cover image The Wedding

The Wedding

Danielle Steel. Delacorte Press, $26.95 (408pp) ISBN 978-0-385-31437-4

Steel's 48th novel (after Irresistible Forces), about weddings Hollywood-style, gets off to a slow start, but just when the singsong prose and bland introductory details begin to get frustrating the plot picks up steam. Beautiful, brainy lawyer Allegra Steinberg's life is one drama after another--once she gets rid of her boyfriend, philandering dullard Brandon Edwards. Her clients are superstar musicians and actors who phone her at 2 a.m. because they've fallen in love or gotten arrested or think they're being stalked. Her family are superstars, too: Mom is TV director Blaire Scott, Daddy is Golden Globe humanitarian-of-the-year producer Simon Steinberg, and then there's her 17-year-old sister, Sam, a leggy model whose pregnancy throws everyone for a loop. Steel's characters are already over-the-top, but leave it to this clever megaselling author to throw not one but three weddings into the mix. Movie stars Carmen Conners and Alan Carr elope, wig-and-polyester-style, in Las Vegas, and Sam secretly marries Jimmy Mazzoleri, who isn't the father of her baby. The centerpiece of the tale, however, is the big one, complete with an odious wedding planner, for Allegra and Jeff Hamilton, a gorgeous, soulful New York writer. Although Steel's prose is predictable, no one can gainsay her charitable heart. On the far side of tears and melodrama, everyone in the cast is redeemed and paired off--even Jeff's anti-Semitic mother and Allegra's sociopathic biological father, who richly deserve one another. (Apr.)