Book Review - Rushing Waters

by Danielle Steel (Bantam Press) ISBN: 9780593069158


In Danielle Steel’s new release, a hurricane slams into New York and changes the lives of a group of individuals caught up in the chaos and the heartbreak– an interior designer and her mother, an investment banker, a young ER doctor, and two varsity students. 

As NYU students, sensing an adventure, I really enjoyed Peter and Ben’s storyline. The novel deals well with grief and loss, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The characters – as beautiful and successful as they inevitably are in a Danielle Steel novel – grapple with issues of ageing parents, relocation, divorce, and infertility. But the storm – its destructive power and its aftermath – make up the core of the story. 

Steel has written about natural disasters before – the earthquake in Amazing Grace springs to mind – so this isn’t really a ‘fresh take’ for this bestselling author. However, she creates characters and situations we can all relate to as readers. Even with a heavy subject matter, it’s still an easy read. Steel’s latest release should go rushing off the shelves. 

Anthony Ehlers
www.writerswrite.co.za
3/5

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Book Review - Magic: A Novel

by Danielle Steel (Delacorte Press) ISBN: 9780593069110


Magic is a thrilling story of three couples brought together by the magic of an all-white, invitation-only dinner held in the remotest of places in Paris. 

The novel follows the ups and downs of Jean-Philippe and Valerie Dumas’s relationship. It is tested when he moves to China for an impossible to resist career move, leaving Valerie with three small kids. She begins to toy with the strings of an affair with one of her bosses. 

Chantal, a widow with three older kids has finally found love with a much younger man. As she tries to balance her role as a mother and girlfriend, we experience the anxiety as she waits for Javier to leave her for a much younger woman. 

After 20 years of marriage and countless affairs, Benedetta finally divorces Gregorio Mariani after his mistress falls pregnant. She is portrayed as a very strong woman as she picks up the pieces and eventually falls in love with another man. Gregorio on the other hand faces his own tragedies that leave him a broken man caring for a baby on his own. 

The storyline is somewhat predictable, but the ending will leave you questioning how love really works. 

Alicia Sibanda
www.writerswrite.co.za
3/5  

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Book Review - Blue

by Danielle Steel (Penguin) ISBN: 9780593069059 


Disillusioned and about to end her life, Ginny Carter hears a noise and goes to investigate. She meets a thirteen-year-old boy named Blue who will set her on a journey she never planned or expected. This night marks the anniversary of the death of her husband and three-year-old son. Blue is alone and has been living on the streets and is not going to school. 

Ginny connects with Blue in a way that she thought she never could again. They become the family they both lost. But as they start building a life together Ginny discovers that Blue has been harbouring an awful and shocking secret. Once again they both embark on a journey of retribution, trust and healing. 

Ginny finds a lawyer to represent Blue in the hope of bringing the accused to justice and to give Blue a new start in life. Ginny also discovers that Blue is a talented pianist and she pushes him to audition for a place in school for the gifted. Blue is a hopeful story of healing, and finding peace and love again. 

Tracy-Ann Damons
www.writerswrite.co.za
4/5

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Book Review - The Apartment

by Danielle Steel (Bantam Press) ISBN: 978-0-59306-909-7


The apartment, home to four talented and beautiful young women brought together by chance, is in Hell’s Kitchen, and the latest novel from America’s bestselling author pulses with the energy and excitement of New York City. 

It is a coming-of-age tale as the four women find their feet in their careers and love lives. Claire, who finds the spacious and luminous loft apartment, is a shoe designer stuck in a job that is stifling her creative talents. She meets Abby who is in a relationship that is no good for her or her writing. Then Morgan, driven and serious about her job on Wall Street, joins them. The last to move in is Sasha. She is a medical student doing her residency at NYU Langone Medical Centre. 

They discover that friends can become family, even closer than blood ties. The apartment becomes a hub for their family and friends and a nursery for their dreams. 

The writing is light and effervescent, at times lacking depth in the characters and storyline. Steel fans will love her usual ingenuity at escapism. It is a sparkling read for a lazy weekend or holiday. 

Ewa Fabris
www.writerswrite.co.za
2/5

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Book Review - Property of a Noblewoman

by Danielle Steel (Bantam Press) ISBN: 9978059306907
 

Danielle Steel is always an enjoyable read. 

An abandoned safe-deposit box in a New York City Bank reveals a treasure trove of priceless jewellery. Court clerk, Jane Willoughby is charged with discovering more about the mysterious owner, the late Marguerite Wallace Pearson di San Pignelli. 

Jane is sad to think that these most precious possessions are to be sold off. Why did Marguerite never claim them?  Jane and Christie’s auctioneer, Phillip Lawton are thrown together in a quest to find out more about Marguerite’s story. 

