In her 55th bestselling novel, Danielle Steel explores the seasons of an extraordinary friendship, weaving the story of three couples, lifelong friends, for whom a month’s holiday in St. Tropez becomes a summer of change, revelation, secrets, surprises, and new beginnings . . .
As Diana Morrison laid the table for six at her elegant Central Park apartment, there was no warning of what was to come. Spending New Year’s Eve together was a sacred tradition for Diana, her husband of thirty-two years, Eric, and their best friends, Pascale and John Donnally and Anne and Robert Smith. The future looked rosy as the long-time friends sipped champagne and talked of renting a villa together in the South of France the following summer. But life had other plans . . .
Just two weeks after New Year’s, tragedy strikes the heart of their close circle, as Robert Smith suffers a sudden, unexpected loss. Without hesitation, Diana and Eric, Pascale and John rally to his side, united in their support, love, and shared grief. Convinced that a change of scenery is just what Robert needs, they urge him to join them on the Riviera in August. But as they soon discover, the ramshackle old mansion they rented in St. Tropez–sight unseen–is far different from the exquisite villa and sun-drenched gardens touted in the brochure. Cobwebs hang from the ceiling. Beds collapse beneath them. All while a would-be housekeeper in a leopard-skin bikini and six-inch heels sashays through the house with a trio of yapping poodles at her heels. But the biggest surprise of all is the woman Robert invites to the villa as his guest–a lovely, much-younger film actress with mile-long legs and a million-dollar smile.Diana and Pascale hate her on sight. But the men are dazzled. And amid the crumbling furniture and the glorious sunsets, the strained relationships and the acts of forgiveness, more surprises are in store for the villa’s occupants. With the last days of summer fast approaching, each couple finds themselves changing in unexpected ways, as old wounds are healed, new love discovered, and miracles unfold…all beneath the dazzling sun of St. Tropez.
By turns wise and moving, heartbreaking and wickedly funny, Danielle Steel’s new novel is about forgiving without forgetting, about the sorrow that shadows our lives and the hope that saves us. And it is about once-in-a-lifetime friendships . . .the kind that heal, sustain, and change us forever.
It is not often that I read Danielle Steel. Most of the books that I have by her, used to be my grandmother’s. But I actually liked this book.
The tragic loss of Robert’s wife was the stone that broke the glass house of everyone’s emotions. Robert had always thought that he would be the first to go. His friends rally behind him and urge him to continue on to the trip that they had all planned when Anne was alive. His daughter had been taking him out to movie premieres where he meets someone after a few months, who helps him through his grief and in the end helps him move on and love again.
Pascale arrives in St. Tropez early only find the house that was so perfect in the pictures, was in ruins and has two days to fix the house to where it is livable and everyone can have some sort of a good time. The gardener and maid of the house are a joke and Pascale can already hear her husband complaining about the money that they just spent on the place. She goes beyond her expectations, the house doesn’t look like the pictures, but it is good enough to spend time in.
Eric and Diana, whose marriage seemed so stable, is rocked when Diana learns that Eric has been cheating on her with one of his patients. Diana who wants nothing to do with Eric, eventually agrees to continue on to the trip to St. Tropez because of their friends, even though she has already made up her mind that she just can not forgive and forget.
Their friendships end up stronger. Everyone goes through a test of faith in their personal relationships and comes out better in the end.
Again it’s not often I read things like this. It’s not the kind of genre I’m in to but I liked the message and the commitment and the push to keep going in any relationship.