To be the Best

To be the Best

4.05 (4,350 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
By (author) 

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This novel is the sequel to "A Woman of Substance" and "Hold the Dream", and it continues the story of the Harte family. Emma's message to her grandaughter Paula - "hold the dream" - becomes vital as Paula strives to be more relentless and courageous in order to preserve the Harte more

Product details

  • Hardback | 480 pages
  • 162 x 232 x 46mm | 839.14g
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Library edition
  • 0246129832
  • 9780246129833

Review Text

What else, but another jet-set soap from Bradford? This one picks up the story of the family and business empire founded by Emma Harte in A Woman of Substance (1979), and elaborated upon in Act of Will (1986). Since it concerns the fates of the Harte grandchildren, a full first half of the book is devoted to exposition, and it would take a genealogist to keep the legions straight. There's Paula O'Neill, now at the helm of the Harte department stores, a retailer extraordinaire (the world is her Bloomingdale's), married to hotel magnate Shane O'Neill. Her cousin, Alexander, who lost his wife in the Chamonix avalanche at the curtain of Act of Will, here faces the second half of a Bradford double-whammy when he contracts a terminal form of leukemia. Half a world away, Paula's Australian brother, Philip, at last finds the woman of his dreams, only to lose her in childbirth; and in Hong Kong more trouble lurks, as Jonathan Ainsley, Paula's slimy hissing cousin, plots to take over the Harte stores. Meanwhile, Bradford ties up a few loose ends from earlier portions of the saga by marrying Paula and Philip's widowed mother, Daisy, off to a congenial Aussie, and the mystery of cousin Anthony Standish's first wife's suicide is laid bare. As usual, disasters - both natural and unnatural - multiply as the story trots toward its close, with Shane's Sydney hotel going up in smoke and nasty Jonathan making his surprise takeover bid. But not to worry, because the good guys here are all in their prime (at whatever age), and imbued with their grandmother's ability to rebound. Bradford manages a remarkable juggling act, though her plot's a real nonstarter. Still, there are enough name-brand fashions, ritzy hotels, and beautiful people (with cozy nicknames like "Beanstalk" and "Dumps") to fascinate fans. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

4,350 ratings
4.05 out of 5 stars
5 38% (1,674)
4 35% (1,510)
3 22% (947)
2 4% (175)
1 1% (44)
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