by Danielle Steel

July 2001
ISBN: 0-440-23700-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Dell Publishing
Mass Market Paperback

I have to admit that this is my first Danielle Steel book. I can’t say if it will or will not be my last as I was completely torn apart by this one. I have to give her credit for being a brilliant writer. The words brought the pages to life and I could feel every emotion of the main characters strongly, which is why this story got a rating of three.

The problem with this vivid imagery is that most of the emotions in this book are incredibly negative. I spent at least the first 120 pages in a completely tearful state. After that, I was only in tears once every page or two! Finally, in the final chapter or two I was able to stop crying and enjoy the romance that was unfolding before my eyes. While the skill for making words come to life is definitely evident in Danielle Steel’s writing in The House On Hope Street (and in my tears) the entertainment and escapism that most people enjoy in their reading time is completely lost.

To give credit where it is due, even though the overtone of this story is incredibly sad, it still has some faint glimmers of hope. At the end of the very dark tunnel, we find the tiniest ray of light. The Sutherland family is almost the “perfect” family, until one day in a single moment all their lives are changed forever. How this family learns to cope with their pain and move on with life is the focus of this story. The ups and downs of the romance that develops are too real to be entertainment!

Some people may enjoy true to life writing in their reading and entertainment. I say, give me Prince Charming and the fairy tale. I can see every day life just by opening my eyes and looking around me. Reading is for pleasure, not crying and feeling extremely sad. Are all books by this writer like this? I don’t know, but there is enough flair in the plot and pages full of vibrant descriptions to make me seriously consider reading another one to find out!

Reviewed in April 2002 by Angela.

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