cover image Family Ties

Family Ties

Danielle Steele, read by Susan Ericksen, Brilliance Audio, unabridged, nine CDs, 9.3 hrs., $38.99 ISBN 978-1-42-338848-7

Steele’s sprawling narrative concerns the efforts of 42-year old architect Annie Ferguson to juggle her career and budding romantic life with worry over the travails of her now grown nephew and nieces, whom she raised following the untimely death of her sister. For better or worse, the story line includes a wide array of soap opera elements, ranging from fashion photography in France to volatile issues of religious and family identity in Iran. Susan Ericksen demonstrates competence and attention to detail in bringing the dialogue to life. Yet in conjunction with the material, the listening experience—engaging as it may be at points—is overloaded with Hollywood caricatures, particularly in the cross-cultural experiences between the West and the Middle East. A Delacorte hardcover (Reviews, May 17). (July)