After the wedding of Diana Goode and Andrew Douglas, Diana teases that they will make a baby on their honeymoon. But long afterward, she is still not pregnant. As Diana and Andrew wait out each month only to be bitterly disappointed, they are forced to question just how much they are willing to go through to have a baby.
Charlie Winwood dreams of a house filled with children. His bride, party-girl actress Barbie Mason, has other ideas. When he discovers he is sterile, Charlie has to rethink his deepest values - and his marriage to a woman who shares none of his dreams.
After ten years of living together, Pilar Graham, a prominent Santa Barbara attorney, marries Judge Brad Coleman, who is nineteen years her senior and father of two grown children. They are happy with their comfortable life together, à deux, until Pilar begins to wonder if she will someday regret not having a baby with Brad. Are they crazy to begin now - with Brad about to become a grandfather and Pilar with a busy career, and in her early forties, possibly putting herself at risk?
Through the lives of these couples, Danielle Steel shows us the mixed blessings we face as we build our families and live our modern lives. She touches us with the triumphant people who prevail, their victories, their defeats, their tragedies and joys, their compromises, their lives.
About The Author
Danielle Steel is one of the world's most popular authors, with over 560 million copies of her novels sold. Her many international bestsellers include Bungalow 2, Sisters, H.R.H., Coming Out, The House, Toxic Bachelors, and other highly acclaimed novels. She is also the author of His Bright Light, the story of her son Nick Traina's life and death.
The prolific Steel ( No Greater Love ) turns her attentions to a contemporary topic: infertility, and the desperate measures that couples resort to in the hope of biological parenthood. Steel's approach, however, is often maudlin and simplistic. Here, three California couples are married on the same day; none of the women proves able to conceive. The couples never meet, but Steel tracks their common fate with a vigor that rivals her characters' quest for children. Various partners consult fertility experts, and ultimately every conceivable aspect of reproductive medicine, including surrogate motherhood, is given its due. Steel explores the emotional strain on the couples: Diana and Andy, who previously led charmed lives; bubbleheaded would-be starlet Barbi and unexciting but wholesome Charlie; and 42-year-old Pilar, a successful attorney, and 61-year-old Bradford, a judge and widower who has two children. Marriages founder, but conventionally good characters find their way to happy endings. While Steel sets up potentially complex family relationships, she forgoes developing them; just as it wreaks havoc on the characters, the single-minded pursuit of babies damages the narrative. Major ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selection. (Dec. )
-- Publishers Weekly
"Fertility Woes" might be a better title for Steel's latest novel, which once again exhibits the compulsion of this mother of nine to write about birthing and babies. Steel introduces three unrelated, dissimilar couples on their wedding day. Barb and Tom's wedding is the merger of a show girl and a staid, solid fellow who wants a house full of children to compensate for his lonely life as an orphan with asthma. Pillar and Broderick are a lawyer and a judge who have lived together for 13 years without the desire for children, but who, when Broderick's daughter becomes pregnant, suddenly find all that changing. Diana and Andy are the perfect, beautiful young couple--a pair of successful professionals eager for children but unable to reproduce, according to the doctor. Among these marriages there are enough visits to reproductive specialists to fill an issue of the "New England Journal of Medicine". After each pair hears the news that they are unlikely candidates for parenthood, a slew of options is spelled out and tried, with, of course, blissful results for almost all involved.
Steel (Jewels p. 282, etc.), our American Cookson (see above), is a marvel among writers of hairdryer-and-beachchair hefty romantic performances. All linked character plots rise or fall in harmony; the clothes are arresting, the food good; and there's just enough tremolo sentiment for mini-weeps. This one involves a sizable hullabaloo about the problem of infertility (featuring heavy gyn info and the latest news about the vagaries of ova and sperm) as it affects three California couples. The story begins with weddings: editor Diana and lawyer Andy's; aspiring showgirl Barbie and ordinary guy Charlie's (who's grown up in orphanages); and 42-year-old lawyer Pilar and 60-ish judge Brad's. Then, for all three couples, the baby urge burrows in. Diana, sister of two highly fertile siblings (both of whom want to know when is she producing?), learns that she's apparently sterile; Charlie wants children desperately, but Barbie, with a background of childhood abuse and many abortions, absolutely refuses; Pilar, in spite of a callous mother's warnings, decides to "try," with Brad's support. Pilar and Diana undergo a series of tests and procedures, while Charlie hears the horrible news that he's sterile—but Barbie returns from Vegas pregnant! Stormy weather follows for all—with tears, withdrawal, and bitter words bandied about—but in spite of one sad little death, there will be rainbows and little bundles, plus a tot from an orphanage who whispers, "Daddy." Heartstrings plucked like a banjo and great Steelian lines ("She had endless legs and breasts that were exploding out of her cleavage"). Watch for this one also endlessly exploding—on the charts. (Literary Guild DualSelection for February)
-- Kirkus Reviews
Number Of Pages: 432
Published: 2nd November 1993
Dimensions (cm): 17.1 x 10.7 x 3.0
Weight (kg): 0.218