Danielle Steel delivers with ‘Southern Lights’

  In her latest novel, “Southern Lights,” the queen of romance Danielle Steel ventures into antebellum world of the Deep South with a fascinating story of family relationships divided by heartbreak, anger and the Mason-Dixon Line.
  It’s been 10 years since her devastating divorce from Tom Beaumont and Alexa Hamilton has become one of the top prosecutors in New York City’s district attorney’s office. She has been assigned one of the biggest cases of her career — the trial of accused serial killer Luke Quentin. As she prepares for the high-stakes trial, a series of threatening letters begin arriving, addressed to her daughter, Savannah. Certain that Quentin is behind the letters, Alexa must make a tough decision and send her daughter back to the very place she swore she would never return — her ex-husband’s home in Charleston, S.C.
  As Alexa works herself into exhaustion over the trial, Savannah is thrust into the unknown world of her father. All her life she has heard about how horrible a place Charleston is, and how awful her father and his family are, but as she slowly settles in and adapts to her temporary life, Savannah discovers there are things to love about the South. She is able to get to know her father better, to meet her younger half sister Daisy and get reacquainted with her older stepbrothers Henry and Travis.
  Savannah also meets her paternal grandmother and learns about her family’s proud, if not one-sided Southern past. And she learns to deal with her father’s current wife, Luisa, who is determined to make Savannah’s stay in Charleston hell on earth.
  Alexa is successful in convicting the serial killer and is anxious to get her beloved daughter back home. But she soon finds that Savannah has taken a shine to her new surroundings and encourages her mother to let bygones be bygones, and become reacquainted with the beautiful city she once loved so much. Old hurts are healed, olive branches are extended, true love is found and the happy-ever-after ending is in sight.
  Danielle Steel is an absolute master of storytelling, and with “Southern Lights” being her 79th book (Books 80 and 81 are scheduled to be released in 2010) she is firmly established as one of the most beloved and prolific writers of our time. I was pleased at how well Steel captured the steel-magnolia mannerisms of the tough but gentile Southern ladies and their penchant for being “nasty-nice,” bless their hearts. She also has the rarefied atmosphere that is Charleston down to a T — it is truly one of the jewels of the South.
  Readers know what they are going to get with a Danielle Steel novel — romance, family situations, a bit of intrigue, and a satisfying ending. And what’s wrong with that!

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