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Avg. Rating: 4.32
You pretty much know what to expect with Danielle Steel and "Kaleidoscope" is no exception. A readable book with an interesting (albeit predictable plot). I find Danielle Steel is best when she doesn't try to explore realism. There are scenes describing Hilary's horrific childhood that just don't come off as convincing. Technically, she may be one of the worst bestselling writers in the world, but she keeps you turning those pages...-Sophie Simonet, author of ACT OF LOVE, a romantic suspense novel (Fictionwise.com)
Nature Versus Nurture Steel Style
This is actually the first Danielle Steel novel I'd ever read and since there was no synopsis on the book anywhere I had no idea what I was reading about. After finishing the story I sorta came to the conclusion that it is almost an exploration of nature versus nuture in terms of how people turn out.
The story follows two generations of a family, starting with two friends that meet in WW2 and their interactions with a young frenchwoman named Solange. In the end one of them marries Solange and they lead a nearly perfect life with a tragic ending, leaving their children orphaned and eventually seperated. The story picks up again in bits and pieces about each childs life and how they progress based on their new living conditions, and when the other friend - the one who wasn't married to Solange - is near death he wishes to seek them out again and make sure that each child is ok. Romance, breakups, disturbing sequences, and questions of self and ones place in the world arise and the ending of the story comes somewhat full circle to the beginning but overall it is a bit cheesy.
Regardless of which the story itself is captivating, and if this is typical of Steel's work then you should be satisfied. The story is well connected, if not particularly well stylized, it is written in very generic form where everyone is gorgeous and the world is nearly perfect, even the 'bad' people in the story are perfectly bad. While the book doesn't send out any major messages to its readers, it is a fun intriguing read for the summertime.
And if you are wondering about the title Kaleidoscope, it refers to how with each turn of said toy, even though you have all the same pieces on the inside you see something completely different in the little window. Just like with each of the children in the story, while they all started out in the same living conditions, each of their lives took a different turn and produced different images...yet Steel is quick to point out they share certain mannerisms, hence the nature versus nurture question.
I think this is one of Danielle Steel's best books! I really enjoyed it and I definetly reccomend it everyone.
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