Four sisters, a Manhattan brownstone and a tumultuous year of loss and courage are at the heart of Danielle Steel's new novel about a remarkable family, a stunning tragedy - and what happens when four very different young women come together under one very lively roof.
From the Inside Flap
Four sisters, a Manhattan brownstone, and a tumultuous year of loss and courage are at the heart of Danielle Steel's new novel about a remarkable family, a stunning tragedy - and what happens when four very different young women come together under one very lively roof.
21-year-old Candy - it's the only name she needs - is blazing her way through Paris, New York, and Tokyo as fashion's latest international supermodel ... Her sister Tammy, 29, has a job producing the most successful hit show on TV, and a home she loves in LA's Hollywood Hills ... In New York, oldest sister Sabrina, 34, is an ambitious young lawyer, while Annie, at 26, is an American artist in Florence, living for her art ... On one Fourth of July weekend, as they do every year, the four sisters come home to Connecticut for their family's annual gathering. But before the holiday is over, tragedy strikes and their world is utterly changed.
Suddenly, four sisters who have been fervently pursuing success and their own lives - on opposite sides of the world - reunite to share one New York brownstone, to support each other and their father, and to pick up the pieces while one sister struggles to heal her shattered body and soul. Thus begins an unscripted chapter of their lives, as a bustling house is soon filled with eccentric dogs, laughter, tears, friends, men ... and the kind of honesty and unconditional love only sisters can provide. But as the four women settle in, they are forced to confront the direction of their respective lives. As the year passes and another July Fourth approaches, a season of grief and change gives way to new beginnings - as a family comes together to share its blessings and a future filled with surprises, and, ultimately, hope.
With unerring insight and compassion, Danielle Steel tells a compelling story of four sisters who love and laugh, struggle and triumph ... and are irrevocably woven into the fabric of each other's lives. Brilliantly blending humor and heartbreak, she delivers a powerful message about the fragility - and the wonder - of life.
From the Back Cover
Four sisters, a Manhattan brownstone and a tumultuous year of loss and courage ...
Candy is blazing her way through Paris, New York and Tokyo as fashion's latest international supermodel.
Tammy has a job producing the most successful hit show on TV, and a home she loves in Hollywood.
Sabrina, the eldest, is an ambitious young lawyer in New York.
Annie lives in Florence, devoted only to her art.
On one Fourth of July weekend, as they do every year, the four sisters come home to Connecticut for their family's annual gathering. But before the holiday is over, tragedy strikes and their world is utterly changed. Suddenly, they need to support each other and their father, and to pick up the pieces while one sister struggles to heal her shattered body and soul.
The year passes and another Fourth of July approaches - a season of grief and change gives way to new beginnings as the family comes together to savour its blessings and a future filled with unexpected gifts, surprises and, ultimately, hope.
About the Author
Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world’s most popular authors, with over 570 million copies of her novels sold. Her many international bestsellers include
Amazing Grace, Bungalow 2, Sisters, H.R.H., Coming Out, The House
, and other highly acclaimed novels. She is also the author of
His Bright Light
, the story of her son Nick Traina’s life and death.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
The photo shoot in the Place de la Concorde, in Paris, had been going since eight o'clock that morning. They had an area around one of the fountains cordoned off, and a bored-looking Parisian gendarme stood watching the proceedings. The model stood in the fountain for hours on end, jumping, splashing, laughing, her head thrown back in practiced glee, and each time she did it, she was convincing. She was wearing an evening gown hiked up to her knees, and a mink wrap. A powerful battery-operated fan blew her long blond hair out in a mane behind her.
Passersby stopped and stared, fascinated by the scene as a makeup artist in a tank top and shorts climbed in and out of the fountain to keep the model's makeup perfect. By noon, the model still looked like she was having a fabulous time, as she laughed with the photographer and his two assistants between shots as well as on camera. Cars slowed as they drove by, and two American teenagers stopped and stared in amazement as they strolled by and recognized her.
"Oh my God, Mom! It's Candy!" the older of the two girls intoned with awe. They were on vacation in Paris from Chicago, but even Parisians recognized Candy easily. She was the most successful supermodel in America, and on the international scene, and had been since she was seventeen. Candy was twenty-one now, and had made a fortune modeling in New York, Paris, London, Milan, Tokyo, and a dozen other cities. The agency could barely handle the volume of her bookings. She was on the cover of Vogue at least twice a year, and was in constant demand. Candy was, without a doubt, the hottest model in the business, and a household name even to those who knew little about fashion.
Her full name was Candy Adams, but she never used her last name, just Candy. She didn't need more than that. Everybody knew her, her face, her name, her reputation as one of the world's leading models. She managed to make everything look like fun, whether she was running through snow barefoot in a bikini in the freezing cold in Switzerland, walking through the surf in an evening gown in the winter on Long Island, or wearing a full-length sable coat under a blazing sun in the Tuscan hills. Whatever she did, she looked as though she was having a ball doing it. Standing in the fountain in the Place de la Concorde in July was easy, despite the heat and the morning sun, in one of Paris's standard summer heat waves. The shoot was for another Vogue cover, for the October issue, and the photographer, Matt Harding, was one of the biggest in the business. They had worked together hundreds of times over the last four years, and he loved shooting with her.
