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In the late 1930s in New York, Marielle Patterson shares her life with her husband Malcolm and their little boy Teddy. But their lives are filled with secrets.
Haunted by a past she has kept secret even from her husband, Marielle secretly lights a candle each year for a child who died in a tragic accident when he was scarcely more than a baby. Then Marielle runs into her first love, American expatriate Charles Delauney.
And when her little Teddy is kidnapped Charles is first blamed, then arrested, as the Pattersons, the New York Police and the FBI turn the country upside down, looking for Teddy. A terrifying court drama seeks to put Charles Delauney behind bars, as a series of revelations begin to unravel the truth about Marielle, Charles, and Malcolm.
Piece by piece the uncovering of their pasts creates a complex mosaic of the motives and passions controlling their lives. Vanished is an intriguing tale of guilt, desire and suspense, and people one can't easily forget, as they are drawn inexorably together, seeking the child that... vanished.
Like Belva Plain in Whispers (p. 326), Steel soft-pedals gauzy romance in a fairly tightly plotted story - set mainly in 1930's Manhattan and about a lady wildly unlucky in love who's forced to deal with crime - in this case, kidnapping. Like Plain's battered wife, Marielle once loved unwisely. Charles Delauney (fiery green eyes) and Marielle (her eyes were "deep blue sapphires") had met in 1926 in Paris, then went on to make a gloriously happy marriage - until that moment when tragedy overtook their small son in a drowning accident, as well as their unborn child aa the pregnant Marielle attempted a rescue. Suffering from Charles's accusations and blame, Marielle ended up spending some years in a sanitarium. Now, back again in Manhattan, Marielle is the protected, secure wife of rich businessman Malcolm Patterson, a smooth gent who does a good bit of business with Nazi Germany, and her joy in an otherwise restricted life is four-year-old Teddy. It is the sight of Teddy that sends expatriate Charles (who returns from the Spanish Civil War and meets Marielle in the park) into a wild rage - and when, horribly, Teddy is kidnapped, into the slammer aa a suspect. Throughout Marielle's ordeal - with terrible reminders of the Lindbergh case - FBI agent John Taylor offers a strong shoulder (and more); a feisty newspaper woman turns up important clues; a mobster named Louis the Lover turns up a heart of gold; and the rosy respectability of Malcolm's circle takes on a new hue. There will be a trial, a last-minute rescue, and, at the close, Steel trots out a nice man for Marielle. As for Teddy, not to worry. Okay, worry a little.... The smashing duds and digs are still there - plus the subject's predictable pull. (Kirkus Reviews)
Charles Delauney limped only slightly as he walked slowly up the
steps of Saint Patrick's Cathedral, as a bitter wind reached its icy
fingers deep into his collar. It was two weeks before
Christmas, and he had forgotten how cold it was in New York in
December. It was years since he'd been back to New York. . .
years since he'd seen his father. His father was
eighty-seven now, his mother had been gone for years. She
died when he was thirteen, and all he could remember of her was that
she had been very beautiful, and very gentle. His father was senile and
ill, bedridden and infirm. The attorneys had insisted that
Charles come home, at least for a few months, to try and get the family
affairs in order. He had no siblings and the entire burden
of the Delauney affairs rested on his
shoulders. Landholdings throughout the state, an enormous
estate near Newburgh, New York, coal, oil, steel, and some very
important real estate in downtown Manhattan. A fortune that
had been amassed not by Charles, or even by his father, but by both of
his grandfathers. And none of it
interested Charles for a single moment.
His face was young, but weather-lined, and showed the wear of pain
and battle. He had just spent almost two years in Spain, fighting for a
cause that was not his own, but about which he cared
deeply. It was one of the few things he did care about. . .
something he truly burned for. He had joined the Lincoln
Brigade to fight the Fascists almost two years before, in February of
1937, and he'd been in Spain ever since, fighting the
battle. In August he had been wounded again, near Gandesa
during the battle of Ebro, in a ferocious confrontation. It
was not the first time he had been wounded. At fifteen, in
the last year of the Great War, he had run away and joined the army and
been wounded in the leg at Saint-Mihiel. His father had been
furious about it then. But there was nothing he could do
now. He knew nothing of the world, or his son, or the fight
in Spain. He no longer even recognized Charles, and perhaps,
Charles had decided as he watched him sleeping in his enormous bed,
perhaps it was better. They would have argued and
fought. He would have hated what his son had become, his
ideas about freedom and liberty, his hatred of 'fascists.' His father
had always disapproved of his living abroad. Born late in
his father's life, it made no sense to the elder Delauney that Charles
wanted to live over there, raising hell in Europe. Charles
had gone back to Europe at eighteen, in 1921, and had lived there for
seventeen years since then, working occasionally for friends, or
selling an occasional short story in his youth, but in recent years
primarily living from his very substantial trust fund. The
size of his income had always irritated him. 'No normal man
needs that much money to live on,' he'd once confided to a close
friend, and for years he'd given most of his income to charitable
causes, although he still derived great pleasure from making a small
sum from one of his short stories.
