Everything to Gain

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Overview

Mallory Keswick can't imagine how her life could possibly be better. She has a wonderful, fulfilling marriage to a man who loves, supports, and nurtures her. She has a lovely home and beautiful twins who bring joy to her days, to all of which she devotes herself wholeheartedly. Mallory feels she has finally found the elusive sense of family that never quite rang true in her own childhood—until an exceptionally cruel act of violence tears apart the fabric of her happiness. Devastated, distraught, and wondering how...

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Everything to Gain

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Overview

Mallory Keswick can't imagine how her life could possibly be better. She has a wonderful, fulfilling marriage to a man who loves, supports, and nurtures her. She has a lovely home and beautiful twins who bring joy to her days, to all of which she devotes herself wholeheartedly. Mallory feels she has finally found the elusive sense of family that never quite rang true in her own childhood—until an exceptionally cruel act of violence tears apart the fabric of her happiness. Devastated, distraught, and wondering how she will ever go on, suddenly Mallory's spirit is being tested as never before, forcing her to discover new reserves of courage and strength to confront the darkness that has left her with nothing more to lose and . . .

Mallory revels in the happiness she has found with her successful husband and their twins. Life seems almost perfect until a cruel act of random violence tears apart the fabric of her happiness. In her search for salvation, it will take the wisdom of an older woman and the discovery of her own business talents to make Mal believe in herself again.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Bradford weighs in with a maudlin saga about a woman's struggle to go on after a devastating tragedy. Her narrator, New York wife and mother Mallory Keswick, feels she is showered with blessings, but just as the family is making plans to go to London for Christmas, her husband, twin children and dog are murdered in an attempted carjacking. Depressed and contemplating suicide, Mal flees to London, where she slowly learns to accept her losses. Returning to the States, she turns the family's Connecticut weekend retreat into a successful business venture and eventually meets a man who is able to breach her emotional barricades. Spanning five years and two continents, Bradford's chronicle offers several affecting passages--but when Mal continues to mention the loss of her dog in the same tragic litany as her husband and children, credibility evaporates. Monotonous inventory listings of the trappings of material success slow the narrative momentum, as does the author's flat prose and tin-ear dialogue, especially ludicrous since Mal is supposedly a Radcliffe graduate. Nor does Bradford reach beyond her tried and true romantic formula for greater complexity--or even to tie up some potentially intriguing plot lines that mysteriously evaporate after they are introduced. Major ad/promo ; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selection ; audio rights to HarperAudio ; author tour. (Aug.)
Library Journal
In Bradford's first book with her new publisher, heroine Mallory Keswick must learn to live again after a terrible tragedy, traveling first to her country home and then to the Yorkshire moors for refuge and, eventually, revelation.
Denise Perry Donavin
A cryptic prologue sets the scene for tragedy in Bradford's latest, about a blissfully married mother of twins. Mallory is the wife of successful Madison Avenue ad exec Andrew Keswick, an Englishman with a charming ancestral home and a talented mother who runs a London antique gallery. Bradford really overdoes the perfection of this young woman's life in order to set the character and readers up for a devastating lossthe senseless murder of her entire family, including her beloved bichon frise, Trixy. Mallory's recovery from her grief is as overdone as her previous bliss. After months of depression, she sets up a successful business; eventually, she falls in love again. Bradford's fans won't be disappointed.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061092077
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/1/1995
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 298,943
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Taylor Bradford was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, and was a reporter for the Yorkshire Evening Post at sixteen. By the age of twenty she had graduated to London's Fleet Street as both an editor and columnist.

In 1979, she wrote her first novel, A Woman of Substance, and that enduring bestseller was followed by 12 others: Voice of the Heart, Hold the Dream, Act of Will, To Be the Best, The Women in His Life, Remember, Angel, Everything to Gain, Dangerous to Know, Love in Another Town, Her Own Rules and A Secret Affair.

Of these titles, ten have been made into television miniseries or are currently in production. Her novels have sold more than 56 million copies worldwide in more than 88 countries and 38 languages. Barbara Taylor Bradford lives in New York City and Connecticut with her husband, film producer Robert Bradford.

Biography

Barbara Taylor Bradford was born and raised in Yorkshire, England. A voracious reader since childhood, she took her first job at the age of 15 with the Yorkshire Evening Post and by the age of 18 was the newspaper's women's page editor. Two years later, she headed for London and became a reporter for the London Evening News, Today Magazine, and other publications.

After meeting her husband-to-be, Robert Bradford, in 1961, she relocated to the United States. Continuing in journalism, Barbara created the syndicated column "Designing Woman," which ran nationwide for 12 years. Children's books and 8 works on decorating followed.

