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A Man of Honor

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Member Reviews

I was so excited to have the chance to read A Man of Honor by Barbara Taylor Bradford sadly the excitement was short-lived the book was hard to get into and she could not keep my interest. To be fair I read A Woman of Substance in the 80’s one of my first adult books and loved it but did not truly remember it. The voice in this prequel felt unrealistic, someone much more mature and when he did grow up his voice never changed.  The story runs between fascinating and somewhat stagnant in places, but it certainly gives a thorough character development for very likable Blackie.

Thank you #netgalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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The prequel to "A Woman of Substance," "A Man of Honor" by Barbara Taylor Bradford takes the reader back to North Kerry in 1899. Here we are introduced to a young Blackie O'Neill whose sister has recently died and who is about to embark on a journey to live with his aunt and uncle in Leeds. This is the backstory fans of the Emma Harte series have been waiting for. Although, I wish there was more meat to this book, it does give insight into what motivates Blackie and how Emma Harte enters into his life. Many questions come up as the story unfolds but remain unanswered at the book's end-- questions that, if they were to be answered, would add a substantial amount of detail to "A Man of Honor." If you've never read "A Woman of Substance," "A Man of Honor" is a good place to dip your toe in and begin your journey. On the other hand, if you have already read "A Woman of Substance," you may find this latest book in the series to be a disappointment and not up to what readers have come to expect from the Emma Harte series.

Thank you to St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for the ARC.
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DNF @ 65%

Back in the 80's one of the best books I had ever read was "A Woman of Substance" by Barbara Taylor Bradford.  I remember working at my first real job in the Wall Street area of NYC and having some fellow readers in my office asking to borrow it, who also loved it.  I did read some of the successive novels in the series, but they never held up to that special something the first novel had.  When I saw this prequel I jumped at the chance to read it, thinking I would love it and finally re-read "A Woman of Substance" afterwards for the first time in decades.  However, I was sadly disappointed. 

This book centers upon the youthful Irish character of Blackie O'Neill who loomed large in this Emma Harte series, but branches out further into the lives of some parallel characters.  I enjoyed reading about Blackie's successful apprenticeship learning to be a builder and architect, but the repeated strange introductions of a few female characters into the story eventually ruined this for me.  At the 65% point I encountered a moronic rationale for why a prominent character's wife decided to close the bedroom door in their marriage, and it simultaneously closed the door on my desire to move on any further with this book. 

Thank you to St. Martin's Press for providing an advance reader's copy via NetGalley.
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I read A Woman of Substance when it was first published. A wonderful book by Barbara Taylor Bradford. She went on to write a beautiful series around Emma and Blackie. This particular book is the prequel to Woman of Substance, explaining the devastating living and working conditions in 1800s Ireland, and the courage required by people to seek out a new life in "the county where streets are paved with gold". Once you read this book, go on and read Woman of Substance. You won't be disappointed.
Thank you NetGalley for providing this copy. This review is entirely my own opinion.
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I am not familiar with Barbara Taylor Bradford's work and I think that is important because I am going into this without background knowledge of the characters, story, or world that has been written. I think I may have enjoyed the story more if I did have more of that connection. 

As it is, I found the story to be a bit mundane. I thought that the dialogue was awkward and there seemed to be some challenges with focusing on what was important. As it seemed like some details just really shouldn't matter or shouldn't get as much attention as they did. 

What I did enjoy: 
I enjoyed seeing the growth in Blackie and how different individuals had an impact on his life. 
I also enjoyed connections between some of the characters and ultimately how it is the relationships we have that shape who we are and what we become. 

Overall, it was an ok read for me, but if you are a fan of previous work from this author, you may enjoy it. I appreciate being able to review this copy. Thank you.
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I really enjoyed this prequel to A Woman of Substance. I read A Woman of Substance many years ago so this was a great addition to the story. 

The author gives us an insight into the hardships that the Irish people faced as well as their strong characters. Her descriptions of the countryside was so vivid that you could feel the winds. And the dialogue was delightful. I could hear the Irish brogue in my mind as I read Blackie's comments.

