Wanderlust is the story of Audrey Driscoll. Orphaned young,
Audrey has grown up caring for her eccentric millionaire grandfather
and her demanding younger sister, Annabelle, who assume she will always
be there for them.
Sheltered yet restless, responsible beyond her years yet hungering for experience, Audrey is hopelessly bound until she herself makes the daring decision to leave. As the 1930s unfold, alone, camera in hand, she will shock friends and outrage family as she plunges headlong into the wider world.
Crossing the Atlantic aboard the luxurious Queen Mary, Audrey meets James and Violet Hawthorne, who will draw her into a sophisticated circle of artists and expatriates. And it is they who will introduce her to Charles Parker-Scott, in who Audrey will come to recognise a twin soul, a man propelled by relentless curiosity and driven by conflicting needs for intimacy and independence.
Together they will spend an exquisite summer at Cap d'Antibes, then board the Orient Express on an adventure that will carry them to a remote outpost in China. But at the farthest reaches of this journey Aubrey must choose again. Japan has attacked China. Charles knows he must return to Europe at once. But Audrey becomes involved with a besieged orphanage and decides to remain in China without Charles, caring for the abandoned children until help arrives.
In time Audrey will return to America with a daughter of her own. While she must come home to San Francisco to confront a world irrevocably changed by time, she finds she cannot stay. From prewar Germany to London during the Blitz, from a wrenching reunion with Charles to a war zone in North Africa, again and again she must choose between the dictates of her conscience and the yearnings of her heart.
For Audrey Driscoll and the men and women whose lives touch hers, wanderlust is the inescapable element. Born at a time when women were expected to stay close to home and fulfill traditional roles, Audrey is compelled to follow the thread of events that will destroy the complacency of the past and shape the future. From Europe to China, from San Francisco to North Africa, she is irresistibly drawn into a man's world of conflict, discovery, and danger.
In a vivid novel of breathtaking scope, Danielle Steel has once again surpassed herself in creating an unforgettable tale of men and women caught in the tides of personal drama and historic event. Wanderlust is Danielle Steel's finest journey.
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.
Even faithful fans will need a wake-up call during Steel's latest, which is the stertorous and decidedly unglittery story of a "spinster" who falls in love and sees the world. After their wandering parents are lost at sea off Bora-Bora during the Roaring Twenties, Audrey Driscoll and her younger sister Annabelle are raised in San Francisco by their strict and extremely rich Grandfather Edward. Annabelle grows up beautiful but shallow and bitchy, while dutiful Audrey runs the mansion and takes care of Gramps, all the time dreaming of faraway places. When Annabelle finally gets hitched, Audrey sees her chance and cons Edward into giving her a short European tour, during the course of which she meets Lord James and Lady Violet Hawthorne, who invite her to summer with them on Cap d' Antibes, where she just misses Hemingway (but meets the Murphys) and ends up head over heels in love with dashing British/American travel-writer Charles Parker-Scott. The besotted duo hop the Orient Express to begin a 5,000-mile journey that has all the glamour of your grandmother's vacation slides of Niagara Falls (Tibet: "One felt closer to God here"; China and the Great Wall: "It is surely the most impressive thing ever built by man"). Through a complication contrived even for this genre, Audrey ends up in Manchuria taking care of abandoned orphans threatened by the Japanese, while Charles (who doesn't approve) huffily heads back to England to publish his book. Grabbing a cute pagan baby as a kind of souvenir, Audrey finally returns to San Francisco but refuses to marry Charles when he joins her there because she still has to take care of Grandpa Edward. When Edward dies, Audrey races to Europe to claim Chuck, only to find that he's been trapped into marriage by Charlotte Beardsley, the hard-nosed, grasping daughter of his publisher. It turns out Charlotte isn't really pregnant (and is also a lesbian), so Charles dumps her and he and Audrey head off to London to live in sin and work as a journalist/spy team during WW II. Charlotte won't agree to a divorce; Charles gives her an ultimatum: either let him go or he'll spread news of her sexual preference all over town. Charlotte is crashed and is even more so when Steel has the Luftwaffe drop a 1,000-pound bomb on her, thus clearing the way for wedding bells and happily ever after. Many are called but few are chosen to be Romance Queen; if Steel keeps sleepwalking, she may awaken one morning to the hoofbeats of the thundering herd. (Kirkus Reviews)
Number Of Pages: 408
Published: 1st January 2010
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 18.3 x 10.9 x 3.0
Weight (kg): 0.23
Edition Number: 1