Book cover of Her Own Rules

Her Own Rules

by Barbara Taylor Bradford

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Pages: 352
Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 9780061095863






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Overview of Her Own Rules

Meredith Stratton worked hard to become a successful businesswoman—and now she owns six elegant inns all over the world. But on a trip abroad she is struck by a strange illness, one that seems to have no physical cause. Meredith has always played by her own rules—and won—and now she must uncover the roots of this mystery ailment that threatens her future happiness. The answers lie buried somewhere in her forgotten past. And with the help of a caring psychiatrist, Meredith will have to peel back the layers of her most carefully designed and constructed creation: herself.

Synopsis of Her Own Rules

Meredith Stratton worked hard to become a successful businesswoman—and now she owns six elegant inns all over the world. But on a trip abroad she is struck by a strange illness, one that seems to have no physical cause. Meredith has always played by her own rules—and won—and now she must uncover the roots of this mystery ailment that threatens her future happiness. The answers lie buried somewhere in her forgotten past. And with the help of a caring psychiatrist, Meredith will have to peel back the layers of her most carefully designed and constructed creation: herself.

Publishers Weekly

The deplorable practice of sending orphan children to the far reaches of the British empire, which continued even after WWII, provides the factual background for bestselling author Bradford's 12th novel (after Love in Another Town). The prologue, set in 1955, introduces five-year-old Mari Sanderson, who adores her mother, Kate, and enjoys an idyllic childhood that includes sitting on her favorite rock near the river, watching the teeming wildlife near their Yorkshire home. One morning, however, Mari finds Kate dead on the kitchen floor. The scene shifts to New York in 1995, where 44-year-old Australian migr Meredith Stratton can't understand her unexplained bouts of fatigue and frequent nightmares. Meredith heads the highly successful Havens Inc., which operates six inns. On a business trip to Europe, she visits an inn overlooking the ruins of Fountains Abbey and is oddly drawn to the ruins and the water, acknowledging a sense of dj vu. When she falls in love with Luc de Montboucher, the architect who will remodel the inn, she becomes convinced that she must confront the mysteries in her past. Emboldened to begin a focused search and to consult a psychiatrist, she ultimately discovers the circumstances that sent her to Australia. Though her serviceable prose lacks all style and resonance, Bradford's narrative does hold a few surprises, and its revelations about the "lost children of the empire'' (as they were identified in newspapers and TV documentaries in England) makes this a surefire tearjerker. $1,000,000 ad/promo; author tour. (May)

About the Author, Barbara Taylor Bradford

Barbara Taylor Bradford started her writing career in the 1960s as a journalist who felt destined to become "a hard-bitten reporter in a dirty trenchcoat." However, her breakout bestseller, A Woman of Substance (1979), sparked her prolific career as the author of thrilling novels of romance and intrigue.

Reviews of Her Own Rules

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Editorials

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly

The deplorable practice of sending orphan children to the far reaches of the British empire, which continued even after WWII, provides the factual background for bestselling author Bradford's 12th novel after Love in Another Town. The prologue, set in 1955, introduces five-year-old Mari Sanderson, who adores her mother, Kate, and enjoys an idyllic childhood that includes sitting on her favorite rock near the river, watching the teeming wildlife near their Yorkshire home. One morning, however, Mari finds Kate dead on the kitchen floor. The scene shifts to New York in 1995, where 44-year-old Australian migr Meredith Stratton can't understand her unexplained bouts of fatigue and frequent nightmares. Meredith heads the highly successful Havens Inc., which operates six inns. On a business trip to Europe, she visits an inn overlooking the ruins of Fountains Abbey and is oddly drawn to the ruins and the water, acknowledging a sense of dj vu. When she falls in love with Luc de Montboucher, the architect who will remodel the inn, she becomes convinced that she must confront the mysteries in her past. Emboldened to begin a focused search and to consult a psychiatrist, she ultimately discovers the circumstances that sent her to Australia. Though her serviceable prose lacks all style and resonance, Bradford's narrative does hold a few surprises, and its revelations about the "lost children of the empire'' as they were identified in newspapers and TV documentaries in England makes this a surefire tearjerker. $1,000,000 ad/promo; author tour. May

Library Journal

Although her small chain of elegant inns is prospering, attractive 44-year-old Meredith Stratton cannot shake a lingering sadness. An unhappy childhood spent in Australian orphanages and later with an unloving adoptive couple provided little emotional sustenance and left unanswered questions about her birth parents. A trip to England and France to purchase new business properties triggers recurring nightmares Meredith hasn't had for years. In desperation, she works with a psychiatrist to unlock memories that help her find the mother she thought had abandoned her. Along the way, Meredith draws support from her children and friends and even finds romance with a French architect. The web of characters supplies a convincing context for Meredith's past, present, and future, and compelling flashbacks propel readers to continue the search with her. Certain to join the ranks of Bradford's other best sellers (e.g., Dangerous To Know, LJ 9/1/95), this novel skillfully blends mystery and romance. For most popular collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/96.]-Kathy Piehl, Mankato State University, Minn.

Kirkus Reviews

Bradford's (Love in Another Town, 1995, etc.) latest romantic heroine swans through her 40's having it all—great kids, a promising relationship simmering, and a tidy business. But gnawing at her psychic innards is a lost childhood. Her journey takes her from shrink to sleuthing before the final celebration.

An introductory flash reveals the tot "Mari" and her beset but adoring mother in their English cottage—a scene that concludes with Mari screaming, "Me mam's dead!" Back in the present there are the generally serene travels of lovely Meredith Stratton (tall, blond, eyes deep green), mother of Catherine and Jon, amicably divorced from Jon's father, and immensely successful in creating upscale hostelries at home and abroad. (Classy Meredith supplies her inns with such elegant touches as hot-water bottles in silk cases!) Her favorite inn is at Silver Lake in Vermont, where as a teenager she worked with the late innkeepers Jack and Amelia. They adored her baby, Catherine, conceived at Silver Lake. Meredith remembers nothing of her early childhood before the misery of an Australian orphanage and nasty adoptive "parents." Now, however, when she visits monastic ruins in northern England, heartstrings to her buried past begin to ping. She suffers "weak" spells—in spite of an exciting tendre for the French designer Lue, and the happy news of Catherine's engagement. Then, thanks to sessions with a psychiatrist, some thunderclap recalls, and the help of a friend, Meredith's past begins to unroll. The conclusion swells with joyful noises and mega-happiness. This time out, Bradford taps an old scandal involving the transporting of English children, but, still, Meredith's childhood tragedy does seem implausible, and it's not until the hunt for "Mari" is underway that the tale moves at all. Fans may be assured, though, of lush digs and a Big Tear reunion.

Lukewarm romance in one of those silk cases—and always saleable.

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