When Blackie was given a chance at a better life he jumped at it. He leaves his home and heads to England to work and live with his Uncle. He works hard and gains an excellent reputation in his trade. Blackie has his dreams and he is not afraid to work for them.

Through the sadness, trials and experiences, Blackie never lowers his moral standards and in all things is truly "A Man of Honor".
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A Man of Honor is a prequel to A Woman of  Substance. Unfortunately, I could not remember the first book other than the name Blackie! I feel like I need to reread A Woman of Substance to get the rest of the story. It was intriguing to see how people lived in  England in the time between the wars. But at times there didn’t seem to be much of a plot or a purpose to the book.
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I loved her Cavendon books so much, however the story went too long and lost the beauty.   I read the book that this is a prequel too but didn't enjoy it as much.  

I wanted to love this story but it just felt dense and hard to wade through.
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It has been decades since I first read Barbara Taylor Bradford’s series that began with A Woman of Substance.  A Man of Honor is actually a prequel to this series.  This was a lovely transport back in time for me as I enjoyed this story about young immigrants from Ireland and their hard work to become successful in England.  Of course There is some romance any an interesting story line that will most likely not be the last for these characters.
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I read & loved A Woman of Substance years ago, so I jumped @ the chance to read an advance copy of its prequel provided by Netgalley. A Man of Honor definitely made me want to revisit the whole series again. 
Blackie is such an interesting character, & I was really pleased to learn more about his Irish origin & introduction to Emma. The heartbreak of his poverty, his losses, & his desire to make a better life is inspiring. It also gives a real look into the disparities between the lives of those in the working & the upper classes of the era. 
This isn’t a quick book, as many prequels are, but a richly detailed story. I think it could be read solely as a stand-alone, but I can’t imagine not wanting to pick up the books that follow.
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Anything in the Emma Harte series is going to be measured against “Woman of Substance.”  Even though it’s been at least 35 years since I read WOS, I can still tell you this doesn’t hold a candle to it.  Many times, the storyline seemed over-simplified.  Though the write up on the book promises that Blackie O’Neill is revealed. It wasn’t a big mysterious reveal, IMO.

Giving this a 3; it probably deserves slightly more than a 3, but I can’t round up to a four on it.
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I have to admit, I have never read a Barbara Taylor Bradford novel. My mother loves this author, so I knew I would love her too. And I do! I'm a sucker for Irish/English tales, and this saga kept me hooked from the beginning.

Blackie O'Neill is a young lad of 13 in Ireland with not much to his name. Most of his family is gone, so when he has the opportunity to travel to England to live and work with his Uncle Patrick, he is thrilled! It is enchanting to see a new world through his young eyes, and heartening to read about such an honorable person.

His relationship with Emma is special and sets the reader up for her famous novel, A Woman of Substance. I won't give any spoilers, but despite the runaway story of Lord Lassiter (which we could have done without), this is a tale worth reading again and again.

I  was offered the opportunity to read an advanced copy, and the opinions expressed are my own. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the ARC.
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I received this book as an ARC and this is my review. This book begins in Ireland in the late 1800’s and moves to England where it begins a multi-generation sweeping saga of several families. The characters are clearly defined and interesting. This novel sets the stage for future volumes to continue the story. I recommend this book to readers who enjoy historical fiction with far-reaching scope.
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It’s been years since I’ve read a book by Barbara Taylor Bradford, so this review should be essentially viewed as someone who isn’t closely familiar with her other stories. I feel this distinction is important because this book is a prequel to her Emma Harte series that starts with A Woman of Substance. As a prequel being familiar with the rest of the series isn’t necessary, but may make a reader more inclined to enjoy this book. From my perspective it didn’t flow well, and I struggled to feel engaged with it. Bradford seems to go into great detail about mundane events and there’s no real climax to the story, just events strung together. This is made even more difficult to get into by the fact that the story has changing points of view that have no rhyme or reason. The first half of the story is told almost exclusively by Blackie, then shifts to Robert, Lord Lassiter then back to Blackie, before finally ending up mostly in Emma’s perspective. The story introduces the readers that inevitably play a role in future stories, but nothing interesting enough happens with any of them to cause the reader to be deeply invested if they haven’t read the rest of the series.
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"The prequel to Barbara Taylor Bradford's New York Times bestselling and dazzling saga A Woman of Substance.

