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Letter from a Stranger Hardcover – Mar 27 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (March 27 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312631685
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312631680
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.5 x 24.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #411,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description



Her most exciting series yet...It's filled with romance, suspense and intrigue, and the richly detailed characters come vibrantly alive as expert pacing captures your attention from the very first page. (RomanticTimes BOOKreviews, Top Pick)

Rife with dastardly internecine struggles, smoldering illicit passion, and cowardly insidious betrayals…[the Deravenels] pack as much intrigue as any Shakespearean royal drama. (Booklist on Being Elizabeth)

The queen of the bestseller list still rules with The Heir. (Miami Herald)

"Bestseller Bradford's dynastic epic spanning the 20th century should tide over her fans…" (Publishers Weekly)

Bradford's characters are so real, readers clamor to know them better. (USA Today)

This expertly crafted epic novel further explores the triumphs and tragedies of the Deravenel family. It will enthrall readers with its vivid characters and fast-paced, larger-than-life plot. (Romantic Times BOOKreviews (4 ½ stars) on The Heir)

The Ravenscar Dynasty has it all--power, betrayal, mystery...The characters are all complex, dynamic, and powerful, leading us through Edward Deravenel's struggles one exciting step at a time. (Romance Reviews Today)

Bradford's fiction has long focused on strong heroines who succeed against great odds. Her latest novel, The Ravenscar Dynasty...is the first of a planned trilogy of novels, all destined for best-sellerdom. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)


The Harte saga is as much a force of nature as a work of fiction…the issues at stake still compel readers after 25 years. Bradford understood early on readers' hunger for depictions of women who are strong and powerful and whose values embrace family. A quarter-century ago, Emma Harte crossed the no-woman's-land that once divided family and business, and now generations of readers consider her a role model in their own lives. (The Washington Post)

A truly remarkable conclusion to her beloved Harte family saga…riveting and intense. Not many novels have the ability to completely immerse the reader, but this one draws you into the story from the very first page. (Romantic Times BOOKreviews on Just Rewards)

Bradford gives her readers more of what she does best--strong, savvy female protagonists who relentlessly pursue great destinies, characters much like the author herself…well-written and full of emotion…completely riveting…the plot, while always complex, has suspenseful moments to keep the pace sharp…good reading…Unexpected Blessings clearly shows why Bradford is still the premier writer of family sagas. (Miami New Times) --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

#1 bestselling author Barbara Taylor Bradford delivers a sweeping, emotional novel of family secrets and betrayals that lead one woman to her legacy, her destiny, and herself…

Justine Nolan is a documentary filmmaker who lost her cherished grandmother a decade ago--the only source of love and comfort in her life. Her own mother, Deborah, has always been distant, focusing on her career as an interior designer. But when Justine inadvertently opens a letter addressed to her mother, she discovers that not only is her grandmother alive, but that Deborah has deliberately distanced her from the family for all these years. Justine's search for her grandmother takes her to Istanbul, where she begins to uncover secrets that stretch all the way back to World War II. As layers of deception peel away, Justine begins to understand a woman she never really knew…and she begins to ask questions about the true desires of her own heart.

"Bradford's characters are so real, readers clamor to know them better."

--USA Today

"A master storyteller."--Pittsburgh Press

--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By kim on March 13 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
it was a book that you couldn't put down, it has drama, suspense and excitement. it was a story that so real in life and get you at the end of your seat.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 113 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
fabulous family epic March 27 2012
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Having completed a film documentary, director Justine Nolan returns to the Connecticut family home. Her mother Deborah, in China working a business deal, directed Justine to open her mail. Justine opens a letter with no return address postmarked Istanbul. Anita Lowe sent a note to Deborah that her mother is heartbroken and needs her to end their estrangement as the woman turns eighty soon. Justine is stunned as her mom said Gran Gaby Hardwick died ten years ago in a plane crash. She and her twin Richard have grieved their loss ever since.

The siblings agree to find Gran though Justine will go initially without her brother who will follow. Justine's pretense is a documentary on the city. Their neighbor Joanne Brandon arranges for Justine to meet her friend in Turkey, Professor Ifrit Ozgonal. In Istanbul, even with help from Ifrit, Justine cannot find either Gaby or Anita. Ifrit takes Justine on a boat ride on the Bosporus when the American sees her Gran in her camera lens. Justine rushes passed Anita's grandson security expert Michael Dalton to hug her Gran. Both are ecstatic. Justine tells Gran, Deborah said Gran died. Michael and Justine are attracted to one another as if struck by lightning even as the reunion continues.

