Echoes by Danielle Steel


Back blurb of Echoes by Danielle Steel: Against a vivid backdrop of history, Danielle Steel tells a compelling story of love and war, acts of faith and acts of betrayal...and of three generations of women as they journey though years of loss and survival, linked by an indomitable devotion that echoes across time.

For the Wittgenstein family, the summer of 1915 was a time of both prosperity and unease, as the guns of war sound in the distance. But for eldest daughter Beata, it was also a summer of awakening. By the glimmering waters of Lake Geneva, the quiet Jewish beauty met a young French officer and fell in love. Knowing that her parents would never accept her marriage to a Catholic, Beata followed her heart anyway. And as the two built a new life together, Beata's past would stay with her in ways she could never have predicted. For as the years pass, and Europe is once again engulfed in war, Beata must watch in horror as Hitler's terror threatens her life and family--even her eighteen-year-old daughter Amadea, who has taken on the vows of a Carmelite nun.

{yes, isn't this long ...?}

For Amadea, the convent is no refuge. As family and friends are swept away without a trace, Amadea is forced into hiding. Thus begins a harrowing journey of survival, as she escapes into the heart of the French Resistance. Here Amadea will find a renewed sense of purpose, taking on the most daring missions behind enemy lines. And it is here, in the darkest moments of fear, that Amadea will feel her mother's loving strength--and that of her mother's mother before her-as the voices of lost loved ones echo powerfully in her heart. And here, amid the fires of war, Amadea will meet an extraordinary man, British secret agent Rupert Montgomery. In Colonel Montgomery, Amadea finds a man who will help her discover her place in an unbreakable chain between generations...and between her lost family and her dreams for the future--a future she is only just beginning to imagine: a future of hope rooted in the rich soil of the past.

With the grace of a master storyteller, Danielle Steel breathes life into history, creating a bold, sweeping tale filled with unforgettable characters and breathtaking images--from the elegant rituals of Europe's prewar aristocracy to the brutal desperation of Germany's death camps. Drawing us into a vanished world, Echoes weaves an intricate tapestry of a mother's love, a daughter's courage...and the unwavering faith that sustained them--even in history's darkest hour.

My take

I have never read Danielle Steel and most probably will never again. I chanced upon this book and figured that she must be doing something right if she sells so many books. I spent this Saturday with this book in hand. And I can't get the time back. Why I'm writing about this ... to warn you not to cave when you see "America's #1 Bestseller" splashed on a cover. Bestsellers do not equal good books.

Besides, you've read the synopsis. That's it. Nothing else. I felt like I had stumbled upon one old issue of Mills and Boone's or maybe one of those silly Harlequin romances. Less trashier maybe, but trying extremely hard to weave romance and history into what could be a highly emotional read. Unfortunately it fails miserably. Sorry Ms. Steel, I'm not buying into your empire.

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© guiltless readingMaira Gall