cover image A Good Woman

A Good Woman

Danielle Steel, Author . Delacorte $27 (327p) ISBN 978-0-385-3

Nineteen-year-old Annabelle Worthington, the only daughter of a wealthy New York banker, weathers a life of unexpected catastrophe with superhuman patience in Steel’s solid latest. After her father and brother die in the sinking of the Titanic , Annabelle and her mother go into mourning, and Annabelle marries the kindly older banker Josiah Millbank. After two years of unconsummated marriage, he reveals that he’s contracted syphilis and wants a divorce so he can join his male lover. When Annabelle refuses to divorce him, Josiah files for it on the basis of adultery, forcing Annabelle, now the victim of vicious rumors, to flee New York. Alone in Paris, she draws on her experience volunteering at Ellis Island to pursue a career as a doctor as WWI looms. Steel toys with the premise of a modern woman, though the characterization of Annabelle as a “good woman” who has been dragged through the mud somewhat mitigates her strength and elemental stubbornness. Steel’s fans will eat this up—Annabelle is one of the better protagonists Steel’s conjured recently. (Oct.)