Thursday, September 1, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Danielle Steel

In which I share vague recollections of books I read long ago that have stuck with me.

I was thinking about Danielle Steel recently when I was writing Tuesday's post, because I read ALL of her books when I was in high school. I think many of us consider her books to be romance, but they're not considered part of that genre. There are usually romances in them, but the books can be quite tragic and the romance isn't necessarily the central part of the plot. They tend to be family sagas and I loved the stories that spanned decades and followed people from their early lives through their careers and relationships and all of their dramatic ups and downs.

I lived in a small town in a poor rural area, and the lives I read about in Steel's books might as well have been science fiction. Glamorous women worked at jobs in high-rise buildings in cities and drank champagne on yachts with attractive men who jet-setted around the world. They had torrid love affairs and shopped at very expensive boutiques and ate at fancy restaurants - none of which I had experienced and all of which I ate up with a spoon. I couldn't get enough of these books.

They were totally unrealistic in many ways of course, but they taught me that those things existed. I didn't yet realize that the American Dream wasn't real, that you can't just work really hard and expect to become wealthy, but it was a glimpse into a culture that does exist and that I wouldn't have known about otherwise. Plus, they were just wonderful fun to read for hours in a bubble bath. I would bring my boom box into the bathroom and listen to all those 80s hair bands in the background while reading and refilling the tub with hot water to make it last longer.

Danielle Steel is still going strong and I keep thinking I should try her again, but I just don't hear much about her. She has a total of 6 books coming out in 2016, which makes me wonder if she's farming out the work the way James Patterson does. Has anyone read her recently? Are any of her newer books good?

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