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Saturday, May 21, 2011

44 Charles Street

Author: Danielle Steel
Publisher: Delacourt Press

The plumbing leaked; the furniture was rescued from garage sales. And every inch was being restored to its original splendor—even as a relationship fell apart. Owner of a struggling art gallery and newly separated from her boyfriend, Francesca Thayer does the math and then the unimaginable. She puts out an advertisement for boarders, and soon her Greenwich Village house becomes a whole new world. First comes Eileen, a pretty L.A. transplant, now a New York City schoolteacher. Then there’s Chris, a young father struggling for custody of his seven-year-old son. The final tenant is Marya, a celebrated cookbook author hoping to heal after the death of her husband. Over the course of one amazing, unforgettable, life-changing year, the house at 44 Charles Street fills with laughter, heartbreak, and, always, hope. In the hands of master storyteller Danielle Steel, it’s a place those who visit will never want to leave.

44 Charles Street is the latest by Danielle steel. The story was pleasant enough but nothing exciting. I liked the theme of second chances, learning to let go of the past and moving ahead with your life. The characters were pretty well written, however, they were a bit frustrating. I felt that Francesca was incredibly naive for a 35 YO who owns her own art studio. With parents like hers, I would have thought she would be a little more worldly. I was disturbed by the way the roommates handled the situation of domestic abuse of one of their own. They claim to care about Eileen, yet don't really do anything to help her. I couldn't see how they were really shocked at the outcome of her situation. I felt that part of the book was unnecessary and didn't really add anything to the story. Also, I kept waiting for something to happen. Nothing ever really does.

It think the idea for the book was good, but the writing just didn't hold up for me. I think this story would have worked better in an anthology. It just didn't have enough to sustain a full novel. I was surprised at all of the repetition in the writing. The same ideas were repeated over and over. For example, how many times do I need to be told that Francesca doesn't like Internet dating or think it is a good idea? Cut out a lot of the repetition and you have a nice novella.

This is my first Danielle Steele novel. I'm not sure if this is her usual way of writing. If it is, I'm not sure I would read another by her.


--Kari

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Nicely put review. I know what you mean about th erepetition in Danielle Steel's writing. It's like she has to repeat the themes or main ideas over and over again to drive home the point so readers really get it...kind of like pointing out the obvious. I've never been able to put my finger on how exactly to describe it other than "too straightforward" but you do it nicely. That said, I have enjoyed her more recent women's fiction novels and am going to try 44 Charles Street. We'll see..thanks for sharing!