More than two decades ago, Bradford penned A Woman of Substance, the first novel in the Emma Harte saga. Now she concludes that legacy, with Emma's grandchildren and great-grandchildren running her department store empire.

Linnet O'Neill, Emma's great-granddaughter, works at Harte's in London. So does another great-grandchild, Linnet's American cousin Evan Hughes, who wants to use her handcrafted bridal gowns to promote the store.

Meanwhile, the family is busy planning Evan's wedding to Gideon Harte at family home Pennistone Royal, and Evan is pregnant with twins. At the crux of the novel is the couple's desire to marry, despite fears that the family black sheep, Evan's uncle Jonathan, will disrupt the ceremony.

Bradford's latest is a truly remarkable conclusion to her beloved Harte family saga. The characters' lives intertwine to create a riveting and intense plot. Not many novels have the ability to completely immerse the reader, but this one draws you into the story from the very first page. (Jan., 480 pp., $24.95)
Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick