Danielle Steel, Author Delacorte Press $24.95 (408p) ISBN 978-0-385-30604-1
Sexual abuse in myriad forms imbues Steel's new novel with uncharacteristically dark tones. The narrative covers more than 20 painful years in the life of Grace Adams, an incest victim who, at age 17, shoots dead her abusive father. Sent to prison, Grace is rescued from a lesbian gang-rape by a pair of women who provide protection during her two-year sentence. Once released, she heads to Chicago, where she lands a job in a modeling agency, only to be sexually harassed by a series of men, including her parole officer, her boss and a wicked photographer. After her probation ends, Grace moves to New York; there, she works as secretary in a major law firm and volunteers in a shelter for abused women. Steel is careful not to let the nearly fatal beating that follows mar her heroine's good looks, or future. Grace emerges from a coma to find handsome Charles Mackenzie, her high-powered lawyer boss, at her bedside. A happy ending--which follows some satisfying vengeance on Grace's part--doesn't minimize the aura of victimization that surrounds this heroine. Only in a Danielle Steel novel would a 19-year-old ex-con show up at her first job interview in a ""little Chanel knockoff"" suit--but neither pseudo-high fashion nor the high-handed conclusion keep this yarn from being, ultimately, a big downer that earns its title in more ways than one. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
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Hardcover - 978-0-385-31518-0
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Hardcover - 576 pages - 978-0-375-43327-6
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