Opening five years before the start of A Woman of Substance, A Man of Honor begins with 13-year-old Blackie O’Neill facing an uncertain future in rural County Kerry. Orphaned and alone, he has just buried his sister, Bronagh, and must leave his home to set sail for England, in search of a better life with his mother’s brother in Leeds. There, he learns his trade as a navvy, amid the grand buildings and engineering triumphs of one of England’s most prosperous cities, and starts to dream of greater things... And then, high on the Yorkshire moors, in the mists of a winter morning he meets a kitchen maid called Emma Harte.

In A Man of Honor, the true Blackie O'Neill is revealed. For the first time, readers discover his story: his tumultuous life, the obstacles facing him, the desire he has to throw off the impotence of poverty and move up in the world. Like his friend Emma, he is ambitious, driven, disciplined, and determined to make it to the top. And like Emma Harte, he is an unforgettable character for the millions who loved the book"

A Woman of Substance prequel, woot woot!
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A MAN OF HONOR

This is the story of a young Irish lad (Blackie) whose entire family is deceased.  He lives with his twin cousins for a short while; eventually he moves to England to live with his Uncle Pat. 

Blackie joins the navy for a short period of time then goes to work for his uncle in his construction business.  He learns the trade quickly and his work is impeccable.  

One day he meets a friend's sister who is widowed.  Angela takes his breath away and the feeling is mutual for her!  This romance is short lived though as Angela soon passes away.  

Blackie soon befriends Laura and begins to spend a lot of time with her.  Business takes 
Black out of town and he gets lost along the way in the mist of the moor.  He finds help finding the estate from young Emma who he promises to help if and when she moves to the city.  Their friendship will stand the test of time.  So much so that down the road he offers to marry her to protect her reputation.  

In the end Blackie "goes steady" with Laura with the discussion of marriage in the future.  The book is well written and substantiates Blackie's honor but the book just ended abruptly for me.
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A great book that kept my attention throughout the entire book with the well written storyline and well detailed characters!
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A Man of Honor is a prequel to A Woman of Substance and is supposed to reveal the backstory of Blackie O'Neal. Overall, the story dwells upon Blackie but I found myself disappointed when a whole part of the story shoots down a side alley to deal with one of Blackie's employers. Blackie perseveres poverty and losing his family to starvation. He moves to England where his uncle takes him under his wing to teach Blackie a trade that he is brilliant in. He grows up to be one of the best friends anyone can ask for. He finds first love only to lose it before finding a chance at happiness. Blackie is a true Man of Honor but some of the side characters are definitely not my favorites. The story runs between compelling and slightly stagnant in places but it definitely gives an in depth character development for very likable Blackie. My voluntary, unbiased review is based upon a review copy from Netgalley.
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I really wanted to like this one, but it did fall a bit flat to me. I found it to be slow moving, and the beginning felt forced to me. I had difficulty connecting with the characters until the last 1/3 of the book. I did find the overall ambiance to be beautiful and well written. 

I would like to thank Barbra Taylor Bradford, St. Martin’s Press, and Netgalley for this ARC to read and review, in exchange for my honest review. 

Publication date: 11/16/2021
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I read A Woman of Substance circa 1983, and fell in love with the characters especially Emma and of course Barbara Taylor Bradford.  I have read every book she has published since.  But the Harte family saga has always been my favorite

Learning Blackie's story in this prequel was a treat.  He had always intrigued me, and BTB artfully drew a great portrait of the character as a young man just coming to Leeds, and the hardships he suffered in Ireland and why he left.  The story starts 5 years prior to Blackie meeting Emma.and lots happens along the way prior to their meeting.

One does not have had to have read A Woman of Substance to enjoy this; it stands on its own, but having read this wonderful prequel  I am now going to re-read it!
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