KALEIDOSCOPE by Danielle Steel
Kirkus Star


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The Queen of Romance offers peasant's fare in her newest--and possibly weakest-potboiler. Once upon a time in the 1950's, there lived three little sisters, Hilary, Alexandra, and Megan. They were the daughters of Broadway star Sam Walker and his fiery French (""NOW Merde! Voila! C'est Compris?"") wife, Solange. But when Daddy killed Mommy in a fit of rage, and later committed suicide in his jail cell, the three darlings were cut adrift. Enter ""Uncle"" Arthur Patterson, a rich lawyer and Sam's best friend. He separated the three gifts, sending them off to be adopted by three different families. Hilary got the rawest deal, ending up raped and abused in a foster home, but as the action picks up in the 1970's, she's reaching for the gold ring with a vengeance. Having arrived in New York, she soon manages to become a powerful executive at CBA News, but only after visiting Arthur Patterson and telling him what a jerk he is for having separated her and her sisters. When Arthur learns he's dying, he remorsefully hires ace private investigator John Chapman to find Megan and Alexandra. Megan, it turns out, is an idealistic young doctor working in Appalachia, but it's Alexandra who's really hit the big time: she's a French Baroness, no less. The persuasive Chapman manages to get all the gifts to Patterson's estate in Connecticut, even bitter Hilary. There they learn that the fatal fight between Sam and Solange really centered on Arthur's secret affair with Solange; that, indeed, Arthur is the father of one of the three. . . Like the kaleidoscope of the title, this novel offers a multitude of glittering images--that add up to a patchy surface and no depth. Evanescent nonsense, then, likely to please Steel's most loyal fans but to leave others wondering if the Queen's reign is coming to an end.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1987
Publisher: Delacorte