A Review of The Emma Harte Saga by Barbara Taylor Bradford

Barbara Taylor Bradford - The Emma Hart SagaBegun in 1979, A Woman of Substance is the first in The Emma Harte Saga by Barbara Taylor Bradford and is the story of an impoverished English maiden’s rise from rags to riches.  Born in 1889, Emma at a mere fourteen years of age embarks on a journey to make something of herself and ends up building and commanding an empire.  Primarily set in England, where it all starts, the action of the trilogy ultimately spans three continents—Europe, North America, and Australia—and three families, all with their own meteoric rise to wealth and power—the Hartes, the O’Neills, and the Kallinskis, very close lifetime friends.

Loved and respected by all who encounter her, Emma is a woman of substance, strong and determined; and she nurtures these qualities in her children, her grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren, who continue her dream.  Yet throughout this trilogy, which spans nearly a hundred years, the ever growing family, though remaining successful, undergoes its trials, including in some cases infighting.

Hold the Dream, published in 1985, the second in the trilogy, and To Be the Best, published in 1988, number three, feature Paula McGill O’Neill, the granddaughter Emma has groomed to take the helm.  Not only does she keep her grandmother’s dream alive, but she, too, dares to create something she can call her own.

A lover of great romance novels, I discovered this trilogy late, thanks to a reading buddy, and loved every page:  strong characters, beautiful men and women, great descriptions!  Emma Harte was a woman ahead of her time.

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