In 1979, Bradford published her first novel, A Woman of Substance, introducing the Emma Harte saga and beginning an almost uninterrupted string of bestsellers. Her work has been published in more than 90 countries in 40 languages, and total sales of her books now surpass 75 million.

Barbara now lives and writes in New York City with her husband, Robert. In addition to her work as a writer, she is active in a number of major charitable organizations, including the Police Athletic League, Girls Inc., City-Meals-on-Wheels, and the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation.

Good To Know

Queen Elizabeth bestowed the Order of the British Empire on Barbara in October, 2007. The news was announced on the author's website with the following headline: "BTB Gets Her OBE from QEII."

Some interesting outtakes from our interview with Bradford:

"All 20 of my original manuscripts are stored by the prestigious Brotherton Library at Leeds University in England, next to the works of the Brontë sisters."

"My first job was working as a typist for the Yorkshire Evening Post at the age of 15."

"When I'm not writing, (which isn't often) I love to read. Biographies are my favorite genre, though I do like to read fiction to see what others are putting out on the market. Authors whose books I always make time for are Patricia Cornwell, Mary Higgins Clark, and Bernard Cornwell."

"I love to travel whenever possible. Paris is my favorite city to visit, though some of my favorite holidays are spent back in England."

"My husband, Bob, has a vote for the Academy Awards, so I get to see a lot of movie screenings."

"I'm involved in a number of charity organizations on both sides of the Atlantic. From the Police Athletic League and the Literary Guild in America to PACT (Parents and Children Together Again) in the U.K., I devote a fair amount of time to these causes. And as an advocate for world literacy, I am a member of the Madison Council to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C."

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      Christ Church Elementary School and Northcote Private School for Girls in Yorkshire, England
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Everything to Gain

Indian Meadows Connecticut, July 1988

I awakened with a sudden start, as though someone had touched my shoulder, and I half expected to see Andrew standing over me as I blinked in the dim room. But he was not there. How could he be? He was in Chicago on business, and I was here in Connecticut.

Pulling the covers over me more securely, I slid farther down into the bed, hoping to fall asleep again. I soon realized there was no chance of that, since my mind had already started to race. Andrew and I had quarreled earlier in the week, and that silly little row, over something so petty I could scarcely bear to think about it now, still hovered between us.

I should have swallowed my pride and called him last night, I admonished myself. I had thought about it, but I had not done so. He hadn't phoned me either, as was his custom normally when he was away, and I was worried things would get blown out of all proportion; then our weekend together, which I had been so looking forward to, would be spoiled.

I'll make it right when he gets here tomorrow, I resolved. I'll apologize, even though it really wasn't my fault. I hated to have rifts with anyone I loved; it has always been that way with me.

Restlessly, I slipped out of bed and went to the window. Raising the shade, I peered out, wondering what kind of day it was going to be.

A band of clear, crystalline light was edging its way along the rim of the distant horizon. The sky above it was still ashy, cold and remote, tinged slightly with green at this early hour just before dawn broke. I shivered and reached for my cotton robe. It was cool in thebedroom, almost frosty, with the air conditioner set at sixty degrees, where I'd positioned it last night in an effort to counteract the intense July heat. I flicked it off as I left the bedroom and headed along the upstairs hallway toward the staircase.

It was dim and shadowy downstairs and smelled faintly of apples and cinnamon and beeswax and full-blown summer roses, smells which I loved and invariably associated with the country. I turned on several lamps as I moved through the silent, slumbering house and went into the kitchen; once I had put on the coffee, I swung around and made my way to the sunroom.

Unlocking the French doors, I stepped outside onto the wide, paved terrace which surrounded the house and saw that the sky had already undergone a vast change. I caught my breath, marveling as I always did at the extraordinary morning light, a light peculiar to these northern Connecticut climes. It was luminous, eerily beautiful, and it appeared to emanate from some secret source far, far below the horizon.

There were no skies like this anywhere in the world, as far as I knew, except, of course, for Yorkshire; I have come across some truly spectacular skies there, most especially on the moors.

Light has always fascinated me, perhaps because I am a painter by avocation and have a tendency to look at nature through an artist's eyes. I remember the first time I ever saw a painting by Turner, one of his masterpieces hanging in the Tate Gallery in London. I stood in front of it for a full hour, totally riveted, marveling at the incandescent light that gave the picture its breathtaking beauty. But then, capturing light on canvas so brilliantly and with such uncanny precision was part of Turner's great genius.

