cover image Honor Thyself

Honor Thyself

Danielle Steel, . . Delacorte, $27 (323pp) ISBN 978-0-385-34024-3

Supreme spinner of romantic yarns, Steel (Amazing Grace , etc.), in her lamentable latest fable of female courage, fortune, fame and fashion, features Oscar-winning actress Carole Barber, who, at age 50 and trying to write a novel, travels to Paris, scene of a tragic love affair 15 years before. On her first night in the City of Light, she’s badly injured during a terrorist attack, after which she is left with no memory and no choice but to rebuild her life with a new perspective on her career, family and personal relationships. Steel flirts with themes of motherhood, second chances and writing, never settling on any one for long as Carole discovers the importance of pursuing her own desires while being generous to others and of keeping the men she wants in her life close but not too close. The best part is Carole’s rehabilitation; as she reacquaints herself with family and friends, Carole the patient shows the patience author Steel lacks to probe beneath the surface. Though the message is murky at best, Steel delivers a sympathetic heroine and a scene or two that makes the heartstrings quiver. (Feb.)