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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Who can forget A Woman of Substance, with its fiery heroine, or Barbara Taylor Bradford's recent novel, Power of a Woman? Bradford's novels are steeped in fascinating settings and times, and the war of love and conquest between men and women plays powerfully within the world she creates.
In A Sudden Change of Heart, stolen artwork, intrigue, and tragedy all whirl around two friends, Laura and Claire, their loves, and the lives they forge. Bradford rises again to the challenge of writing about women facing adversity and the triumphs of the human heart.
Laura Valiant's family originally came to the United States from Wales, and now they're settled in a valley of Connecticut. Laura's mother, an artist, is emotionally and often physically distant from her child, and her father is often traveling with work, so it's quite natural that Laura's primary bond is with her grandparents. Other than this separation from her parents, her childhood has been idyllic. Her closest friend is her near opposite in terms of common interests: Claire is a storyteller and completely unathletic, while Laura is adventurous and physically active. But their friendship will continue through their lives in ways they can't imagine as children.
When they're all grown up, Laura has carved out a career as an art scout and dealer of sorts, while Claire has married and divorced handsome Philippe Lavillard and is raising their child by herself. In Paris, while looking for art pieces for her clients, Laura runs into Philippe again, and soon the lives of Claire and Laura intertwine once more.
Claire feels a sense of outrage toward Philippe, a world-famous virologist who spent more time in Africa during their brief marriage than with his wife and daughter. But Philippe feels that Claire's anger — and the dissolution of their marriage — had something to do with a darkness in her childhood, a mystery of her young life that she was able to keep from even her best friend.
As the two friends discover more about the mysteries of life together, and as love both betrays and joins them, Barbara Taylor Bradford proves again that she is a master storyteller who writes gorgeous fiction of women, love, and the tragedies — and triumphs — of life.