Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “To Be the Best” as Want to Read:
To Be the Best
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

To Be the Best (Emma Harte Saga #3)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  4,310 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
New York Times bestselling author Barbara Taylor Bradford has captivated millions of readers with her sweeping saga of power, wealth, and family secrets. Now the legacy of matriarch Emma Harte lives in one woman's inspiring challenge to be the best…

Paula McGill O'Neill learned the lessons of success from the master—merchant princess Emma Harte, her grandmothe
Paperback, 464 pages
Published October 4th 2005 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published January 1st 1988)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about To Be the Best, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about To Be the Best

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sandy Grissett
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I have to admit that when I started the book it did not capture my interest. Yet you need to become familiar with the characters in the book. It's mainly about Paula and Shane, Maddy and Phillip, Anthony and Sara, Alexander as well as Paula's cousin Jonathan and his wife Arabella., and more. Everything appears blissful at the beginning. Paula inherited Harte's enterprise, and she has a great team that works for her. Then, when we get familiar with the characters things take a turn, some
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a continuation of the Emma Harte saga. Emma Harte was the matriarch of a large family
and she amassed a huge fortune with many companies including several upscale department
stores. When she passed away she gave her many grandchildren the companies she thought they
could manage. This book covers many of the grandchildren but is predominately about her granddaughter Paula who inherited the Harte Department stores and took the place of her grandmother as overseer of Emma's empire. Its a story
May 19, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Memories of "Woman of Substance" led me to pick this one up from my mum's bookshelf, but after 50 pages I gave up. None of the characters had engaged me by then, and the plot didn't either. The lengthy and seemingly pointless detail about clothing and decor was still there though.

I enjoyed the first book about Emma Harte, but this one doesn't live up to her legacy unfortunately. I don't like writing negative reviews but in this case, I'm not worrying that my humble opinion will damage BTB's sal
Jun 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was anxious and excited to pick up this book to continue the saga.

Still the first of the trilogy, A Woman of Substance, rings true as my favorite of them all.

I did enjoy this one though as well.
Mirah W
Jul 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Good book in the series about Emma Harte...but, I think Woman of Substance is the best of the series.
Dec 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Final book of the year! I finished this one tonight, just squeaking it into the 2014 totals. I'm pretty sure I Mooched my copy, as it is a used book, and about the only place I get my used books is from BookMooch, so...

I was reading this book while staying with my family over Christmas, and I was trying to describe what it was about to my sister, and it was actually really hard. It's a family saga about a woman who created a department store chain. And that makes it sound so boring, but it's re
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
3rd in series, read because book club was reading the 4th book
Sep 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Harte Family bats all their runners in!!

I Love family epics! This book filled all my expectations! Barbara Taylor Bradford is a pro with these novels!! I plan to read the entire series with hanky in hand. The characters are so real, you will mourn them for a long while, but just when you think you can't possibly take anymore. Along comes the next generation for you to fall in love with and cheer on!
Jul 26, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2003
Third in the 'Woman of Substance' series. No doubt urged by the publishers, but little to say. A book of little substance, other than ultra-dull flashbacks to the previous novels. Fast-paced (if one skips the flashbacks) with characters who are flat and lacking emotion, just hard-headed and ambitious. The ending was better than the rest of the book, hence two stars rather than one.
Although this book is in the middle of the saga series, this is a great historical romance and family saga, when cousin marries cousins, all heirs in a family business. I'm also reading Hold the Dream, that I'll finish this weekend and will start Unexpected Blessings this weekend. I'll read the rest in between next year. This has lots of drama, passion and intrigue.
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have mixed feelings about this novel. On one hand, it was overly detailed and contained long passages that were quite boring. On the other hand, the story was well crafted and skillfully written. I admire any writer who has such a firm command of the language and who can write such a multi-faceted plot line.
June Holmes
Mar 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Barbara Taylor Bradford does it again

