FAMILY ALBUM Author:Danielle Steel In Family Album Ms. Steel confronts head-on the central problem of the many interwoven lives in a complex and interesting family. In the story of Faye and Ward Thayer and their children, we see how the conflicts, opportunities, disappointments, and social change of the postwar years are embodied in the personal and collective struggles of one wo... more »man and her family.
When the United States joins the Allied cause in World War II, Faye Price, America's reigning star of the screen, volunteers to go on tour in the South Pacific. And it is here that she meets Ward Thayer, heir to a vast shipping fortune. But it's not until after their second encounter, years later in Hollywood, that the chemistry between them develops into love and Faye gives up her own successful acting career to become Mrs. Ward Thayer, and within six years she is the mother of five children.
But the fairy-tale beginning is not to last. The seemingly boundless Thayer family fortune is rapidly depleted by Ward's playboy ways and endless spending. Faye returns to the only world she knows, but this time she works behind the cameras and not in front. She eventually rises through the ranks to become one of Hollywood's first female directors. Ward does not adapt so easily to the role of breadwinner. But with Faye's help, he eventually becomes a producer, and they become an important Hollywood team.
With the pressures of their parents' careers and their mother's fame, the five Thayer children must live their own lives. Each comes to terms in a different way with the legacy of power and skill, defeat and survival, bestowed upon them by their parents: Lionel, the eldest, who finds his happinesss in the arms of another man...Greg, proverbial second son, adored by his father and drafted into the war in Vietnam...the twins -- conservative Vanessa, drawn by none of the Hollywood glitter, and flamboyant Valerie, jealous of Faye and determined to compete with her mother on her own turf...and engmatic Anne, the last born, whose coming marked the end of the carefree days and who feels like a stranger in their midst for all of her fourteen years, until she vanishes into the anonymity of the Haight-Ashbury at the height of its drug and "flower power" days.
Only Danielle Steel could turn the pages of the Thayer family album from the wartorn forties through the sixties to the eighties and reveal how these vivid individuals at last succeed in forging a unique American family, with the backdrop of Hollywood behind them.« less