Empires And Legacies
In His Father’s
Danielle Steel is both a historical and contemporary epic novel that follows
the fortunes of a family.
The reader travels from Buchenwald to America,
from poverty to wealth, from family to empire. The novel is a journey to
discover the true meaning of wealth – and that is always found in people. The
wealthiest people in the story are not those with the most money but those who
lived, loved and survived Buchenwald. They are the ones who realised the true
wealth was in people as they witnessed the fragility of life. “Being Jewish had
become a death sentence overnight.” Survival was a lottery.
The legacy of the camps was fear. It hung over
lives forever – the fear that it might happen again. It was not something that
could be shaken off. Family was precious. Money was a necessity. It could buy
life. “Don’t live by what we were afraid of.” Passing fear down to the next
generation is not a good idea.
As the novel progresses, the reader sees love
being eroded and characters being seduced by wealth. “Diamonds always helped.”
The reader projects the end before a character does. Wealth can bring choice
but it can also be a prison to be trapped in a cycle of work – money – more work
– more money etc.
Spanning The Centuries
The Ghost by Danielle Steel is both a contemporary and historical novel about overcoming – both pain, hurt and disappointments. I read it when it was first released in 1997 and twenty one years later, The Ghost has stood the test of time and is still a marvellous read.
Strong characters created by Danielle Steel face life after either betrayal or abuse. They have to learn to take a risk and live again. Life is full of disappointments but we face a choice as to how we deal with them. Will we merely react? Or will we choose how to move forward?
There are two stories running parallel but separated by two centuries. There are similar themes running through both. the earlier story examines the Indian conflict and the fact that women were seen as goods in the marriage market. “She was traded for land.” In both centuries, everyone is fighting their private battles. “They each had their private sorrows.”
Beauty For Ashes
Blue by Danielle Steel is a contemporary tale of loss, guilt, forgiveness and new beginnings. It has some difficult issues and is a love story with a difference.
Blue has the theme of loss. Ginny lost her husband and son, Blue lost his mother. Both are thrown together by circumstances. Can they help each other heal?
There is the theme of guilt. Past incidents mean both Blue and Ginny feel guilt, and not just guilt, they feel worthless. Ginny tries to assuage her guilt with humanitarian work. She tries to save people one at a time. “You can’t heal all of the broken and wounded in the world.” Working her way in the hope of feeling better about herself is futile.
Undercover by Danielle Steel is a contemporary romantic thriller and I enjoyed it. The action moves from America to Argentina, Paris and London. It moves at quite a pace and the reader marvels at the locations – as diverse as the jungle and the White House.
Undercover tells the parallel stories of Marshall and Ariana. They live worlds apart but have similar experiences. They are both in the world but do not feel at home in the place they inhabit. “He felt like a stranger in his own country.” Both are seeking for a place to call home. “She was no longer sure where home was.” The novel explores this search to belong. “He felt like he had been sucked into a vacuum and was hanging in space between two worlds.”