From Publishers Weekly
Packed with Steel's trademark dense plotting and incidents featuring everything from sexual abuse and infidelity to car crashes and impossible relatives, her 32nd novel (after Vanished ) is set in California's plush Marin County. Page Clarke, devoted wife of Brad and mother of Allyson and Andy, finds her golden life shattered when 15-year-old Allyson sneaks off with friend Chloe to meet two boys. In a subsequent head-on collision, one boy is killed, Chloe is seriously injured and Allyson lapses into a coma. Page can't reach Brad, who confesses when he comes home that he is having an affair. Stunned and hurt, Page keeps a vigil at Allyson's bedside while also coping with needy seven-year-old Andy and an ambivalent husband who can't decide whether to stay or leave. Her only support comes from Chloe's father, Trygve Thorensen, who has been the primary caretaker for his kids since their mother divorced him. Other plot twists include a visit from Page's self-indulgent, neurotic mother and her sister, and a secret concerning the driver of the other car in the accident. While not drawn in much depth, the characters are believable; Trygve in particular is likable and nurturing. The ending is predictable but pleasant, bound to delight Steel's fans. One million first printing; national ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club dual main selection.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Novels fall as easily from Danielle Steel's pen as concertos fell from Telemann's and overtures from Rossini's--and for much the same reason: she owns a formula that offers very few surprises but a great many pleasures. This time her heroine is confronted with her 15-year-old daughter's car accident and the revelation of her sexy husband's waywardness. The other key relationships are with her just-turned-seven son and the father of her daughter's less-badly-injured girlfriend. The secret to Steel's success--and this is what her sneering middle- and high-brow critics miss--is her ability to write simply and generously about love. Not romantic love, but the warm, trusting love that finds its own way to romance. Critics sneer because they want something more complex, broken, or seedy, but Steel is truer to the heart of early, medieval romance and perhaps to the heart of ordinary people (assuming women are people, too). Here, anyway, readers will recognize from their own lives the fretting weariness of hospital vigils, the exposed vulnerability of young children, and the aggressive self-justification of a husband trapped in a vortex of guilt and self-pity. A touching, satisfying romance sung, for the most part, in perfect tune. Stuart Whitwell