A Man of Honor
by Barbara Taylor Bradford
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Pub Date 28 Dec 2021 | Archive Date 28 Jan 2022
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.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 209 members
The thing that has me come back over and over to this author is her ability to pull you into the story. She writes a saga instead of a quick story. So you get the whole life of the character. Blackie is young when we first meet him. At 13 he goes to live with a relative that will take him under his wing. Blackie wants to become a builder. We don't just read of his ambition. We meet his friends, work mates, and the customers that help grow the business. And of course the women he meets. He has a caring protective personality so he makes lifetime friends. I finished the book feeling like I knew the characters, their goals, and the plans to make it happen. I liked the book.
Barbara Taylor Bradford takes her devoted readers back to 1899, England; five years before the best-selling Emma Harte Saga begins with A Woman of Substance. Blackie O’Neill is orphaned and searching for his uncle, Patrick Kennedy, in the great industrial city of Leeds. Blackie is a handsome, well-built 13- year-old, full of optimism, curiosity and has a beautiful voice. Readers get a glimpse of Blackie’s family, his supportive relatives, and the personality that endears him to all he meets. Blackie finds himself enthralled with the soaring cathedrals and towering buildings in Leeds and realizes that building is what brings him comfort and a feeling of pleasure he’s never known before in his poverty ridden existence. Building great houses becomes his dream. BTB also introduces readers to the humble beginnings of Emma Harte, a sixteen-year-old whose circumstances bring her to Leeds, searching for Blackie O’Neill. Deep feelings of empathy and loyalty, along with determination and grit, evolve through the personal and business relationships Blackie and Emma develop as the years unfold. Emma’s daring rescue of an elderly Jewish man being attacked on the streets of Leeds is a life changing event. Readers become aware of each character’s personality traits through situations, revealing dialogue and inner thoughts. BTB also deftly weaves threads of Scottish and English history through backstory and reminiscent conversations.
So, as Blackie would say, “me sweet mavourneen,” enjoy A Man of Honour, and then set out to read the Emma Harte Saga again from a different perspective or anew for the first time.
A Man of Honor by Barbara Taylor Bradford is a prequel novel from the A Woman of Substance. It’s been a long time since I read Bradford’s fantastic A Woman of Substance (Harte Family) Saga (began in 1979), which at that time was my favorite series, spending time with Emma Harte, her successful career, loves and her children, who continued the saga. I looked forward to this prequel, especially since it was focuses on Blackie O’Neill, whom we loved in the earlier books, this story is approximately 5 years prior the start of A Woman of Substance. A Man of Honor was a very good story, and brought back many memories about the saga.
We meet 13 year old Blackie, who is alone, having recently lost his sister, living in County Kerry, with his cousins. Blackie is a strapping young boy, who has no qualms working hard to learn his trade and build a better life. He sets sail for England, to stay and work with his Uncle Patrick, who is a builder. Blackie begins to learn his trade as a navvy, and with his ambitions, dreams and determination to build, he becomes very skilled at his creations, which become popular among the wealthy.
For those of us who have read the entire Harte Family Saga, we do get glimpses of others we have met before; such as the wealthy Lord Lassiter, who hires Blackie for major improvements to his properties, which starts Blackie on his way to reaching his dreams. We also learn more about Lassiter and Adrian, and their loves. Of course, as we get closer to the end, Blackie will finally meet a young maid, Emma Harte, and soon a strong bond of friendship begins.
A Man of Honor was a perfect interesting and fun prequel that was very well written by Barbara Taylor Bradford. Blackie was a fantastic hero, who made friends easily, as well as a workaholic that will change his life to reach his high expectations. A Man a Honor can be read as a standalone, however it works so much better if you have read all of the Harte Family Saga.
This was a marvelous book about class, love, friendship, success and faith in your dreams. I hope there is another book featuring the characters in #amanofhonor so I can continue to learn about the trials and successes of Blackie, Emma, Laura and the other characters. Thank you to #netgalley and the publisher for this galley to read and review.
I loved this amazing story of the man behind the infamous Emma Hart!!!!!!! This is an amazing story of trials of tribulations that Blackie O' Neill faced in his life before Emma Hart. I highly recommend this book.
This is the prequel to Barbara Taylor Bradford's A Woman of Substance even though it is listed as #8 in the series.
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., Pat Kennedy. 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. Readers discover his story: his tumultuous life, the obstacles facing him, the desire he has to throw off poverty and move up in the world. Like his friend Emma, he is ambitious, driven, disciplined, and determined to make it to the top.
I got the opportunity to read this book before I have read any of the others in the series. In fact, this is my first Barbara Taylor Bradford book! I am not a straight romance reader so had not read any of her books before this one, but the description was intriguing, and I was happily surprised at the quality of the writing and am sure I will go on to read A Woman of Substance as well as the others in the series now that I have read this one. I think knowing the background of the main characters will be of value as I dive into the series. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for offering this book and accepting my request. I thoroughly enjoyed the writing, the depth of the characters, and the descriptions of the the cities.
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