Her books are always great. I have read many of them. I feel that she is the best author ever. I love her sense of family and these books are great for our female population to read . Women can be successful if they are willing to work hard and keep there focus. Good for self image...
Sep 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anne Marie
Sep 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Loved this third book in the series too. I really want to buy the movies! Still noticed a lot of drinking, and also wanted to mention that it still bothers me that Anthony and Emily had to marry their cousins. Is this an English thing? Is this normal? I think new characters or existing non-relative characters should have been used. Off to the next book!
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The Harte series will forever be one of my favorites. I don't recall exactly the years I read these books (late 80s to early 90s), but unlike some books, the stories are not those I'll forget and wonder, "did I read that book or not?"
Aug 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this one that centered around Philip and his new wife. As well as Paula and Shane. I was sorry to see that Sandy (Alexander passed away). Glad to have an end to the murder that took place in Ireland though.
Memz Turaga
I love it... I have the first two books then i happened to get this one from a second hand bookshop. A continuation of Emma Harte dynasty even though its another generation of women in power and family rivalry when it comes to leadership and money.
Feb 11, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While certainly not as good as Woman of Substance, this novel was in the grand tradition of BTB family sagas. I was transported back to the 80s when I devoured such books on a daily basis! A walk down memory lane, for me.
Have enjoyed this series. Bradford does a masterful job of describing the interior decorating of the rich and famous. Sometimes a little too much, but over all I've looked forward to continuing to follow her characters.
Jan 02, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Woman of Substance was great, Hold the Dream was good, To Be the Best was OK. It gets repetitive, the same litany of attributes are listed again and again. It is no where near the level of writing enjoyed in A Woman of Substance and I found it to be disappointing.
Aug 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm sorta over the prolific abundance of detail in Bradford's writing and the romance novel genre but continue to be interested in the characters and how Emma's extended family continues her legacy. Light entertaining fast reads. On to #4 in the saga.
Feb 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the 1st book of her's that I have read. It was the last book of a trilogy. I felt like I hadn't missed anything. Well written, well laid out with the characters. Lots of foreshadowing, but lots of unexpected surprises with the characters. I loved it.
Jul 11, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A have to read (in that you want to know what happens next) if you have read the two pre-quels to this. However, too corporate, too much of remixing what's happended before.

Still a good read bu not as good as the other two. After this she should have stopped.
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love all of this series of books. Learning about the customs of upper class Englishmen in addition to the events of the story, make it fascinating.
Raechelle Thomas
Mar 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
Think DYNASTY people! A book you read when on an airplane-or just don't feel like thinking.
Stasy H
Jul 22, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Better than Hold the Dream, but not nearly as good as A Woman of Substance.
Jun 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent conclusion to the Harte family saga!
Jul 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent book...keep reading
Michelle Sansbury
Book was OK, but I had a hard time keeping track of all the characters and their relationships to each other.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Village Matters (Tales from Turnham Malpas #3)
  • Sins of the Fathers
  • Till We Meet Again
  • Deceptions
  • Blessings
  • Farther Afield (Fairacre, #11)
  • Queenie
  • Second Generation (Lavette Family, #2)
  • Thurston House
  • Mermaids Singing
  • For My Daughters
Barbara Taylor Bradford is the author of 30 bestselling novels, including The Cavendon Women, Cavendon Hall, and The Ravenscar Dynasty. She was born in Leeds, England, and from an early age, she was a voracious reader: at age 12, she had already read all of Dickens and the Brontë sisters. By the age of twenty, she was an editor and columnist on Fleet Street. She published her first novel, A Woman ...more
More about Barbara Taylor Bradford...

Other Books in the Series

Emma Harte Saga (7 books)
  • A Woman of Substance (Emma Harte Saga #1)
  • Hold the Dream (Emma Harte Saga #2)
  • Emma's Secret (Emma Harte Saga #4)
  • Unexpected Blessings (Emma Harte Saga #5)
  • Just Rewards (Emma Harte Saga #6)
  • Breaking the Rules (Emma Harte Saga #7)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“She put her hand in his, and he clasped it firmly, knowing he had been waiting for her all his life.” 20 likes
More quotes…