He had studied at Oxford, and then at the Sorbonne, and finally,
for a brief while, he had gone to Florence. He had been more
than a little wild in those days. Drinking as much fine
Bordeaux as he could consume, an occasional absinthe, and carousing
with a fascinating array of women. At twenty-one, he had
thought himself a man of the world, after three very uncontrolled years
in Europe. He had met people others only read about, did
things few men dreamed, and met women others only longed
for. And then. . . there had been Marielle. . . but that was
another story. A story he tried not to let himself think of
anymore. The memory of her was still too painful.
She wandered into his dreams at night sometimes, especially when
he was in danger, or afraid, asleep in a trench somewhere, with bullets
whistling past his head. . . and then the memory of her crept in. . .
her face. . . those unforgettable eyes. . . her lips. . . and the
bottomless sorrow she wore like a wound the last time he saw
her. He hadn't seen her since, and that was
almost seven years before. Seven years without seeing her,
touching her. . . holding her. . . or even knowing where she was, and
telling himself it no longer mattered. Once, when he was
wounded and convinced he would die, he had allowed himself to wallow in
the memories, and the medics had found him unconscious in a pool of
blood, but when he awoke, he could have sworn he saw her standing just
She had been only eighteen when they met in Paris. She
had a face so beautiful and alive it looked as though it had been
freshly painted. He had been twenty-three, and he had seen
her as he sat in a cafe with a friend. He had
been taken with her instantly as he watched her. And as she
glanced at him, she had a face full of mischief. She had run
away then, back to her hotel, but he had seen her again, at an
ambassador's dinner. They had been introduced formally, and
everything had been very circumspect except Marielle still had those
laughing eyes that had bowled him over. But her parents were
far less taken with him. Her father was a serious man, much
older than his wife, and he knew of Charles's
reputation. Her father was a contemporary of his own
father's, and Charles thought they knew each other
slightly. Her mother was half French, and always seemed to
Charles to be incredibly proper and extremely dreary. They
kept Marielle on a ridiculously short leash, and insisted that she
dance attendance on them every moment. They had
no idea what a flirt she was, or how funny she could be
too. But there was a serious side to her as well, and
Charles found he could talk to her by the hour. She had been
vastly amused to discover him at the embassy, and remembered seeing him
at the cafe, although she didn't admit it to him, until much later when
he teased her. He was fascinated by her, and she by
him. To her, he was a very intriguing young man, unlike any
she had ever known. She seemed to want to know everything
about him, where he came from, why he was there, how he came to speak
such good French. And she was impressed from the first by
his ambitions and abilities as a writer. She painted a
little, she'd explained to him rather shyly at first. And later when
they knew each other better, she had shown him some astoundingly good
drawings. But that first night, it was neither literature
nor art which appealed to either of them, it was something in their
souls which drew them irrevocably together. Her parents
noticed it too, and after her mother had seen them chatting with each
other for a while, she attempted to pull Marielle away and introduce
her to some other young people who had been invited. But
Charles had followed her everywhere, a ghost who could no longer stand
to be without her.
They met at the Deux Magots the following afternoon, and afterward
went for a long walk along the Seine, like two mischievous
children. She told him everything about herself,
her life, her dreams, of wanting to be an artist one day, and then
marrying someone she loved and having nine or ten
children. He was less amused by that but fascinated by
her. There was something ephemeral and delicate and
wonderful about the girl, and yet underneath it something powerful and
resilient and alive. She was like lace delicately placed
over exquisitely carved white marble. Even her skin had the
translucence of the statues he'd seen in Florence when he first arrived
from the States, and her eyes shone like deep blue sapphires as she
listened to how he felt about his own dreams about
writing. He hoped, one day, to publish a collection of his
short stories. She seemed to understand everything, and to
care so much about all the things that mattered so deeply to him.
Her parents had taken her to Deauville, and he had followed her
there, and then on to Rome. . . Pompeii. . . Capri. . .
