Empires And Legacies
In His Father’s Footsteps by 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.Continue reading