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Daddy - Danielle Steel

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Author: Danielle Steel / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 01 January 1991 / Genre: Modern & Contemporary Fiction / Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd / Title: Daddy / ISBN 13: 9780552135221 / ISBN 10: 0552135221

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    7 Reviews
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      16.07.2009 12:05
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      Oliver Watson is devastated when his wife decides to go to college, leaving the whole family behind

      Contains spoilers

      This novel differs from other Danielle Steel novels mainly because of the fact that it is one of the rare novels which centers about the life and relationship of male protagonists instead of female ones. Literary critics, however, have had a hard time in digesting the whole concept of the novel, Daddy- some even going to the extent of calling it a "sexist" novel. The plot centers around the lives of three men- The father being the main character, his son and own father as the secondary characters. The novel shows how each man copes with the loss of their first love. Oliver, the main protagonist, is devastated when his wife announces that she will leave him and the whole family to go away to college. After years of having a wife and nice, normal family, Oliver suddenly finds himself thrust into playing the role of both mother and father.

      While I would not go to the extent of calling this novel a sexist one, I must admit that I was a little baffled by the way that roles were set out for women and men. Oliver seemed to believe that the place of a woman had to be exclusively at home- even if I also have a hard time digesting the fact that the wife is ready to throw everything away, including her children, in order to earn a college degree to make herself feel worthy of doing something else apart from driving carpools and taking care of Oliver and the children. While this is the part which has been at the centre of numerous feminist and sexist controversies, I must admit that I admire Danielle Steel's skill of painting both sides of the story. Somehow you understand Oliver's loss and grief, as well as Sarah's feelings. Like I previously mentioned in one of my reviews, I also look for the way any novel or movie is the way that the writer/director handle realism. In this case, I must express my great admiration for the delicate manner in which the author depicted a real world, with real feelings at the centre of the novel. Quite a difference from other romantic, everything is perfect, Mills and Boons novels!

      The plot flows well, with occasional break-through the tensions in the form of the troubles with the son and the grandfather. In addition, the realism of the plot is furthermore echoed by some great dialogue. Lots of life lessons to be learned from this novel too!

      Overall, I would say that this 386 pages book is worth the read.

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        29.04.2008 00:31

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        I do not understand how it is possible for Danielle Steel to be permitted to continue writing...her books are painful to read, they're so bad...the characters are horrible, the plot is confused, the storyline is sappy and pointless. Does no one edit these books? Are her editors drunk or perhaps heavily medicated? It's a piss-off that this woman has made millions of dollars writing complete nonsense. I wonder what she reads for inspiration...maybe comic books...she clearly doesn't have much depth.

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        10.02.2008 17:01

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        a must read for any woman

        Danielle steels book daddy was first published in 1989, Its retail price when i brought my copy many years ago was £3.99

        Daddy is the story of oliver watsons battle to cope with all the turmoil of a marriage break down after 18 happy years together at the same time he has to cope with a whole host of other things life so cruely throws at him.

        His mother is killed in an accident, at the same time as trying to cope with his marriage breakdown, greiving for his mother he also has to help his elderly dad pick up the pieces of his broken heart and life at 72 years old and help him begin again without his beloved wife.

        Olivers wife has left leaving him to deal with there 3 children alone which oliver strugles to do, they youngest child is too young to make any sence of this situation and just know mummy has gone, his daughter melissa blames her dad for the marriage breakdown and her mother leaving her although it is not his fault and there eldest son gets into all sorts of bother.

        This is a story of 3 generations of men in the same family all trying to cope with the turmoil that life has to throw at them.

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        24.12.2007 17:43
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        Tale about the role of parenting.

        This is chick lit, and the first Danielle Steele book that I have read, although as she is a prolific chick lit author (I know of 65 published books), I have been aware of her existence for many years. I read this one on the recommendation of a friend who enjoys mainly women authors, but as diverse styles as Martina Cole's thrillers to any Mills & Boon romance.

        I made the mistake of reading the book cover first. This gave away at least the first half of the plot, and the plot wasn't strong enough for me to enjoy it much after that.

        In case you still want to read the book, against my advice, I won't spoil the plot for you. I will tell you that the main Daddy did quite well when forced to take on all of the day-to-day parenting, but there are also two co-starring Daddies in the story as well. I would expect any man who waded through this to think more than once before deliberately becoming a Daddy himself.
        There seemed to be a lot of repetition of the way characters felt through the whole of the book, but especially the feelings of a mother who may not have had any children if no pressure had been put on her to conform. This repetition of emotions meant that I felt I knew the main characters quite well, but I prefer to get to know characters in a more interesting way.

        In contrast to this repetition, I think it odd that the weddings and honeymoons included involved very little detail.

        Another thing that the book lacked for me was any sort of sense of humour, expect for the last sentence, which made me smile. I don't expect to laugh much during bad times, but I think a sense of humour is essential for me personally to get through them, so I found parts of the story very depressing.

        As the one time the book made me smile was the last sentence, you will probably assume that it has a happy ending. It does, but the way it was left makes it possible for a sequel to be written if the author felt inspired that way.

        The only reason that I bothered finishing this book is the recommendation of my friend. I kept hoping it would become less boring. I did find the second half of the story more interesting than the beginning, but it was still an easy story to have a break from.

        I would only pick up another Danielle Steel book if I had nothing better to read. I think the strong competition there is from authors that I enjoy more, means that I wouldn't read anything else from her.

