Massive fan following amongst authors is a big thing. Danielle Steel is one such best-selling writer. The latest addition to her repertoire is Neighbours. There is a sense of familiarity that most Steel fans know, but yet you keep flipping the pages.
The plotline is typical Steel. You meet a rich and recluse movie star, Meredith White. She has a failed marriage, strained relation with daughter, Kendall, and the accidental death of her son, Justin. For 15 years, the still beautiful Meredith stays in her mansion in San Francisco like a hermit. Her only support and ‘friends’ are husband-wife staff, Jack and Debbie (you do get suspicious of them). After an earthquake hits the city, she provides shelter to her neighbours.
There’s Dr Andrew with his wife, Tyla, and their children. Andrew’s cruel nature is kept hidden. There is a celebrated and perceptive blind pianist, Arthur, whose live-in assistant, Peter, is an aspirant writer. Joel, a tech giant, is introduced with his young and drop-dead gorgeous girlfriend, Ava, who he considers just a rich man’s toy. Meredith meets Charles Chapman, a former military man, who handles the relief work. When all these worlds collide, things change forever in a positive manner for most. Everyone sees their life choices differently.
The thing with Neighbours is it is a quintessential Danielle Steel book. Readers will realise common threads — a beautiful damsel in distress, her handsome saviour, a few selfish characters who never change and a sense of affluence. Steel’s stamp is all over the book. However, the breezy narrative keeps you engaged. You follow Meredith as she goes from being a recluse to claiming her life back. You appreciate sensitive people like Meredith, Charles and Arthur going out of the way to help Tyla, Peter and Ava. It is not a compulsive read but engaging enough to finish it in one sitting. Steel is a remarkable bestselling author who has kept her hold over her writing for decades. A touch of romance and fictional utopia helps fans and readers alike read Neighbours by Danielle Steel.
Book : Neighbours
Author : Danielle Steel
Publisher : Pan Macmillan
Pages : 321
Price : Rs 450
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