This is a fabulous family epic due to deep insight into the beleaguered in Berlin during WWII and a wonderful tour of modern day Istanbul. The ensemble cast is fully developed with the romance supporting the prime relationship between Justine and Gran. Although conflict is limited to the bigoted mom as everyone else gets on too well in the present and in the 1940s, fans will enjoy learning Gran's Final Solution that turned Deborah against her.

Harriet Klausner
27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Don't bother March 30 2012
By Theresa L Granath - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I pre-ordered this book without waiting for reviews because I enjoyed previous titles by this author. I was extremely disappointed. This book was over-written. The grammar was atrocious. The basic story was predictable. The relationship between the twins did not ring true on any level. The struck by lightening instant love story was laughable. The inner story of learning the history of the grandmother was forced. The reactions of Justine were completely unbelievable. The whole thing was absurd. I finished the book because I was determined to get through it. As far as I am concerned, it had no redeeming qualities. Unless you really want to waste your money, don't bother with this one.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Letterr from a stranger July 11 2012
By Kerri - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
A classic BTB book. I loved it. I wanted it to go on and on. I love the way Barbara always has a strong female character. I am always inspired to be successful like the women she writes about.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Interesting Read May 1 2012
By LAS Reviewer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Whether by coincidence or according to a master plan, Justine Nolan, a successful twenty-first century woman, has no idea when she opens a letter addressed to her mother that it will start her moving toward her destiny--a destiny seemingly set in motion three quarters of a century ago.

Letter From a Stranger spans generations and shows humans at their best and worst. Though contemporary and set in a fast-paced, demanding world, this story has a spellbinding story within a story of a horrifying time in history; a time that tested the mettle of the disenfranchised in Germany during World War II.

The plot seems to move along in a deliberate fashion at first, yet every little detail has significance as Justine keeps to her course of action. Barbara Taylor Bradford does a masterful job of weaving together the delightful love story of Justine and Michael Dalton with poignant stories of people ranging from five-year-old Daisy to octogenarians Grandmother Gabriele and her friend Anita.

Like a tapestry of old that tells a compelling story, Letter From a Stranger tells how out of a dark and terrible time, Justine and Michael's soul mate kind of love finally emerges to bring joy to many. Justine and Michael's love story along with the love stories in the sub plots are golden threads in the multi-colored tapestry that has dark threads of hatred, greed for power and money, suffering, bigotry, and disease. One of the dark threads I kept hoping would turn to gold is the one of Deborah Nolan, the mother of Justine and her twin brother Richard. Of course, its darkness is eclipsed by the dark threads that represent the horrific events found in Justine and Richard's Grandmother's notebook entitled "Fragments of My Life".

The many colors of the various characters make this tapestry of a tale captivating. Ms. Bradford, as usual, creates such well-developed characters they seem to come alive on the pages and stir a myriad of emotions. Her exquisite writing style engages the senses with subtle metaphors, humor, and with remarkable descriptions like the gardens at the "yalis" that enchant and the night scenes of central Istanbul across the Bosporus at night that are magical. Other descriptions whisk the reader away to vicarious experiences (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) with not only the primary characters but with characters like the darling little Daisy, who wants to buy a ticket to go visit her mother in Heaven; Gabriele, Justine's grandmother, who at the age of fourteen had to face being an orphan and a Jew during Hitler's time for eight years; as well as with the many other intriguing characters of contemporary and WWII time.

Letter From a Stranger, packed full of incredible characters, glowing with love, and whispering with mystery, also has spellbinding and earth-shattering happenings at times, that make it "top-of-the-line entertainment.

Originally posted at LAS Romance Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Not so good April 25 2012
By Critical Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Having enjoyed and admired the author's prior books, I picked this one up expecting another pleasant reading experience. Sadly that was not the case. The dialogue between the characters does not advance the plot, nor advance a relationship between persons. Felt as though I was reading a set piece inhabitated by cardboard characters.

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