        My favourite female fiction authors include Sophie Kinsella for light, laugh out loud reading, and Jodie Picoult for deeper fiction based on a lot of factual research. While I wouldn't describe the later as a comic writer, she does show us how a sense of humour can help us through difficult times, unlike this Danielle Steel story.

        If you still want to buy this book you could currently get it from new from tesco.com for £5.59 or to get a bargain on eBay.



        Format: Paperback 320 pages
        Date of publication: 01/01/1991
        Publisher: Corgi Adult
        ISBN: 9780552135221
        RRP: £6.99

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          21.06.2007 16:04
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          A book that will head for the nearest car boot sale

          It has been a while since I read any of Danielle Steel. In her earlier books, although she had a good knack of holding a story together, where I felt she failed to gain my attention was that all of her heroines were beautiful people in designer clothing and living amidst the rich. I was neither entertained by it, nor did it appeal to my imagination very much. Having read work, it would never give me food for thought, which is what I expect from any novel that I take the time to read.

          Daddy is a strange sort of tale and takes Daniel Steele out of the realms of the rich and famous, though into male perspective to a certain degree, since the main character within the story is Oliver Watson, a man who believes that the life he has built for himself and his family is perfect, until one decision on the part of his wife changes both his perception of the world, and throws his life into a turmoil of questions, to which the answers are not obvious.

          Having been married to Oliver for 18 years, his wife, Sarah decides that the time has come when she needs to put her family to one side and to follow her dream to study leaving the children in the care of their father to study for a Master's Degree at Harvard.

          Although there is a central theme of fatherhood throughout the story in the lives of Oliver, his son and his father, what makes the story so irritating is that the most interesting characters within the framework of the story are those that appear from nowhere outside of the main framework of the story. The other characters within the family are frankly boring and add little to what could have become an epic. The son, Benjamin showed a little bit of independent character within the book, and the grandfather, George Watson seemed a very sad characterization and probably bore more resemblance to how a reader would see an old man of seventy, though neither really stood off the page more than as characters half painted, or in black and white drawing with no coloring in.

          Taking the reader through the adventures and growing up of children without their mother's influence in the home is pretty unrealistically dealt with, and the old habit of introducing rich people into her stories seems to be a trademark of Steele, touching only briefly on those characters with very little intelligence and even less money, almost as if the author had no understanding at all about the moral fibre of those people less fortunate than those portrayed in the book that can afford the life of luxury. Even in dealing with the modest surroundings of Sarah after she leaves her husband, Steele's lack of substance and detail in even understanding any poverty aspects of life is disappointing at best and makes me wonder if the writer needs a touch of humility to even come to grasps with the reality that there are indeed different classes of people within the world and that life doesn't begin and end in the rich America that makes up the American dream.

          It's a great shame because Danielle Steele does have a good style and is very readable, though this book didn't give me any real enjoyment and going through the chapters towards the end was a vain attempt to find substance that really wasn't there. Made into a film starring Patrick Duffy in 1991, I suspect that the film version was probably better than the written word.

          My advice to Danielle Steele fans and readers wanting to experience her work ? Buy her earlier work where her passion showed, and forget about trying to find harsh reality within the covers of her books. At least the earlier ones had some element of structure and story telling that merited the price of a paperback.

          This one doesn't.


          Paperback: 400 pages
          Publisher: Dell; Reissue edition (October 1, 1990)
          Language: English
          ISBN-10: 0440207622
          ISBN-13: 978-0440207627



          On sale from £5.00 from Amazon, go for Full Circle as a preference, since it will offer a better story and finer example of Danielle Steele's work.

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            31.07.2001 19:46
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            Danielle steel is an author. Over the last few days I have watched on the television two of her classics, which have been adapted to television. I have found these novels really enjoyable and interesting. The one that I watched yesterday was called ‘remembrance’ I found this really good and I had to see the whole programme to see what happened. For anyone who is interested in these sort of books, it is about a girl who moves to America and gets married but is not accepted in her husbands family, he then goes to war had dies and she is left alone with a young daughter. She then goes in to a modelling career and marries a famous photographer, who later kills her. the story is told trough the eyes of the young daughter and is a excellent film and I would recommend it to anybody. The second in this television series is called ‘the ring’ 8 have only seen the first half of this and the other half is showing tomorrow and 10:30 on channel 3. It is set in Germany during the war and it is all about a girl who was separated from her family and he struggle to find her brother. I would recommend to anyone that they watch it as it is an eye opening film and has some interesting points in. Ten reason I am interested in these stories is because they are set in the war and they both show how war can separate families and in some cases bring families together.

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              17.09.2000 16:49
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              'Daddy' is different to other Daniel Steel novels because the main woman character is painted as ‘the villain’ although a lot of women will sympathise with her! A seemingly happily married mum suddenly decides life is about to pass her by. So she decides to get out after 18 years and live it. She wants to travel to Europe, she wants to go back to school and in doing so she basically abandons her stunned husband and her kids. With only so much as an ‘I need to do this’ she just bolts. The stunned Dad, sudenly has to take over the running of his family on his own. This is a story of survival. This is one of Daniel Steels better novels. If you have read another before and were not impressed, I would still recommend you give this a try.

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          • Product Details

            When Oliver's wife leaves him to follow her own ambitions, he must learn to cope with his pain and that of their three children.