When Rose McCarthy’s staff at Mode magazine pitches a cover shoot with Hollywood’s hottest young actress, the actress’s sizzling affair with a bestselling French author is exposed. The author happens to be Rose’s son-in-law, which creates a painful dilemma for her. Her daughter Nadia, a talented interior designer, has been struggling to hold her marriage together, and conceal the truth from their young daughters, her family, and the world. But Nicolas, her straying husband, is blinded by passion for a younger woman—and not only that, she is pregnant with his child.
Nadia’s three sisters close ranks around her, flying to Paris from Los Angeles and New York to lend support and offer their widely divergent advice. Athena, a jovial celebrity chef with her own TV show in Los Angeles, is leery of marriage. Olivia, a stern conservative New York superior court judge, is haunted by a shocking secret of her own. Venetia, a zany fashion designer, happily married with three kids, has the gentlest, most realistic point of view. Despite their well-meaning advice, Nadia needs to figure out what she herself thinks, and what to do next.
The Affair is about the painful journey to discover who you are, what you want, and how much forgiveness and compromise you are capable of in order to be loved. It’s about finding yourself at the crossroads of life when everything is on the line. It’s about the hard lessons we are forced to learn about others and ourselves. Right up until its final twist, this gripping novel is full of powerful insights about who we love, how much—and even how much we love ourselves.
The Affair (Amazon US) (Amazon UK) (Audible)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Danielle Steel books are not great literature, but sometimes I like to escape to a world where all the beautiful and wealthy people have problems. I’ve been reading Steel off and on since the mid 1980’s and I’m done wondering how she can churn out a few books a year because they all seem the same.
The Affair was a big no for me. Nadia’s husband has an affair with some young starlet and humiliates her publicly. Nadia has three sisters who are supportive but have their own issues. The ladies’ mother, Rose, runs a magazine ala Anna Wintour and has to deal with the cheating son-in-law and young movie star.
Because Rose heads a fashion magazine, or maybe because this is a Danielle Steel novel, there is a lot of writing about what all the women are wearing, and she makes a point of singling out one of the daughters who is overweight by describing her wardrobe decisions: the wearing of flowy dresses and the like. I rarely come across a heavier person in a Steel novel, so I don’t know if the editors told her to put that in or she just wanted to try something different, but I found it condescending.
I won’t give away the ending, but I hated it. Absolutely. It was as if Steel was writing this book to make a point about lying and cheating and when she got to the end, she said, Never Mind. Normally I can stomach the vapidness of one of her novels, but not this time.
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