Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Review: To Be the Best by Barbara Taylor Bradford

Final book of the year!  I finished this one tonight, just squeaking it into the 2014 totals.  I'm pretty sure I Mooched my copy, as it is a used book, and about the only place I get my used books is from BookMooch, so...

I was reading this book while staying with my family over Christmas, and I was trying to describe what it was about to my sister, and it was actually really hard.  It's a family saga about a woman who created a department store chain.  And that makes it sound so boring, but it's really a great series of books.  This book, like Hold the Dream, focuses on Paula O'Neill, Emma Harte's granddaughter and the current head of the Harte's Department Stores chain (and its attendant businesses).  The book begins several years after the last one ended.  Paula and Shane are married and have two children of their own.  Things continue to go well for the Hartes, O'Neills, and Kallinskys.  Until an old enemy rears his ugly head.  Will Paula continue the tradition of excellence initiated by the great Emma Harte, or will she make a misstep and cost herself the company?  Is a hostile takeover in the future for the Harte chain?

This one wasn't my favorite of all the books.  I still think the first book was the best.  In To Be the Best, there is a more disjointed focus on some of the minor players that kind of took me out of the main storyline.  I do understand why those people were introduced, and they played important parts in the later chapters of the book, but it wasn't done very organically, so it felt jarring to me.

Overall, though, the book was a good, solid entry in the Harte saga.  Four out of five Whatevers.  Recommended for folks who are already into this series, for those who enjoy sweeping family sagas, and for those who like stories of corporate intrigue that smack of the 1980's.


P.S. I made it to a whopping 13 books this year, which is two more than last year, so goal realized!  I blame Les Mis, that doorstop that I started the year with (but which was totally worth it).

1 comment:

Literary Feline said...

I really need to start Les Miserables again.

I've never read anything by Bradford. Not that I can remember anyway. I know my mom likes her books.

I hope you have a very Happy New Year, Lexi!