ONCE IN A LIFETIME by Danielle Steel


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If you've been bothered by the dearth of all those clean-jawed, marriageable men of yesteryear, you may soak happily through this latest stainless-Steel, romantic brain-softener--in which one man lost just means that another goodie will soon be chuffing 'round the bend. On Christmas Eve, Daphne Fields, a famous, best-selling author at 33, is struck down in city traffic ""by some jackass from Long Island."" And off she goes to the hospital in critical condition--as flashbacks tell the Daphne story. There's her deliriously happy marriage to Jeff, and its tragic ending, with both Jeff and their small daughter burned to death in a fire. There's giant lumberjack and widower John Fowler, 52, whom Daphne meets in New Hampshire, where her young deaf son Andrew attends an excellent special school; but just when marriage is being thought about (even Andrew loves John), John is hit by a ""load of trees"" and killed. There's Daphne's progress in her writing, her triumph over grief, her ""rescue"" of Barbara Jarvis--a onetime Smith honors graduate who is wasting her life in a dank Manhattan walk-up (a dreadful mother, typing work, an affair with a married man, an abortion) till she becomes Daphne's secretary and best pal. And then, when Daphne and Barbara go off to Hollywood to work on a script of one of Daphne's novels, there's that gorgeous hunk, actor Justin Wakefield--bright, funny, self-involved, a flower-sender and cookie-baker. . . but he doesn't take to kids, particularly a deaf kid (who'd make him nervous). So: goodbye Justin, hello Matthew Dane, the new director of Andrew's school--totally good and ready to appear at the hospital, keeping vigil, before the happy fade-out. Marshmallow romance, less intricate and exciting than other Steels--but, as always, packaged by a pro for mass consumption.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1982
Publisher: Dell