Master of His Fate

Barbara Taylor Bradford. St. Martin’s, $28.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-250-18739-0
The sprawling first installment in Bradford’s House of Falconer series, set in Victorian England, follows James Falconer, son of a struggling merchant, and Alexis Malvern, the daughter of one of London’s most successful businessmen, as their lives move toward each other. James is a young man with ambitions of rising above his station to become a “merchant prince.” Beyond an attack on James by a pair of “bruisers” with unknown motives, and malicious rumors of his affair with an older widow, James encounters very few setbacks. Alexis is an upper-class woman known for her business acumen and charitable work setting up a safe house for battered women in Whitechapel. She falls in love with wealthy banker Sebastian Trevelyan, despite years of protestation that she would never marry. They have a whirlwind affair and engagement, only to be torn apart by tragedy. James and Alexis’s paths are mostly separate, their lives not meeting until late in the novel when James is hired by Alexis’s father, but they are united by driven, single-minded natures. Though the strands of the story are slow to converge, this series opener nicely sets the groundwork for future installments. Bradford’s many fans will find a vast new cast of characters to connect with. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/24/2018
Release date: 11/20/2018
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-250-29933-8
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-250-22370-8
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-1-250-18740-6
Library Binding - 500 pages - 978-1-64358-040-1
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