The Summary (Amazon):
Set at the beginning of the twentieth century, the novel opens with a tragedy: the death of 17-year-old Edward Deravenel's father and brother in a mysterious fire. Edward is the true heir to the family company, but for the past 60 years it has been controlled by another branch of the family, the Grants. Edward's cousin Neville also lost his father and brother in the fire, and the two make a pact to reclaim the firm. Because Henry Grant, the current head of the company, is barely sane, the true power resides with his conniving wife, Margot, and several board members. Edward leaves Oxford to work for the company, but life isn't all work for the handsome playboy as he begins a passionate affair. Edward's enemies are determined to keep him from seizing power, and he faces both a devastating loss and a stunning betrayal.
I have a bit difficulties with historical romance and I know it. This book is an example of why I seldom read historical romance/ historical fiction. It's not that I don't like it, but normally I try to avoid choosing it to be read. But, I really want to diverse my mind in reading different kind of genres, like broaden your mind, right? And this time I tried Barbara Taylor Bradford. This is my first time to read one of her books.
However, my problems with the book is the name changes are the least of its troubles. Ned is a despicable character; he has few redeeming qualities other than what BTB tells us is his good looks. He has abandoned (well he at least never tries very hard to look for her) one lover, who bears his child and presumably dies; the child ends up on the street; she becomes the daughter of man who eventually betrays him and he never seems to care about this; he uses women like yesterday's shirts; has no compassion for a man who was a family friend for many years (but BTB conveniently kills him in a car accident *spoiler*); and another lover and baby are killed in an accident. I think I couldn't hold my breath writing this. So much drama, yet make my head spin to understand plus at least 2/3 new characters in every chapter?
And is there a female character in the book that isn't a complete insane? Cecily has little to say about Ned's misadventures, Lily is all too willing to be used, Tabitha runs away, Jane divorces her husband, Elizabeth is a neurotic baby machine and her mother is even worse. If the saga goes on, I don't know what kind of woman and sex manipulation she'll write. I love romance, and I do read romance novel. But this is not like a romance novel should be. Am I too harsh? Well, I'm sorry. I'm kind of very disappointed with the book. I could stop and give up reading the book earlier, but I want to know the ending and what's the verdict. Luckily, I like the ending. There's at least one good thing about the book after all. Thank goodness!
I did enjoy at some of few chapters, but overall, I think I should choose her other bestselling novel instead, later. One thing for sure, not every bestselling book/author is actually a best. I've learned my lesson.. *sob*
My Rating: 2/5 (I'm sorry!)
Have you ever read any books by Barbara Taylor Bradford? I love to hear your opinion or leave a link to your review about her book (if you have) in the comments. Thanks!