cover image Lightning


Danielle Steel. Delacorte Press, $24.95 (396pp) ISBN 978-0-385-31192-2

The latest offering from the indefatigable Steel is as much a cancer-survival manual as it is a romance novel. Alexandra Parker has it all--a partnership at one of New York's most prestigious law firms, a lovable husband of 17 years and a beautiful little girl. Then a routine checkup reveals breast cancer. Like lightning, her whole world is shattered. At 40, Alex loses not only her breast and hair but also her husband and happy home. Wall Street wizard Sam Parker loves his wife, but Alex's illness terrifies him (his mother died of cancer). So, instead of supporting her, he turns to a younger, healthier woman. Alex, devastated by Sam's emotional abandonment and scared to death of what is happening to her body, is ready to give up on herself and life when in steps a wonderful younger man who helps her regain her spirit, her courage and her sense of worth. Planning to remarry, Alex is about to ask Sam (now living with his girlfriend) for a divorce when lightning strikes again. This time, it's Sam who's on the brink of disaster: his partners have embezzled their clients' money. Suddenly, Sam realizes how much he needs and loves a cancer-free Alex; but will the spurned heroine return to him? Steel's message--that women are stronger than men but more foolish in love--may annoy some readers, but Alex's brave struggle to survive is inspiring and will have most of the author's fans cheering as usual by the novel's sentimental, three-handkerchief finale. Major ad/promo; rights: Janklow & Nesbit. (July)