Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world's most popular authors, with over 650 million copies of her novels sold. Her many international bestsellers include Country, Prodigal Son, Pegasus, A Perfect Life, Power Play, Winners, First Sight, Until the End of Time, The Sins of the Mother, 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; A Gift of Hope, a memoir of her work with the homeless; Pure Joy, about the dogs she and her family have loved; and the children's book Pretty Minnie in Paris.
Steel has cranked out another predictable melodrama. Cassie O'Malley's dad is a pilot and owner of the airfield where Cassie develops her love of flying and flying machines. Dad doesn't believe women are meant to be pilots and at first refuses to let Cassie fly. When she proves what a truly gifted pilot she is, she is allowed to work for her father. She enters an air show and is spotted by the wealthy millionaire and airplane manufacturer Desmond Williams. Cassie is lured to Los Angeles to promote and test Desmond's planes. Soon, Desmond marries her in order to ensure her loyalty and control her life. Cassie's true love, Nick, feels he is too old and poor for her and runs away to England to join the Royal Air Force. The rest is fairly predictable, but libraries should expect huge demand for this. [Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selections; previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/94.]-Dawn L. Anderson, North Richland Hills P.L., Tex.
Romantic triangles are Steel's forte, and this narrative, set mostly at the brink of WWII, finds her in familiar territory. Although Cassie O'Malley, 17, knows more about planes than her father, Pat, who runs a small private airport outside Chicago, he refuses to let her fly. So Nick Gavin, Pat's WWI protégé and new employee, teaches Cassie in secret, and soon she can pilot like an ace. After Pat grudgingly gives Cassie a job at the airport, she takes several medals at a local air show and captures the attention of Desmond Williams, a young tycoon who offers her the chance to test planes and set world records. Nick encourages Cassie to take the offer, despite his heartbreak; though 18 years her senior and with little to offer, he secretly loves his young apprentice. Flying for Desmond, Cassie becomes the darling of the press even as war breaks out in Europe. When Nick joins the RAF, he and Cassie confess their feelings for one another, but he refuses to tie her down in marriage. In time, Cassie marries Desmond, but she manages to spend one magical night with Nick before setting off on a world tour that ends with her crashing onto a Pacific island where she suffers a horrific ordeal of cold and starvation before she's saved by the Navy and taken to Pearl Harbor-just in time for the Japanese attack. After a slow start that's bogged down by excess background information, the narrative takes off, with a mix of colorful characters bringing the heady early days of aviation to life. Though the ending is predictable, Steel's fans wouldn't have it any other way; she knows how to make her writing fly to the top of the bestseller lists. 1,000,000 first printing; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club dual main selection; major ad/promo. Large print edition available (ISBN 0-385-31295-4, $28.95). (Dec.)
Praise for Danielle Steel
"Steel is one of the best!"--Los Angeles Times "Few modern writers convey the pathos of family and material life with such heartfelt empathy."--The Philadelphia Inquirer "Steel pulls out all the emotional stops. . . . She delivers!"--Publishers Weekly "What counts for the reader is the ring of authenticity."--San Francisco Chronicle