London and finally back to Paris. Everywhere she went, he
had friends, and he would conveniently appear, and as often as possible
go for long walks with her, or escort her to balls, and spend extremely
boring evenings with her parents. But she was like a drug to
him now, and wherever he was, wherever he went, he knew he had to have
her. Absinthe had never been as fascinating as this
girl. And by August. . . in Rome. . . as she looked at him,
her eyes were filled with the same unbridled passion.
Her parents were nervous about him, but they knew the
family after all, and he was well mannered, intelligent, and it was
difficult to ignore the fact that he was the sole heir to an enormous
fortune. The fortune meant nothing to Marielle, her parents
were comfortable, and it was something she never thought
about. She thought only about Charles, the strength of his
hands, his shoulders, his arms, the wild look in his eyes after they
kissed, the chiseled beauty of his features, like an ancient Greek
coin, the gentleness of his hands when he touched her body.
He had no intention of ever returning to the States, he'd
explained early on, he and his father hadn't gotten along since he'd
gone off to the war at fifteen, and returning to New York afterward had
been a nightmare. He felt as though the place was too small
for him, too boring, too restrictive. Too much was expected
of him, and they were all things he had no intention of doing. Social
obligations, family responsibilities, learning about investments and
holdings and trusts, and the things his father bought and sold which
one day he would inherit. There was more to life than that,
Charles had explained to Marielle as he ran long, gentle fingers
through her silky cinnamon-colored hair, which hung long past her
shoulders. She was a tall girl, but she was dwarfed next to
him, and with him she felt delicate and frail and yet wonderfully
He had lived in Paris for five years when they met, and
it was obvious that he adored it. His life was there, his
friends, his writing, his soul, his inspiration. But in
September, she was due to sail home on the Paris. To the gentle
life they had in store for her, to the men she would meet, and the
girls who were her friends, and the small but elegant brownstone on
East Sixty-second. In no way did it compare with the
Delauney home, only ten blocks north, but it was respectable certainly.
. . respectable. . . and very boring. In no way did it compare with his
garret on the rue du Bac, rented to him by an impoverished noblewoman
who owned the entire hÙtel particulier below
it. Charles had taken Marielle there one day, and they had
all but made love. But at the last moment, he had come to
his senses, and left the room hastily for a few moments to compose
himself. And when he returned with a serious air, he sat
down next to her on the bed, as she tried to straighten her dress and
regain her composure.
'I'm sorry. . . ' His dark hair and fiery green eyes made him look
even more dramatic, but there was an anguished air about him too, which
always touched her. She had never known anyone even remotely
like him, or done the things she suddenly wanted to do with
him. She knew she was losing her head over him, but she
couldn't help it.
'Marielle. . . ' He spoke very gently as the soft reddish brown
hair concealed half her face. 'I can't do this anymore. . .
you're driving me mad.' But he was doing the same to her,
and she loved it. Neither of them had ever felt anything
like this before.
She smiled at him, seeming very old and wise, as he leaned over
and kissed her. He felt almost drunk when he was near
her. The only thing he knew for sure was that he didn't want
to lose her. Not now, not ever. He didn't want to
go back to New York for her, now or later, to plead for her hand, or
negotiate with her father. He didn't want to wait another
hour. He wanted her now. In this room, in this
house. In Paris. He wanted her with him always.
'Marielle?' He looked at her very soberly and her eyes grew dark.
'Yes?' She spoke very softly. She was so young, yet she
was so in love with him, and he knew her well enough to sense how
strong her spirit.
'Will you marry me?'
He heard her gasp, and then she laughed. 'Are you
'I am. . . God knows. . . will you?' He was
terrified. What if she said no? His whole life seemed to
depend on what she would say in the next minute. What if she
wouldn't marry him? What if she wanted to go home with her parents
after all? What if it was only a game to her? But he knew from the look
in her eyes that his worries were foolish.
'When?' She was giggling she was so excited.
'Now.' And he meant it.
'You're not serious.'
'I am.' He stood up and began to pace the room, like a very
handsome young lion, running a hand through his hair as he made plans
and watched her. 'I am very serious, Marielle.' He stopped
dead and looked at her, everything about him taut and
electric. 'You still haven't answered my question.' He
rushed to her side, and held her tightly in his arms until she laughed
he was being so absurd.
'Yes, I am. And so are you. Will you?' He
held her tighter and she pretended to scream. He held her
tighter still, and she laughed uncontrollably and then he kissed her,
teasing her until he forced an answer from her lips between the kisses.
