* Prices may differ from that shown
This is a Danielle Steel book from the old days that I particularly enjoyed reading. It sure wasn't an easy read- the themes are brutally realistic (in true Steel fashion) and the whole novel in fact inspires nothing short of a sobering sensation that I can only describe as having icy water thrown over you. But it is still a book that I will highly recommend due to the sheer mastery of style and language depicted by the author- not to mention the amazing melodrama and flow that did not fail to captivate me.
The Duchess Sarah Whitfield is celebrating her seventy-fifth birthday and awaiting the arrival of her children. Standing at the window, she lets her mind trail over the eventful decades that brought her to where she stands now today...
The whole book is in fact, a mere recollection of thoughts and memories. What I particularly appreciated in the novel is the manner in which Steel presented the memories to the reader: Everything was explored down to the tinniest detail and there was absolutely no ends left loose. The life of Sarah Whitfield soon became captivating to me because she was presented as someone whom everyone can relate to- her flaws were put forward and her shortcoming were analyzed by other characters. I usually hate it when I grab a novel and the main protagonist is one who is a near-perfect being. But I have to say that I was quite impressed with the manner in which the central figure showed herself to be a very relatable character for me.
The flow and orderly structure of the novel was also quite surprising to me, especially considering the numerous elements contributed to the intrigue. Themes such as nazism, and the second world war are brutally depicted, and yet, the book still maintained that solid flow and quiet charm. I have read other Steel books where she borders such subjects but the flow just ends up turning into a broken mess. In this one, however, she keeps a guarded tone through such events and gradually leads the reader out of these themes into another one. I really appreciated the manner in which the transition from one theme to the other was done.
This book might not have the most pleasant themes to it, nor is it an enchanting tale where you can just bathe in a pink cloud of escapism for hours- it is harsh and brutal and extremely realistic. But it is also so artfully done and written that I would certainly recommend this to anyone who loves some good old Danielle Steel melodrama. In terms of predictability, I have to say that it does get predictable at some point- especially if you are used to her novels, but still an intriguing read nonetheless because sometimes the novel takes up a couple of brutal turns that add another dimension to it.
Overall, quite highly recommended.
Thanks for reading!