Short Book Reviews: Leap Of Faith, Vanished & His Bright Star

I collected quite a lot of Danielle Steel’s books when I was in high school. Her works may not be masterpieces, but they are a light read that’s ideal for travelling or when you just want to relax with a book that won’t make you think much. So, here are three reviews of her works, enjoy!

Leap Of Faith by Danielle Steel
Marie-Ange Hawkins’s carefree childhood comes to an abrupt end when her family is killed in a car crush. She’s sent to live with her strict and stingy aunt on the other side of the ocean, where she’ll lead a poor existence. One that’s miles aways (and not just geographically) from the rich and happy one she had known until then. Her only consolation is the friendship of a boy named Billy. When she’s 21, she finally receives her inheritance, and decides to go back to France and visit her old house. Now, Comte Bernard de Beauchamp, a dashing and charming man, lives there. They fall in love, marry, have children… Marie-Angie seems finally to lead a perfect life, until a woman from Bernand’s past reveals to her some nasty things about him. Could it be true? Could her Prince Charming really be a monster? The plot sounds very interesting, doesn’t it? There’s romance, secrets, deception, crime… but sadly, as it often happens in Steel’s books, the author never explores these themes in-depth. The book is really short and can easily be read in an afternoon, but it really lacks some content. In addition, it is predictable and repetitive. And that’s a shame, cos the story has a lot of potential. *sighs*
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Rating: 3/5

Vanished by Danielle Steel
This is one of Steel’s best works. If you plan to read something from this author for the first time, make it this one. It is set in America in the 1930s, just after the Lindbergh kidnapping. Marielle is married to Malcom, a highly respected man admired by everyone. They have a son Teddy. One day, Teddy is kidnapped. The suspicions fall on Marielle’s first husband, Charles. He had threatened Marielle, angry at seeing her life so perfect after the tragic way in which their marriage ended. But would he really go as far as to kidnap her son? As the investigations proceed, everyone becomes a suspect. This is a tale of guilt, passion, desire, pain, love, romance and with a clever twist at the end. It’s more of a mystery than a romance novel, which may disappoint Steel’s fans, but I enjoyed it a lot more than her usual books. I just wish it wasn’t so slow-paced.
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Rating: 4/5

His Bright Star by Danielle Steel
His Bright Star tells the true story of Steel’s son, Nick Traina, who was affected with bipolar disorder. Although the book has the same flaws of Steel’s other works, ie it’s slow and repetitive, it is nevertheless an emotional, touching and powerful story. In the book, Steel candidly explains what a roller-coaster Nick’s life was, how his behaviour affected not just himself but also the rest of his family and of everyone who knew and loved him, how late his disorder was diagnosed, all the different treatments they tried to help him and, finally, his suicide. Danielle Steel may not be the best of writers, but she is an amazing and strong mother who never gave up on her child, and fought hard to save him. Although Nick’s story ends tragically, hopefully this book will help other people who are affected by the same disorder. But even if you don’t know anyone with mental illness, give this a book a read too. It will give you a better understand of what mental illness is.
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Rating: 4/5

Are you a fan of Danielle Steel? Have you read these books?

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