But the search turns personal—and their efforts to reconstruct an enigmatic life lead them from New York to London and Paris, to Rome and Naples, and a series of stunning revelations that will change their lives forever. 

Dee Andrew
www.writerswrite.co.za
3/5

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Book Review - Precious Gifts

by Danielle Steel (Transworld) ISBN: 9780593069035 


Paul Parker, a successful business man but absent father to his three daughters and son, has died peacefully in his sleep. As his children and ex-wife gather for the reading of his will, they realise that Paul has left them each a legacy that will face their future and destiny. 

As a plot premise, it all sounds very intriguing — but the story doesn’t live up to this promise.  After chapter after chapter of backstory, the narrative fails to come to come to life.  Most of the story focuses on Veronique, the ex-wife, which plays out every romance novel cliché to the point of irritation — and the three daughters are not developed as likeable characters. 

The story has all the usual Danielle Steel glamour and fabulous settings — Paris, Venice, and New York — which makes it an easy holiday read. But there are too many characters in the book for each to be developed properly. I’m a fan of Danielle Steel, but this wasn’t her best book. Precious Gifts is a hastily wrapped holiday present. You may find yourself wishing you could return it. 

Anthony Ehlers
www.writerswrite.co.za
2/5
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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate

Book Review - The Sins of the Mother

by Danielle Steel (Random House) Price R195 ISBN 978-0-59306-313-2 


As always Danielle Steel is an author to be enjoyed. Whether the moral of the story is correct is for you to decide.  Olivia Grayson has made difficult choices. The successful businesswoman missed out on much of her children’s lives while she built her legendary home-furnishings empire. 

It does seem as though lots of money can cover old wounds between parents and children, and Olivia plans one lavish holiday every year to make amends. Will her daughters, Cassie, and Liz, ever understand? And will her sons, John and Phillip, who work for her, forgive her? 

I didn’t see Olivia as a sinner. She chose to work and see little of her children growing up and the family’s resentment of that fact cannot change. I felt sympathetic towards a mother who never stops loving her family in spite of their resentments. Problems arise and Olivia is always there to help out. A very well written, enjoyable Danielle Steel story. 

4/5

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A Gift of Hope

by Danielle Steel (Bantam Press) ISBN: 97805930682501R250

 

After the suicide of her teenage son and her marriage falling apart, Danielle Steel decided to distract herself from her own grief by helping others.

 

With a friend, she drove an anonymous van into San Francisco on an icy cold night before Christmas to hand out new jackets, sleeping bags, gloves and socks to the city’s homeless. She thought it would a one-time thing—but what she saw on the streets made her realise that—more than basic supplies and a warm jacket—these people needed to know someone cared for them. Soon after she had funded and organised a team dedicated volunteers to expand the outreach programme called Yo!Angels. It ran for eleven years.

 

As America’s third highest earning author, Steel could easily have chosen a flashy charity to support. Instead, she chose to work one-on-one with the most forgotten and neglected people, those we don’t want to acknowledge—much less care about. Her team handed out supplies without asking in return. She felt she had no right to ask any homeless person his story, as privacy was probably the last shred of dignity he had.

 

Steel also delivers some pragmatic insight into the homeless dilemma: Sometimes homeless people end up on the street not because they have nowhere else to go, but because there is no other place they fit in. “Homelessness is not just about not having a job or an apartment,” she writes. “Too often it is due to a disordered mind.” In part, she wrote this book as an act of advocacy—as a call for mental health reform, a plea for compassion.

 

As a South African living in a big city, this book rattles the conscience. If there are 20, 000 homeless people on the streets of San Francisco, how many need help—and hope—in a city like Johannesburg?

 

Anthony Ehlers

5/5

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Friends Forever

by Danielle Steel (Bantam) ISBN: 9780593056844 R195-00

 

Danielle Steel’s new novel is about the role friendship plays on life’s journey — and navigating the challenges we all face in our earlier years.  Five children meet and bond on their first day at Atwood School, a prestigious co-ed school in San Francisco.Friends Forever follows them from kindergarten to graduation and young adulthood.

 

It sounds like the perfect recipe for a warm, rich saga about friendship, love and survival. It will probably recall some fond memories of school friendships for many readers. However, the book is far too short to capture the narrative arc of five different characters. The result is episodic, messy and somewhat disappointing. Did the author write it in a rush to meet a publishing deadline? Or was the premise too thin to begin with?

 

Even die-hard Danielle Steel fans will feel a bit let down with this one, but for the less militant romance readers, the book will provide a few hours of breezy, enjoyable and entirely forgettable escapism.

 

Anthony Ehlers

2/5

 

Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. To find out about Writers Write - How to write a book, or The Plain Language Programme - Writing courses for business, email news@writerswrite.co.za

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