As Diana Morrison laid the table for six at her elegant Central Park apartment that New Year's Eve, she had no idea of what was to come in the coming year. New Year's Eve dinner together was a sacred tradition for Diana, her husband of 32 years, Eric, and their best friends, Pascale and John Donnally and Anne and Robert Smith. The future looked rosy for the six friends as they sipped champagne and discussed their plans to rent a villa together in the south of France for that summer. But life had other plans...
Just two weeks after New Year's, tragedy strikes their close-knit little circle when Robert Smith suffers a sudden and unexpected loss. Without hesitation, Diana and Eric and John and Pascale rally to his side, united in their support, love and grief. In an effort to ease Eric's pain, and as a change of scenery for themselves, they urge Robert to join them on the Riviera in August. The ramshackle old mansion that they rented in St. Tropez - sight unseen - is nothing like the exquisite villa and sun-drenched gardens touted in the brochure. Cobwebs hang from the ceiling, beds collapse beneath them and the would-be housekeeper sashays around the house in a leopard-print bikini, six-inch stilettos, with a trio of yapping poodles at her heels.
What is really surprising though, is the woman who Robert brings along as his guest. A lovely, much-younger film actress with a million-dollar smile and mile-long legs. Diana and Pascale instantly hate her, but Eric and John are dazzled. Amid the crumbling furniture and glorious sunsets, the strained relationships and acts of forgiveness, more surprises are in store for the villa's occupants. With the last days of summer fast approaching, the couples find themselves changing in unexpected ways. Old wounds are healed, new love is discovered and miracles unfold beneath the dazzling sun of St. Tropez.
I really enjoyed this book. It was a light and fun read; not that particularly strong on plot, I suppose, but still very sweet and engaging. I give it an A!
Good beach or lazy afternoon read.
By turns wise and moving, heartbreaking and wickedly funny, Danielle Steel's new novel is about forgiving without forgetting, about the sorrow that shadows our lives and the hope that saves us. And it is about once-in-a-lifetime friendships...the kind that heal, sustain, and change us forever.