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Book by Steel, Danielle
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Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world’s most popular authors, with over 570 million copies of her novels sold. Her many international bestsellers include Amazing Grace, Bungalow 2, Sisters, H.R.H., Coming Out, The House, 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.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
It was a beautiful hot July day in Marin County, just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, as Tanya Harris bustled around her kitchen, organizing her life. Her style was one of supreme order. She loved having everything tidy, in its proper place, and in control. She loved to plan, and therefore she rarely ran out of anything, or forgot to do anything. She enjoyed a predictably efficient life. She was small, lithe, in good shape, and didn't look her age, which was forty-two years old. Her husband, Peter, was forty-six. He was a litigator with a respected San Francisco law firm, and didn't mind the commute to Ross, across the bridge. Ross was a prosperous, safe, highly desirable suburban community. They had moved there from the city sixteen years before because the school system was excellent. It was said to be the best in Marin.
Tanya and Peter had three children. Jason was eighteen and was leaving for college at the end of August. He was going to UC Santa Barbara, and although he couldn't wait to go, Tanya was going to miss him terribly. And they had twin daughters, Megan and Molly, who had just turned seventeen.
Tanya had loved every moment of the last eighteen years, being a full-time mom to her kids. It suited her perfectly. She never found it burdensome or boring. The tedium of driving car pools had never seemed intolerable to her. Unlike mothers who complained of it, she loved being with her children, dropping them off, picking them up, taking them to Cub Scouts and Brownies, and she had been head of the parents' association of their school for several years. She took pride in doing things for them, and loved going to Jason's Little League and basketball games, and whatever the girls did as well. Jason had been varsity in high school, and was hoping to make either the basketball or tennis team at UCSB.
His two younger sisters, Megan and Molly, were fraternal twins, and were as different as night and day. Megan was small and blond like her mother. She had been an Olympic-caliber gymnast in her early teens, and only gave up national competitions when she found it was interfering with her work at school. Molly was tall, thin, and looked like Peter, with dark brown hair and endless legs. She was the only member of the family who had never played competitive sports. She was musical, artistic, loved taking photographs, and was a whimsical, independent soul. At seventeen, the twins were going into their senior year. Megan wanted to go to UC Berkeley like her mother, or maybe UCSB. Molly was thinking about going east, or to a college in California where she could follow artistic pursuits. She had been thinking seriously about USC in L.A., if she stayed out west. Although the twins were very close, they were both adamant about not going to the same school. They had been in the same school and class all through elementary and high school, and now they were both ready to go their own ways. Their parents thought it was a healthy attitude, and Peter was encouraging Molly to consider the Ivy League schools. Her grades were good enough, and he thought she'd do well in a high-powered academic atmosphere. She was considering Brown, where she could design her own curriculum in photography, or maybe film school at USC. All three of the Harris children had done exceptionally well in school.
Tanya was proud of her children, loved her husband, enjoyed her life, and had thrived in their twenty-year marriage. The years had flown by like minutes since she'd married Peter as soon as she'd graduated from college. He had just graduated from Stanford Law School, and joined the law firm where he still worked. And just about everything in their life had gone according to plan. There had been no major shocks or surprises, no disappointments in their marriage, no traumas with their kids as Jason, Megan, and Molly navigated through their teens. Tanya and Peter enjoyed spending a lot of time with all three of their children. They had no regrets, and were well aware of how fortunate they were. Tanya worked in a family homeless shelter in the city one day a week, and she took the girls with her whenever she could and their schedules allowed. They both had extracurricular pursuits, and did community service through school. Peter liked to tease Tanya about how boring they all were, and how predictable in their routines. Tanya took great pride in keeping it that way, for all of them. Everything about their life felt comfortable and safe.
