this truly remarkable woman.(Jan., 475 pp., $24.95)