Good clean copy with no missing pages might be an ex library copy; Possibly may have minor marginal notes and or highlighting. Bookseller Inventory #
Synopsis: On Sarah Whitfield's seventy-fifth birthday, memories take her back to New York in the 1930s. To a marriage that ends after a year, leaving Sarah shattered. A trip to Europe with her parents does little to raise her spirits, until she meets William, Duke of Whitfield. In time, despite her qualms, William insists on giving up his distant right to the British throne to make Sarah his dutchess and his wife.
On their honeymoon, the newlyweds buy an old French chateau, but not long after, the war begins. William joins the allied forces, leaving Sarah, their first child, an infant, and their second child on the way, in France. After the Nazi forces take over the chateau, Sarah continues to survive the terror and deprivation of the Occupation, unwavering in her belief that her missing-in-action husband is still alive.
After the war, as a gesture of goodwill, the Whitfields start buying jewels offered for sale by impoverished war survivors. With Sarah's style and keen eye, the collection becomes the prestigious Whitfield's jewelry store in Paris. Eventually, their jewelry business expands to London and Rome, as their family grows. Phillip, their firstborn, is stubborn and proud; Julian, their second son, is charming and generous and warm; Isabelle is rebellious and willful; and Xavier, unusual and untamed, is the final unexpected gift of their love. They each find their own way, but will be drawn to the great house of gems their parents built. In Jewels, Danielle Steel takes the reader through five eventful decades that include war, passion, international intrigue, and the strength of family through it all.
From the Hardcover edition.
Review: Birthdays are a time for reflection, especially for Sarah, Duchess of Whitfield, who is awaiting the arrival of her far-flung family. Years earlier, reeling from her pending divorce, Sarah Thompson is force-marched through Europe on the grand tour by her concerned parents. Disinterested in the sons, grandsons, and nephews paraded before her by well-meaning acquaintances, Sarah chances upon William Whitfield, the Duke of Whitfield, 14th in line for succession to the English throne. Disarmed by his wit and intrigued by his intellect, Sarah allows William to become her companion in London, warning him they can only be friends. Undeterred, William dismisses Sarah's protestations that her divorce makes her unsuitable to be his duchess and finally convinces Sarah to marry him. While honeymooning in France, Sarah and William happen upon Chateau de la Meuze. Enchanted, the Whitfields buy and set about restoring the estate. But World War II looms, threatening their idyllic existence. Following the birth of their first child, Phillip, William joins the RAF when England declares war on Germany. Reluctantly, he leaves Sarah and Phillip at the chateau. German troops, led by the courtly commandant Joachim von Mannheim, take possession of the chateau to establish a hospital, removing Sarah and Phillip to the caretaker's cottage.
When the war ends, William, after being imprisoned for three years and barely surviving the torture that deprived him of the use of his legs, returns to his family. The Whitfields pick up threads of lives strained, but not broken, by war. Soon, they are approached by others who lost everything during the war except a few secreted heirlooms. But jewelry can't put food on the table, and the Whitfields begin purchasing jewelry to provide neighbors with much-needed cash. When William jokingly suggests opening a Paris store, a legacy is born: Whitfield's, Jewelers to the Crown. Over the next decades, which bring three more children, two more branches of Whitfields, and the death of her husband, Sarah is molded into a force to be reckoned with, capable of handling her willful children and a highly successful international business with equal aplomb. Steel paints a portrait of a family, imperfect as they may be, and the powerful matriarch who reminds them of the bond that transcends titles, money, and borders. --Alison Trinkle
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
Book Condition: GOOD
Book Description Random House Publishing Group. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Minimal damage to cover and binding. Pages show light use. Bookseller Inventory # G0440244587I3N00