Her childhood had not been quite as neat and clean, which was why she liked keeping their life so tidy. Some might have called her life with Peter overly sterile and controlled, but Tanya loved it that way, and so did he. Peter's own youth and adolescence had been very similar to the life he and Tanya had created for their children, a seemingly perfect world. In contrast, Tanya's childhood had been difficult and lonely, and frightening at times. Her father had been an alcoholic, and her parents had gotten divorced when she was three. She had only seen her father a few times after the divorce, and he died when she was fourteen. Her mother had worked hard as a paralegal to keep her in the best schools. She had died shortly after the twins were born, and Tanya had no siblings. An only child of only children, her family consisted of Peter, Jason, and the twins. They were the hub of her world. She cherished every moment that she spent with them. Even after twenty years of marriage, she couldn't wait for Peter to come home at night. She loved telling him what she'd done that day, sharing stories about the children, and hearing about his day. She still found his cases and courtroom experiences fascinating after twenty years, and she liked sharing her own work with him as well. He was always enthusiastic and encouraging about what she did.
Tanya had been a freelance writer ever since she'd graduated from college, and through all the years of their marriage. She loved doing it because it fulfilled her, added to their income, and she worked at home, without interfering with their children. She led something of a double life as a result. Devoted mother, wife, and caregiver by day, and singularly determined freelance writer at night. Tanya always said that to her, writing was as essential as the air she breathed. Freelance writing had proven to be the perfect occupation for her, and the articles and stories she'd written had been well reviewed and warmly received over the years. Peter always said he was immensely proud of her, and appeared to be supportive of her work, although from time to time, he complained about her long work nights, and the late hours when she came to bed. But he appreciated the fact that it never interfered with her mothering or devotion to him. She was one of those rare, talented women who still put her family first, and always had.
Tanya's first book had been a series of essays, mostly about women's issues. It had been published by a small publisher in Marin in the late 1980s, and reviewed mostly by obscure feminist reviewers, who approved of her theories, topics, and ideas. Her book hadn't been rabidly feminist, but was aware and independent, and the sort of thing one would expect a young woman to write. Her second book, published on her fortieth birthday, two years earlier, and eighteen years after her first book, had been an anthology of short stories, published by a major publisher, and had had an exceptionally good review in The New York Times Book Review. She had been thrilled.
In between, she had been frequently published in literary magazines, and often in The New Yorker. She had published essays, articles, and short stories in a variety of magazines over the years. Her volume of work was consistent and prolific. When necessary, she slept little, and some nights not at all. Judging by the sales of her recent book of short stories, she had a loyal following both among average readers who enjoyed her work and among the literary elite. Several well-known and highly respected writers had written her letters of warm praise, and had commented favorably about her book in the press. As she was in all else, Tanya was meticulously conscientious about her work. She had managed to have a family, and still keep abreast of her work. For twenty years, she had set time aside every day to write. She was diligent and highly disciplined and the only time she took days off from her writing mornings was during school vacations, or when the children were home sick from school. In that case, they came first. Otherwise, nothing kept her from her work. In her hours away from Peter and the children, she was fanatical about her work. She let the phone go to voice mail, turned off her cell phone, and sat down to write every morning after her second cup of tea, once the kids had gone off to school.
She also enjoyed writing in a more commercial vein, which was the profitable side of it for them, something Peter respected as well. She did occasional articles for the local Marin papers, now and then for the Chronicle, on an editorial basis. She liked writing funny pieces, and had a knack with comedic work, in a wry, witty tone, and now and then she wrote pure slapstick when describing the life of a housewife and mother, and scenes with her kids. Peter thought it was what she did best, and she enjoyed doing it. She liked writing funny stuff.
The real money she'd made, compared to what she made on her articles and essays, was writing occasional scripts for soap operas on national TV. She had done quite a number of them over the years. They weren't high literary endeavors, and she had no pretensions about what she did. But they paid extremely well, and the shows she wrote for liked her work, and called her often. It wasn't work she was proud of, but she liked the money she made, and so...
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Book Description Random House Large Print, 2007. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0739327283
Book Description Random House Large Print, 2007. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0739327283
Book Description Random House Large Print. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0739327283 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.1992562