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   Book Info

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Sunset in St.Tropez  
Author: Danielle Steel
ISBN: 1413221831
Format: Handover
Publish Date: June, 2005
   Book Review
Sunset in St.Tropez


Danielle Steel does it again with this moving tale of hidden secrets and second chances. In Answered Prayers, an unsatisfying marriage, the death of her stepfather, and the reappearance of a man from her past prompt 47-year-old Faith Madison to reassess her life choices and summon the courage to start anew, letting go of a lifelong secret in the process. In Faith, whose dilemma will be recognizable to many readers, Steel has crafted a vibrant, believable middle-aged woman in transition and cast her in the leading role. Loyal fans will undoubtedly look beyond the author's tendency toward repetitiveness and root for the complex heroine in this uplifting page-turner.


Danielle Steel's 56th bestselling novel is about family and friendship, about one woman's struggle to break free from the past -- and the man who helps her triumph. And most of all, it is about daring to believe in...Answered Prayers.

On the outside, Faith Madison is the very picture of a sophisticated New Yorker. Slim, blond, stylish, Faith has a life many would envy. Overcoming a childhood marked by tragedy, married to a successful investment banker and having raised two grown daughters, Faith has enjoyed her role as mother and wife, and the good life that emanates from their bustling Manhattan town house. But every step of the way, Faith has carried within her a secret she could divulge to no one. And with it, she has kept an even more painful secret from herself.

For Faith, it is the sudden death of her stepfather -- a man who, like her husband, Alex, always remained just beyond her reach -- that will touch off a journey of change and revelation. At the funeral, painful memories flood back -- and an old friend reenters Faith's life. Faith is greeting mourners, when she hears a voice behind her and a single word that brings a quick smile to her face: "Fred." Only one person aside from her older brother, Jack, called her that. Brad Patterson was Jack's best friend, a long, lanky boy who teased, tormented, and protected Faith when they fancied themselves "The Three Musketeers" as kids. When Jack died years later, Faith and Brad came together again in their common, inconsolable grief, then lost touch once more amid the demands of families and busy lives a continent apart.

Now a lawyer in California, Brad has reentered Faith's life just as she is making a decision that plunges her marriage into crisis. Determined to fulfill a long-held desire for a career of her own, Faith applies to law school against her husband's wishes, igniting a barrage of anger and recrimination. Faith's only solace is the correspondence she has begun with Brad, a man trapped in an empty marriage of his own, a friend she once lost and has found again. Soon e-mails are flying between them, bridging three thousand miles, sharing much-needed friendship, support, laughter. And as these two childhood friends rediscover each other, something extraordinary is beginning to happen. In the safety of their friendship, Brad will find the courage to make a decision he should have made years before. And Faith, too, is changing, beginning to believe in herself -- and in her right to grab hold of her dreams. Gathering a strength she never knew she had, Faith is finally ready to face the most painful step of all: of sharing the secret that has long been haunting her, and truly opening up her heart for the first time in her life.

With unerring insight into the hearts of husbands and wives, lovers and families, Danielle Steel tells a wise and moving story of the secrets that wound and the choices that heal -- and of the second chances that come only once in a lifetime.


Publishers Weekly

One thing remains unchanged in an ever-changing world, as evinced by Steel's 56th novel: the author's middle-aged principals never look their age or run to fat. After a childhood marred by unspeakable abuse, New Yorker Faith Madison has everything a woman could want: marriage to an investment banker, two nice daughters, a lovely home. Now that her daughters are grown, however, Faith is faced with empty-nest syndrome. Her answer? Go back to law school. Her boorish husband, Alex, tells her she can't; when she runs into childhood friend Brad Patterson at a funeral, he reassures her that she can. Brad is in a similarly stifling marriage on the West Coast, and the two begin firing off e-mails of friendly support. Neither is aware of the growing depth of romantic feeling between them. Both being churchgoers, once they do become aware, how will they reconcile what they want with the fact that they are each being married to someone else? Alex and Faith's retro attitudes about her return to school are a little too pre-1960s for 40-somethings living in the current year, and the e-mails exchanged between Faith and Brad are vapid in their painful mundanity ("...Otherwise, nothing new here... Send me another email when you have time"). Steel seems to assiduously court the currently lucrative CBA market Brad gives Faith rosary beads rather than the usual diamonds and some readers may find her protagonists' relationship maddeningly chaste, but the smooth plotting and practiced heartstring tugging achieve the desired effect. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Library Journal

Faith has a secret, and when childhood friend Brad shows up at her stepfather's funeral, she finally has someone in whom she can confide. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.


Faith Madison suffers from "empty nest syndrome" when her daughters leave for college. She decides to pursue her lifelong dream of attending law school. But her husband opposes the idea, and his threats turn their cold marriage to ice. When she attends the funeral of her stepfather, she meets a childhood boyfriend, and her marriage is plunged into crisis. Ron McLarty pulls the listener into this old-fashioned love story with a soft, persuasive voice. He uses different inflections and nuances to depict each character. The story is well paced and filled with refreshingly chaste moral overtones while maintaining a plot that keeps the listener spellbound as Faith's prayer is answered. G.D.W. (c) AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine

Kirkus Reviews

Glum second-chance romance.

The indefatigable Steel gives it her all, but with mixed results, to energize this all-too-familiar tale of a neglected middle-aged wife. Faith Madison knows there￯﾿ᄑs no hope for her marriage to Alex, a New York investment banker, and there￯﾿ᄑs little else in her life to look forward to now that her darling daughters Eloise and Zoe are grown and gone. All she seems to be doing lately is going to funerals for relatives, including her stepfather Charles. He was a pillar outwardly but cold to his new family, and much too strict with her beloved brother Jack. At least Charles didn￯﾿ᄑt sexually molest Faith as her real father did. She tried to tell her mother about it for years￯﾿ᄑbacked up by Jack￯﾿ᄑbut she refused to listen, accusing Faith of lying. Thus, Faith learned to endure misery in noble silence. She put her energy into raising her daughters and doing charity work, plus being Alex￯﾿ᄑs perfect wife. But the death of her brother Jack a few years ago shattered her tranquil world and raised the Big Question: Will she ever find happiness? Pondering this at Charles￯﾿ᄑs funeral, she suddenly hears a voice from the past￯﾿ᄑyes, the sexy baritone of her brother￯﾿ᄑs best friend Brad Patterson, in New York briefly from the West Coast. He￯﾿ᄑs an attorney and thinks Faith￯﾿ᄑs plan to go back to law school is a super idea, though Alex heartlessly points out that she￯﾿ᄑll be 50 by the time she graduates. Nonetheless, Brad and Faith e-mail each other, and inevitably fall in love. Contrived complications ensue: a pair of thong underwear is found in Alex￯﾿ᄑs bed, though daughter Eloise has the cheek to blame Faith for the marriage￯﾿ᄑs breakup; and Brad￯﾿ᄑs son Jason is comatose after an accident. Will all prayers be answered? Yup.

Routine fare from megaselling Steel, apparently suffering from plot fatigue.


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