Annie Ferguson was a bright young Manhattan architect. Talented, beautiful, just starting out with her first job, new apartment and boyfriend, she had the world in the palm of her hand—until a single phone call altered the course of her life forever. Overnight, she became the mother to her sister’s three orphaned children, keeping a promise she never regretted making, even if it meant putting her own life indefinitely on hold.
Now, at forty-two, as independent as ever, with a satisfying career and a family that means everything to her, Annie is comfortable being single and staying that way. She appears to have no time for anything else. With her nephew and nieces now young adults and confronting major challenges of their own, Annie is navigating a parent’s difficult passage between lending them a hand and letting go, and suddenly facing an empty nest. The eldest, twenty-eight-year-old Liz, an overworked, struggling editor in a high-powered job at Vogue, has never allowed any man to come close enough to hurt her. Ted, at twenty-four a serious and hardworking law student, is captivated by a much older, much more experienced woman with children, who is leading him much further than he wants to go. And the youngest, twenty-one-year-old Katie—impulsive, artistic, rebellious—is an art student about to make a choice that will lead her to an entirely different world she is in no way prepared for but determined to embrace.
Then, just when least expected, a chance encounter changes Annie’s life yet again in the most unexpected direction of all.
From Manhattan to Paris and all the way to Tehran, Family Ties is a novel that reminds us how challenging and unpredictable life can be, and that the powerful bonds of family are the strongest of all.
About the Author
DANIELLE STEEL is one of the world's most popular and highly acclaimed authors, with eighty international bestselling novels in print and 600 million copies sold. She is also the author of His Bright Light, the story of her son Nick Traina's life and death. She lives in California and Paris.
An aunt steps up to mother her orphaned nieces and nephew, in Steel's predictable latest (A Good Woman, 2008, etc.). Annie, 26, is on the verge of embarking on an exciting career, and marrying well, when her sister Jane and her husband are killed in a plane crash. With some trepidation, Annie becomes guardian of Jane's three young children, Liz, Ted and Katie. Annie's fiance, not up to the challenge of a ready-made family, bows out. Cut to 16 years later. Annie has never married-she hasn't had time, thanks to her thriving architecture firm, which caters to New York City's wealthiest, and the challenges of raising her nieces and nephew. Her efforts have borne fruit: Ted is now in law school, Katie attends Pratt and Liz is a globetrotting jewelry editor for Vogue. After Ted's Contracts professor, Pattie, a divorcee 12 years his senior, seduces him, he's sexually in her thrall but knows it's not love. An ankle sprained at a job site sends Annie to the ER, where (during the interminable wait) she meets high-profile TV-news anchor Tom. After years of bland blind dates, Tom is a refreshing change. The plot duly thickens: Katie drops out of design school to work in a tattoo parlor, and she's besotted with her new boyfriend Paul, an Iranian/American dual national. Liz's scruffy French lover Jean-Louis seems to be too friendly with his ex-mistress Francoise, who's the mother of his child. Pattie stabs Ted's hand with a steak knife when he tries to leave. Paul and Katie take an ill-advised trip to Tehran, and his relatives confiscate their U.S. passports. Just when Tom and Annie are realizing (after an idyllic stay at a private villa in Turks and Caicos) there is room for each other in their fast-paced lives, it appears that her charges may now need her more than ever. A listless narrative not helped by Steel's plodding prose, but her legion of fans aren't in it for the surprise.
Steele’s sprawling narrative concerns the efforts of 42-year old architect Annie Ferguson to juggle her career and budding romantic life with worry over the travails of her now grown nephew and nieces, whom she raised following the untimely death of her sister. For better or worse, the story line includes a wide array of soap opera elements, ranging from fashion photography in France to volatile issues of religious and family identity in Iran. Susan Ericksen demonstrates competence and attention to detail in bringing the dialogue to life. Yet in conjunction with the material, the listening experience--engaging as it may be at points--is overloaded with Hollywood caricatures, particularly in the cross-cultural experiences between the West and the Middle East. A Delacorte hardcover (Reviews, May 17). (July)
"Steel is one of the best!"
--"Los Angeles Times
"From the Hardcover edition."
Number Of Pages: 348
Published: 28th June 2011
Dimensions (cm): 17.6 x 11.6 x 2.6
Weight (kg): 0.177