Remember by Barbara Taylor Bradford

a red ribbon tied on the b in remember is cover artBarbara Taylor Bradford sets the opening of Remember in 1989 China where TV reporter Nicky Wells and photographer Cleeland Donovan cover the student protests.

Friends before Tiananmen Square, Nicky and Clee become sex partners afterward. Clee loves Nicky; she’s not sure she loves him.

Nicky has never recovered from losing Charles Devereaux, who is believed to have committed suicide—he left a note for his mother—but whose body has never been found.

One day, Nicky sees on a TV news broadcast from Rome, a man who she is sure is Charles.

Nicky goes into investigative reporter mode to find out why he faked suicide. She suspects he might have been involved in drug trafficking or illegal munitions sales: His international wine business plus his aristocratic connections would have provided ample cover for either.

Each of the trails Nicky follows ends in a dead end, until she learns details about his parents.

The Tiananmen Square details and the European travelogue is interesting, but Nicki’s pursuit of the truth about her ex-lover has all the drama of reporting on a zoning board application.

Although the dust jacket promises readers will never forget Remember, I had forgotten most of it the morning after I’d read it.

Remember by Barbara Taylor Bradford
Random House. ©1991. 381 p.
1991 bestseller #9; my grade: C+

©2020 Linda G. Aragoni

To Be the Best (or not)

Dust jacket proclaims To Be the Best part of the "Woman of Substance" seriesAccording to its jacket notes, To Be the Best is the third and “the most thrilling novel yet” book in a saga about the family of Emma Harte.

That means the first two were as thrilling as watching a mud puddle evaporate.

Emma Harte strong, shrewd business woman who made a fortune creating and running a chain of elegant department stores.

Although she was devoted to her family, Emma didn’t have time to pay much attention to her children or their partners until some of them had run amuck.

Since Emma’s death and those of several other family members who presumably also appeared in earlier volumes, the family business has been run by Emma’s granddaughter, Paula.

This novel sees a series of family tragedies: murder, suicide, hemorrhage, and fire.

And Paula makes a big mistake that almost gives one of the run-amucks control of the corporation.

Despite all their ups and downs, the family sticks together. They’re always there for each other, arriving by a chauffeured limo or private jet, impeccably groomed, attired by the most fashionable designers,  glittering with gems,  always leaving behind a trace of the most exotic perfumes, always on hand for a happy ending.

To Be the Best by Barbara Taylor Bradford
Doubleday. ©1988. 514 p.
1988 bestseller #8; my grade: C-

©2019 Linda G. Aragoni