Unlike other models as important as she was, Candy was always easy—good-natured, funny, irreverent, sweet, and surprisingly naive after the success she'd enjoyed since the beginning of her career. She was just a nice person, and an incredible beauty. She didn't have a single bad angle. Her face was virtually perfect for the camera, with no flaws, no defects. She had the delicacy of a cameo, with finely carved features, miles of naturally blond hair that she wore long most of the time, and blue eyes the color of sky and the size of saucers. Matt knew she liked to party hard and stay out late, and amazingly it never showed in her face the next day. She was one of the lucky few who could get away with playing and never have it show afterward. She wouldn't be able to get away with it forever, but for now she still could. If anything, she only got prettier with age, although at twenty-one, one could hardly expect her to be touched by the ravages of time, but some models started to show it even at her age. Candy didn't. And her natural sweetness still showed through just as it had the first day he'd met her, when she was seventeen and doing her first shoot for Vogue with him. He loved her. Everyone did. There wasn't a man or woman in the business who didn't love Candy.
She stood six foot one in bare feet, weighed a hundred and sixteen pounds on a heavy day, and he knew she never ate, but whatever the reason for her light weight, it looked great on her. Although she was thin in person, she always looked fabulous in the images he took of her. Just like Vogue, which adored her and had assigned him to work with her on this shoot, Candy was his favorite model.
They wrapped up the shoot at twelve-thirty, and she climbed out of the fountain as though she had only been in it for ten minutes, instead of four and a half hours. They were doing a second setup at the Arc de Triomphe that afternoon, and one that night at the Eiffel Tower, with the sparklers going off behind them. Candy never complained about difficult conditions or long hours, which was one of the reasons photographers loved working with her. That, and the fact that you couldn't get a bad photograph of her. Her face was the most forgiving on the planet, and the most desirable.
"Where do you want to go for lunch?" Matt asked her, as his assistants put away his cameras and tripod and locked up the film, while Candy slipped out of the white mink wrap and dried her legs with a towel. She was smiling, and looked as though she had enjoyed it thoroughly.
"I don't know. L'Avenue?" she suggested with a smile. She was easy. They had plenty of time. It would take his assistants roughly two hours to set up the shoot at the Arc de Triomphe. He had gone over all the details and angles with them the day before, and he didn't need to be there until they had the shot fully ready. That gave him and Candy a couple of hours for lunch. Many models and fashion gurus frequented L'Avenue, also Costes, the Buddha Bar, Man Ray, and an assortment of Paris haunts. He liked L'Avenue too, and it was close to where they were going to shoot that afternoon. He knew it didn't matter where they went, she wasn't likely to eat much anyway, just consume gallons of water, which was what all the models did. They flushed their systems constantly so they didn't gain an ounce. And with the two lettuce leaves Candy usually ate, she was hardly likely to put on weight. If anything, she got thinner every year. But she looked healthy, in spite of her enormous height, and ridiculously light weight. You could see all the bones in her shoulders, chest, and ribs. Just as she was more famous than most of her counterparts, she was also thinner than most. It worried Matt for her sometimes, although she just laughed when he accused her of having an eating disorder. Candy never responded to comments about her weight. Most major models flirted with or suffered from anorexia, or worse. It went with the territory. Humans didn't come in these sizes, not after the age of nine. Adult women, who ate even halfway normally, just weren't that thin.
They had a car and driver who took them to the restaurant on the Avenue Montaigne, and as usual at that hour and time of year, it was mobbed. The couture collections were being shown the following week, and designers, photographers, and models had already started to fly in. In addition, it was high tourist season in Paris. Americans loved the restaurant, but so did trendy Parisians. It was always a scene. One of the owners spotted Candy immediately, and showed them to a table on the glassed-in terrace, which they referred to as the "Veranda." It was where she liked to sit. She loved the fact that she could smoke in any restaurant in Paris. She wasn't a heavy smoker, but indulged occasionally, and she liked having the freedom to do it, without getting dark looks or ugly comments. Matt commented that she was one of the few women who made smoking look appealing. She did everything with grace, and could make tying her shoelaces look sexy. She simply had that kind of style.
Matt ordered a glass of white wine before lunch, and Candy asked for a large bottle of water. She had left the giant water bottle she usually toted around in the car. She ordered a salad for lunch, without dressing, Matt ordered steak tartare, and they settled back to relax, as people at tables around them stared at her. Everyone in the place had recognized her. She was wearing jeans and a tank top and flat silver sandals she had bought the year before in Portofino. She often had sandals made there, or in St. Tropez; she usually got there every summer. You could see her nipples through the thin white cotton tank top, which didn't bother her at all, nor the men who watched her. She was totally at ease in her own skin, and with who she was.
"Are you coming down to St. Tropez this weekend?" Matt asked, assuming she was. "There's a party on Valentino's yacht." He knew that Candy would have been one of the first to be asked, and she rarely turned down an invitation, and surely not this one. She usually stayed at the Byblos Hotel, with friends, or on someone's yacht. Candy always had a million options, and was in huge demand, as a celebrity, a woman, and a guest. Everyone wanted to be able to say she'd be there, so others would come. People used her as a lure, and proof of their social prowess. It was a hard burden to carry, and often crossed the line into exploitation, but she didn't seem to mind, and was used to it. She went where she wanted to, and where she thought she'd have the best time. But this time she surprised him. Despite her incredible looks, she was a woman of many facets, and not the mindless, superficial beauty some expected. Candy was not only gorgeous but decent, and very bright, even if still naive and young, despite her success. Matt liked that about her. There was nothing jaded about Candy, and she enjoyed it all, whatever she did.
"I can't go to St. Tropez," she said, picking at her lettuce. So far, he had seen her actually swallow two bites.
"Yeah," she said simply, smiling. "I have to go home. My parents give a Fourth of July party every year, and my mother would kill me if I didn't show up. It's a command performance for me and my sisters....