'Yes. . . yes. . . yes . . . I
will.' She was breathless, and they were both smiling. 'When
will you ask my father?' She sat back with a blissful expression, and
Charles's face clouded over.
'He'll never agree. And if he does, he'll insist we go
back to the States and start a serious life there where he can watch
us.' He looked like a caged lion again as he spoke and once more began
to pace the room. 'I'll tell you right now, I won't do that.'
'Won't ask my father, or go back to New York?' She looked suddenly
worried, as she stretched her long, graceful legs in front
of her, and he tried desperately not to notice.
'New York, for sure. . . and. . . ' He stopped and looked at her
again, his black hair looking wild, his eyes boring into
hers. 'What if we elope?'
'Here?' She looked stunned, and he nodded. He was
serious, she knew him well enough to know that. 'My God,
they'll kill me.'
'I won't let them.' He sat down next to her, as they both thought
it over. 'You sail in two weeks, if we're going to do it, we'd better
do it quickly.' She nodded quietly, thinking it over, weighing it in
her mind, but she already knew there was no choice, no question, no
decision. She would have gone to the end of the world with
him. And when he kissed her again, she was certain.
'Do you think they'll forgive us eventually?' She was concerned
about them as well. Like him, she was an only child, and her
father was so much older. And they expected so much of her,
particularly her mother. Marielle had been presented to
Society in New York the winter before, and now they had done the Grand
Tour, their expectation was that in a short while, she would find a
suitable husband. And in some ways, Charles was certainly
that, in terms of his family at least, but there was no denying that
his life-style was, at the present time, a little
eccentric. But in time, her father would say, he would
settle down. But when she tried to broach the
subject to him that night, he suggested that she wait until he did that.
'Wait and see how you like him when he comes back to New York, my
dear. And in the meantime, there are lots of handsome young
men waiting for you there. There's no need to fall head over heels over
this one.' A young Vanderbilt had pursued her for a time that spring,
and there was a handsome young Astor her mother had her eye
on. But they were of no interest to Marielle now, and never
had been. And she had no intention of waiting for Charles to
move back to New York. She was quite certain he never would,
not the way he felt about New York, or even the United States, and more
specifically his father. He was happy where he was, he had
flourished in the past five years. Paris suited him to
They eloped three days before her parents were to set sail,
leaving a note for her parents at the Hotel Crillon. She
felt more than a little guilty about the grief they would feel, but on
the other hand, she knew her parents well enough to know that they'd be
pleased she was marrying a Delauney. She wasn't entirely
right on that score, given the reputation Charles had for running wild,
but it certainly soothed them a little. Her note had urged
them to go ahead and set sail, and she and Charles would come to New
York to visit them over Christmas, but they were not as cavalier as
that, and they waited patiently, and very angrily, for the
young lovers' return, with every hope of annulling the marriage and
squelching the entire affair before it became a proper
scandal. Of course the ambassador knew what she'd done,
because they'd sought his help, and he had made discreet
inquiries. But all he knew was that they had gotten married
in Nice, and he had reason to believe they had driven across the border
into Italy shortly after.
They had an exquisite honeymoon in Umbria, Tuscany, Rome, Venice,
Florence, Lake Como, they had ventured into Switzerland, and two months
later, as October drew to a close, they made their way leisurely back
to Paris. Her parents were still at the Crillon and when the
honeymooners returned, there was a note waiting for them at Charles's
Marielle couldn't believe they were still there, but she was
amazed to discover that they had indeed waited. And two
months had done nothing to warm their hearts on the subject of their
only daughter's elopement. When Marielle and Charles
appeared at the hotel hand in hand, looking happy and peaceful, they
demanded that Charles leave at once, and announced that they were
setting the annulment en route in the morning.
'I wouldn't do that if I were you,' Marielle said quietly, causing
Charles to smile at the firm stand she took on his
behalf. For a shy, quiet girl, she had a remarkable way of
taking extremely definitive positions. And he
was pleased that this was one of those
times. Pleased, and a moment later, very startled.
'Don't you tell me what to do!' her father roared at her, and at
the same time her mother ranted about how ungrateful she was, how
dangerous her life would be with Charles, how they had only wanted her
happiness, and now it was all ruined. It made a Greek chorus
to the ears, and Marielle stood in the eye of the storm, watching them
all calmly. At eighteen, she had suddenly become a woman,
and one Charles knew he was going to adore for an entire lifetime.
