I got a second happy copy of ‘A Woman of Substance‘ after a few good recommendations and a few visits to second hand book shops.
The blurb from Goodreads.com:
On the brooding moors above a humble Yorkshire village stood Fairley Hall. There, Emma Harte, its oppressed but resourceful servant girl, acquired a shrewd determination. There, she honed her skills, discovered the meaning of treachery, learned to survive, to become a woman, and vowed to make her mark on the world.
In the wake of tragedy she rose from poverty to magnificent wealth as the iron-willed force behind a thriving international enterprise. As one of the richest women in the world Emma Harte has almost everything she fought so hard to achieve—save for the dream of love, and for the passion of the one man she could never have.
Through two marriages, two devastating wars, and generations of secrets, Emma’s unparalleled success has come with a price. As greed, envy, and revenge consume those closest to her, the brilliant matriarch now finds herself poised to outwit her enemies, and to face the betrayals of the past with the same ingenious resolve that forged her empire.
Remember Scarlett O’Hara of Gone with the Wind and Meggie Cleary of The Thorn Birds !!! Emma Harte who is the so called Woman of Substance is a balanced fusion of both these characters – Strong willed, beautiful, ambitious etc etc.
There is a praise for this book on the book cover saying this book is for people who like McCullough’s The Thorn Birds. It is true in some respect that a huge book of over 900 pages is not for the weak hearted :P
I liked reading this book and I couldn’t possibly put this down before completing it. But there were umpteen moments when I just wanted the book to finish so that I can get on with my life. And the ending was very predictable…So you just had to wait to see it happening.
And I don’t think I will be picking up any of the sequels in a long time. There are 5 more books in the sequel.
Verdict: Interesting, but too long and predictable.
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
First Release: 1979
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