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Emma's Secret Paperback – 2 Feb 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New Ed edition (2 Feb. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006514413
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006514411
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 3.7 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 250,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Barbara Taylor Bradford was born and raised in England. She started her writing career on the Yorkshire Evening Post and later worked as a journalist in London. Her first novel, A Woman of Substance, became an enduring bestseller and was followed by twenty-four bestselling novels. Her books have sold more than eighty-one million copies worldwide in more than ninety countries and forty languages, and ten mini-series and television movies have been made of her books. She lives in New York City with her husband, television producer Robert Bradford.

Product Description

Review

‘A sweeping saga full of passion and intrigue…a gripping read’ Hello!

Praise for Barbara Taylor Bradford:

‘The storyteller of substance’ The Times

‘Few novelists are as consummate as Barbara Taylor Bradford at keeping the reader turning the page. She is one of the world’s best at spinning yarns.’ Guardian

'Queen of the genre.' Sunday Times

Book Description

A Woman of Substance: The Missing Years


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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 July 2004
Format: Paperback
After seeing the other reviews, I embarked on this book with a certain amount of trepidation, having read the previous three in the saga some years ago, and sadly I felt it lived right down to my expectations. It felt over-written, under-edited, and thereby could have been fitted on to half the amount of pages. Excess stressing of the beauty of the characters (well, I know we expect them to all be lovely, but is it necessary to have everyone they meet mentally admiring their perfections?) combined with a rather unlikely scenario of the busy Emma finding time to visit the Houses of Commons on the right day to listen to Churchill's most famous war-time speech made the whole experience rather tedious.

I found it rather incredible that Emma could lay her hands on so much food to support the people in the bombed West End, practically climbing over the rubble to deliver it from baskets... I KNOW this is fiction, but surely in War-time people didn't just have a whole store full of game pies casually at their disposal? My suspended belief had trouble in remaining so. The modern day part was not especially intriguing - even the wait to the end to discover Evan's real family felt like a hard grind.

"To Be The Best" was possibly a sequel too far, but I feel this one really is money for old rope. And heaven help us, there's another on the horizon in the form of "Unexpected Blessings". Is the Unexpected Blessing the fact that Mrs Bradford is hanging up her pen after that one? I have been forced to go back to "A Woman of Substance" to see if it was as good as I'd thought when I first read it at the age of 19. And actually, yes, it's not bad. It moved me in the right places and was an inspiring tale.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "jlovemore" on 22 Sept. 2004
Format: Paperback
Having loved A Woman of Substance and the following books in the saga, I eagerly picked up Emma's Secret. It began quite well, though the endless descriptions of food and what the characters were wearing, as opposed to any action/drama, began to bore after a while. Being a food lover I enjoyed the food descriptions at first - but when you realise they are written in place of a plot it begins to grate. Whilst reading it I thought it was EXACTLY like a bad American mini-series drama - real plot-free rubbish. The book is divided into three sections - it begins in the present day, then goes to the war years and then ends in the present day. I got the impression that BTB was completely bored whilst writing the war years section - she must have written it on autopilot. I was utterly bored reading it. There was no drama, no action, no passion, no interest, nothing. Emma did indeed have a bit of a "secret" and this could have been actually WRITTEN ABOUT and fleshed out - but no. We don't actually get to read exactly what the characters go through or feel re. Emma's Secret - we just find out what it was. Very very boring - don't waste your time on it!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nerdy Girl on 25 April 2012
Format: Paperback
I bought this book before I realised that it is part of a series. When I discovered this fact, I decided to read them in order so I bought the three that come before this (A Woman of Substance, Hold the Dream and To Be the Best) and read them first. I am so glad I made that decision. I enjoyed the first three immensely but this one was extremely disappointing, as if it had been written by a different writer. The story is uneventful and not enough time is given to each character. I had to read endless descriptions of how beautiful and well-mannered each character is, which I found tedious and unecessary to the story. If I hadn't read the first three books I would not have bothered finishing this one, and I would only recommend this book to someone who is intersted in reading the whole series.

The most disappointing part was the ending. I actually thought that perhaps some chapters were missing from my edition as several plot points that were explored in the novel were not tied up. I actually think that BTB got fed up of writing and decided to write the final chapter and finish the novel. I hope that she ties them up in the next book and I also hope that she resumes the high standard of writing from A Woman of Substance and Hold The Dream.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By C. Watson on 31 Oct. 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a book that did not need to be written. I found the story very flimsy, pointless and to use a word from one of the authors other books about Emma Harte, no 'substance'. I watched a TV interview when Ms Taylor Bradford was promoting this book and she said it was the result of fan letters asking to hear more about Emma. She should have ignored the letters.
There was not enough focus on one character or situation for me to care about any of the characters. And the big build up to a show down between Emma and an old nemises fizzled away to nothing.
Apart from the lack of plot, I found the writting itself really annoying. At times it felt a very small step from books teaching children to read. Here is an example.... Emma said she met Winston Churchill and she was asked when and where. Her answer was... "I met him last Sunday, September the eighth... only four days ago, to be precise." One of these answers would have been fine and the fact this kind of grammer is repeated throughout the book is very frustrating.
If you feel you still really want to read this book, I would wait until it is out in paperback so you won't feel you have wasted your money.
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