'I can't get an annulment, Papa.' Marielle spoke quietly
again. 'I'm having a baby.'
This time Charles stared, and then suddenly he was
amused. It was most likely not true, but it was the perfect
way to make them give up the idea of an annulment. But as
soon as she said the words, all hell broke loose, her mother cried
louder still, and her father sat down and began to gasp, insisting he
was having chest pains. Her mother said Marielle was killing
him, and when the old man was ushered from the room, with his good
wife's help, Charles suggested that they go back to the rue du Bac, and
discuss the matter with his in-laws later. He and Marielle
left shortly afterward, and as they walked a few blocks in the warm
air, Charles looked vastly amused as he pulled her close to him and
'That was brilliant. I should have thought of it
'It wasn't brilliant.' She looked amused too. 'It's
true.' She looked very pleased with herself, the little girl she had
been only moments before was now going to be a mother. He
'Are you serious?'
She nodded her head and looked up at him.
'When did that happen?' He looked startled more than worried.
'I'm not sure. . . Rome?. . . maybe Venice. . . I wasn't entirely
sure until last week.'
'Well, you sneaky little thing. . . ' But as he held her close to
him, he looked pleased. 'And when is the Delauney heir due?'
'June, I think. Something like that.'
He had never given much thought to being a father. It
should have frightened him, given the life he'd led of such great
freedom, but the truth was he was thrilled. He hailed a cab
for her, and they rode home toward the rue du Bac, kissing in the
backseat like two children, instead of two prospective parents.
Her own parents were just as distraught the next day, but after
two weeks of arguments, they finally relented. Marielle's
mother had taken her to an American doctor on the
Champs-ElysÈes, and there was no doubt about it, she
was pregnant. The idea of an annulment was out of the
question. And their daughter was certainly happy
enough. And like it or not, they knew they had to live with
the reality of Charles Delauney. He promised them, before
they finally left, to get a better apartment, a maid, a nurse for the
child, a car. He was going to become a 'respectable man,' her father
extracted from him. But respectable or not, the obvious fact
was that the two were deliriously happy.
Marielle's parents left shortly after that on the France,
and after all the excitement and fuss and strain and exhaustion of
dealing with them, she and Charles agreed that they were not going to
New York for Christmas, or maybe ever. They were happy in
their garret on the Left Bank, with their life together, his friends,
even his writing had never been better. In Paris, in 1926,
for one brief shining moment, life had been perfect. As
Charles pulled open the enormously heavy cathedral doors, even his
bones felt chilled, and the leg throbbed more than usual. It
had been just as bitter a winter in Europe. It had been so
long since he'd been in New York, so long since he'd been in a church,
as he walked inside and looked up at the enormous vaulted
ceiling. In some ways, he was sorry he had
come. It was depressing to see his father so ill, and so
unaware of his surroundings and those around
him. For an instant, he had seemed to recognize Charles, and
then the moment passed, the eyes were blank and then closed as his
father dozed heavily on his pillows. It made Charles feel
lonely whenever he watched him. It was as though the older
Delauney was already gone. He might as well have
been. And for Charles, there was no one left
now. They were all gone. . . even the friends he had fought
with in Spain. There were almost too many to pray
He watched a priest in black robes cross his path, and Charles
walked slowly to the back of the church, to a tiny
altar. Two nuns prayed there, and the younger of the two
smiled at him as he knelt stiffly beside them. His black
hair was flecked with gray, but his eyes still had the same electricity
they'd had when he was fifteen, and he still exuded energy and strength
and power. Even the young nun could feel it. But there was
sorrow in his eyes too as he bowed his head, and thought of all of
them, the people who had meant so much to him, those he had loved,
those he had fought with. But he had not come here to pray
for them. He had come here because it was the anniversary of
the worst day of his life. . . nine years before. . . two weeks before
Christmas. A day he would never forget. . . the day he had
almost killed her. He had been insane, out of his mind with
rage and pain. . . a pain so terrible he truly couldn't bear
it. He wanted to tear her limb from limb to make
it stop, to turn back the clock, to make it not happen. . .
and yet he had loved her so much. . . loved them both. . . he couldn't
bear thinking of it now, as he bowed his head, unable to pray for him
or her, or himself, or anyone, unable to think. . . the pain of it
still so great, barely dim, the only difference was that now he seldom
allowed himself to think about it. But when he touched the
place in his heart where they still lived, the pain of it still took
his breath away, and he almost couldn't bear it. A tear ran
slowly down his cheek as he stared unseeingly straight ahead and the
young nun watched him. He knelt that way for a long time,
seeing nothing, thinking of them, and what had been in a life that was
no more, in a place he seldom allowed himself to
remember. But today, he had wanted to come here just to feel
a little closer to them. And it always made it worse that
the date fell just before Christmas.
