From the publisher:
In Danielle Steel’s epic new novel, the lives of four generations of women in one family span fortune and loss, motherhood, tragedy and victories.
From the glamorous San Francisco social scene of the 1920s, through war and the social changes of the ’60s, to the rise of Silicon Valley today, this extraordinary novel takes us on a family odyssey that is both heartbreaking and inspiring, as each generation faces the challenges of their day.
The Parisian design houses in 1928, the crash of 1929, the losses of war, the drug culture of the 1960s—history holds many surprises, and lives are changed forever. For richer or for poorer, in cramped apartments and grand mansions, the treasured wedding dress made in Paris in 1928 follows each generation into their new lives, and represents different hopes for each of them, as they marry very different men.
From inherited fortunes at the outset to self-made men and women, the wedding dress remains a cherished constant for the women who wear it in each generation and forge a destiny of their own. It is a symbol of their remaining traditions and the bond of family they share in an ever-changing world.
Last week I had one of those tele-health appointments with my doctor. That’s where I’m at home in front of my bookcases (fiction section) and he’s at home or maybe at the office, I don’t know. We basically Facetimed and it was easy and worthwhile. But then he asked about my books. What were all those books behind me.
I explained that those were my fiction books, housed in my living room. Cookbooks have their own bookcase, as do nonfiction, in other areas of my home. Then he asked what authors were on the shelves. I named a few, Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Mary Kay Andrews, Adriana Trigiani, Barbara Kingsolver, Scott Turow. For the most part, the only books I keep anymore are the ones that have been signed by the author. Or that I love too much to part with. He then asked if I had any Danielle Steel. I do not.
Now, this particular doctor is a man, and he was in medical school when I started college so a few years older than I am. I would be pretty surprised if he reads Danielle Steel, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that his wife does. It started me thinking that I haven’t read her in a few years, and I happened to have this book on my Kindle, courtesy of the publisher. I read a few of her books when I was pregnant with my (now 35-year-old) son, and then I read a couple more a few years ago. I liked one of those and hated the other. But she is such a popular author I figured I’d give her another go with this new book.
I’m sorry I did. I went back and read my reviews of the books I read in 2017 and this book had the same exact problems.
I’m not sure why I finished it, other than I fell back on an old bad habit of reading to the end in hopes it would get better. It didn’t.
I was annoyed with myself for sticking with it and wasting two and a half hours of my life that I’ll never get back.
The characters never come to life. We don’t know them well enough to care about what happens. Even a character’s death didn’t faze me. And the dress? The wedding dress. Two of the family members wear it and that was lovely.
This book covers roughly four generations of a family and I really didn’t care about any of them. Another waste of time, and one that I’ll hopefully learn from. If you are a fan of her books, you will probably enjoy this one. I just think there are so many authors out there writing far better books. I’d be happy to recommend some.
5/2020 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
THE WEDDING DRESS by Danielle Steel. Delacorte Press (April 28, 2020). ISBN 978-0399179594. 304p.
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