18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Please keep it secret...,
By A Customer
This review is from: Emma's Secret (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.
On the plus side, someone thoughtfully bought this for my birthday present, so I didn't actually have to spend any money on it - on the down side, I will be forced to read "Unexpected Blessings" out of sheer curiousity and bloody-mindedness. Although I will wait till it's half-price in Smiths or Tescos. Or possibly buy it second-hand from a charity shop...