In Spain he would have found a church somewhere, a little chapel,
a shack, and he would have had the same thoughts, the same excruciating
pain too, but in the simplicity of his life there, there would have
been comfort. Here, there was nothing, except strangers in a
vast cathedral and cold gray stone, not unlike the cold gray stone of
the mansion he now shared with his dying father. And as he
stood up slowly, he knew he would not stay long in the
States. He wanted to get back to Spain before much
longer. He was needed there. He wasn't needed in
New York, except by lawyers and bankers, and he cared
nothing for that. He never had. If anything, he
cared less now than he had years before. He had never become
the 'respectable man' his father-in-law had dreamed of. He
smiled at the thought, as he remembered his in-laws, they were dead now
too. Everyone was. At thirty-five, Charles
Delauney felt as though he had already lived ten lifetimes.
He stood for a long time, looking at the statue of the Madonna and
child. . . remembering them. . . and then he walked slowly back the way
he had come, feeling worse than he had before, instead of
better. He wanted to feel close to AndrÈ again,
wanted to feel him close to him, the delicious warmth of his flesh, the
softness of his cheek, the tiny hand that had always held his so
Charles was blinded by tears as he walked slowly back toward the
main door of the cathedral. The leg seemed to pain him more,
and the wind was whistling through the church, as something happened to
him which hadn't happened in a long time. But it used to
happen frequently. Sometimes even on the battlefield, he
imagined he saw her.
He saw her in the distance now, swathed in furs, walking past him,
like a ghost, going toward something he couldn't see, unable to see
him. He stood for a long moment, watching her, aching for
her again, as he hadn't in so long, a memory come to life, as he
stared, and then he realized it was no ghost, it was a woman who looked
just like her. She was tall and thin and serious,
and very beautiful. She was wearing a somber black dress
covered by a sable coat that almost swept the floor and seemed to frame
her face with softness. A hat tried to conceal all but one
eye, but even with so little of her visible, it was as though he sensed
her, the way she moved, the way she looked, the way she quietly took
off one black glove, and then sank to her knees at another small
altar. She was as graceful as she had ever been, as long and
lean, except now she seemed so much thinner. She covered her
face with graceful hands, and for a long time she seemed to be
praying. He knew why. They had both come here for
the same reason. It was Marielle, he realized as he stared
at her, unable to believe it.
It seemed an eternity before she turned and looked at him, but
when she did, it was obvious that she hadn't seen him. She
lit four candles, and slipped some money into the collection box, and
then she stood and stared at the altar again, and there were tears on
her cheeks too. And then, head bowed, she pulled the fur
coat more tightly around her. She began to walk slowly
between the pews, as though her whole body ached, and her soul with
it. She was only inches from him, when he gently reached out
a hand and stopped her. She looked startled when he did, and
she glanced up at him with a look of astonishment, as though she had
been wakened from a distant dream. But as she
looked into his eyes, she gasped and stared at
him. Her hand flew to her mouth, her eyes brimmed with the
tears she had shed at the altar.
ISBN: 9780552135269 ISBN-10: 0552135267 Audience:
Number Of Pages: 384 Published: November 1994 Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd Country of Publication: GB Dimensions (cm): 17.9 x 10.8
Weight (kg): 0.2
Edition Number: 1
About the Author
Danielle Steel is an internationally best-selling author of over fifty romance novels. Since publishing her first book in 1973, Steel has acquired an enormous following of loyal, avid readers.
Steel was born on August 14, 1947, in New York City, the only child of John Schuelein-Steel, a member of Munich's wealthy Lowenbrau beer family, and Norma Schuelein-Steel, an international beauty from Portugal. Steel's parents divorced when she was seven or eight years old. Afterwards, she was raised by relatives and servants in Paris and New York. She graduated from the Lycee Francais when she was not quite fifteen and in 1963 entered New York's Parsons School of Design. However, she soon abandoned her dream of becoming "the new Chanel" when the pressure to succeed caused her to develop a stomach ulcer. She then enrolled at New York University, where she studied until 1967. When she was eighteen, Steel married her first husband, a French banker with homes in New York, San Francisco, and Paris.