I don't have that kind of gift, I'm afraid; I'm merely a talented amateur who paints for pleasure. Nonetheless, there are times when I wish I could re-create a Connecticut sky in one of my paintings, get it just right, just once, and this morning was one of those times. But I knew, deep down, that I would never be capable of doing it.

After lingering for a few minutes longer on the terrace outside the sunroom, I turned and walked around the house, heading for the back. Heavy dew clung to the grass, and I lifted my nightgown and robe as I walked across the lawns, not wishing to get them drenched.

The light was changing yet again. By the time I reached the ridge overlooking the valley, the sky above me was suffused with a pale, silvery radiance; the bleak, gray remnants of the night were finally obliterated.

Sitting down on the wrought-iron seat under the apple tree, I leaned back and relaxed. I love this time of day, just before the world awakens, when everything is so quiet, so still I might be the only person alive on this planet.

I closed my eyes momentarily, listening.

There was no sound of any kind; nothing stirred, not a leaf nor a blade of grass moved. The birds were silent, sleeping soundly in the trees, and the stillness around me was like a balm. As I sat there, drifting, thinking of nothing in particular, my anxiety about Andrew began slowly to slip away.

I knew with absolute certainty that everything would be all right once he arrived and we made up; it always was whenever there had been a bit of friction between us. There was no reason why this time should be different. One of the marvelous things about Andrew is his ability to put events of today and yesterday behind him, to look forward to tomorrow. It was not in his nature to harbor a grudge. He was far too big a man for that. Consequently, he quickly forgot our small, frequently silly quarrels and differences of opinion. We are much alike in that, he and I. Fortunately, we both have the ability to move forward optimistically.

I have been married to Andrew Keswick for ten years now. In fact, next week, on the twelfth of July, we will be celebrating our wedding anniversary.

We met in 1978, when I was twenty-three years old and he was thirty-one. It was one of those proverbial whirlwind romances, except that ours, fortunately, did not fizzle out as so many do. Our relationship just grew better and better as time went on. That he swept me off my feet is a gross understatement. I fell blindly, madly, irrevocably in love with him. And he with me, as I waseventually to discover.

Andrew, who is English, had been living in New York for seven years when we met. He was considered to be one of the boy wonders of Madison Avenue, one of those naturals in the advertising business who can make an agency not only fabulously successful but incredibly famous as well, attracting a flock of prestigious multinational clients. I worked in the copy department of the same agency, Blau, Ames, Braddock and Suskind, and at the time, despite my lowly position, I rather fancied myself a writer of slick but convincing advertising copy.

Andrew Keswick seemed to agree.

If his compliments about my work went to my head, then he himself went straight to my heart. Of course, I was very young then, and even though I was a graduate of Radcliffe, I think I was most probably rather na-ve for my educational background, age, and upbringing. I was a slow starter, I suppose.

In any event, Andrew captivated me entirely. Despite his brilliance and his standing on Madison Avenue, I soon came to realize that he was not in the least bit egotistical. Quite the opposite, in fact. He was unassuming, even modest for a man of his considerable talents; also, he had a great sense of fun and a dry humor which was often rather self-deprecating.

To me he was a dashing and sophisticated figure, and his very Englishness, as well as his mellifluous, cultivated voice set him apart. Medium of height and build, he had pleasant, clean-cut looks, dark brown hair, and candid eyes set wide apart. In fact, his eyes were his most arresting feature, of the brightest blue and thickly lashed. I don't think I've ever before seen eyes so vividly blue, nor would I ever again, except years later, in Clarissa and Jamie, our six-year-old twins.

Every young woman in the advertising agency found Andrew immensely attractive, but it was I whom he eventually singled out for special attention. We began to go out together, and at once I discovered that I was completely at ease with him; I felt comfortable, very natural in his presence. It was as though I had known him forever, yet there was so much that intrigued me about him and his life before we met, so much to learn about him.

Andrew and I had been seeing each other for only two months when he whisked me off to London for a long weekend to meet his mother. Diana Keswick and I became friends instantly, actually within the first hour of knowing each other. You could say we fell in love, and that is the way it has been between us ever since.

To some people, the term "mother-in-law" inevitably conjures up the image of an enemy, a woman who is overly possessive of her son and in competition with his wife for his attention and affection. But not Diana. She was lovely to me from the moment we met—a female Andrew. Or rather, I should say, Andrew is a male version of his mother. In a variety of different ways, she has proved to be loyal and devoted to me; I truly love, respect, and admire her. Many qualities make her unique in my eyes, not the least of which is her warm and understanding heart.

Everything to Gain. Copyright © by Barbara Taylor Bradford. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 2 of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2013

    check it out, very good

    This book started out good and then got very sad and in the end ended very good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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