cover image No Greater Love

No Greater Love

Danielle Steel. Delacorte Press, $23 (392pp) ISBN 978-0-385-29909-1

Steel ( Heartbeat ) shamelessly plucks her readers' heartstrings in this predictably sentimental novel. In 1912, during a harrowing Atlantic crossing, 20-year-old Edwina Winfield loses her parents and fiance in the sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic . She bravely shoulders full responsibility for her younger siblings--sensible Philip, wiseacre George, angelic Alexis and toddlers Fannie and Teddy--and resigns herself to spinsterhood, certain she will never wish to marry. Financially if not emotionally secure in San Francisco, she ponders the fate of their father's newspaper business, capably mothers her brood and politely declines the amorous advances of a family friend. Additional tragedy awaits in the form of WW I and, again, tears are shed, but the indomitable Winfields prevail, eventually gaining access to glamourous 1920s Hollywood. As George develops a career in the movie industry and stunning blonde Alexis dreams of stardom, readers will begin to suspect that long-suffering, virtuous Edwina might have another chance at happiness (read: true love). Steel can never be accused of subtlety, but fans of her brand of romance won't be disappointed. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selections; author tour. (Nov.)