There are just too many big themes in this book: suicide, child abuse, severe depression, parental abandonment - just to name a few. What saves this book in my opinion is the realism of the child abuse and the evil of the parents. Ms. Steel must have done her research either first hand or through a knowledgeable person to be able to depict abuse and rotten parents so realistically. (I have worked in the field...) However, the mother is depicted as over the top; quite histrionic and sadistic. Why no one around her in her circle of friends noticed something was wrong with this woman is beyond me. The father, in his silence, is much more typical and realistic. Also, the tragic suicide in this story doesn't make sense given the character of the person who kills himself. Though these incongruities provide a very flawed novel I commend Ms. Steel for bringing the issue of severe child abuse, even among the upper class, into the forefront. If you can overlook the unbelievable parts of the novel, this turned out to be a good read.
Another great one from Danielle Steel!
A heart touching story of an abused child's broken world and her courageus struggle to free herself from the past.