A San Francisco earthquake shakes up the lives of three women in the latest from Steel (Bungalow 2, 2007, etc.).
A nun, a rock ingénue and a socialite collide on the night of a disastrous earthquake—and, no, it’s not the start of a joke. Sarah, a perfectly groomed yummy-mummy, is the volunteer in charge of the Littlest Angels Ball, a large fund-raising black-tie event for a local hospital. Melanie is the hired talent for the night, a teenage rock star who’s fed up with being pushed around by her domineering mother/agent. Finally there’s Maggie, the spunky redheaded nun with a heart of gold that tends to San Francisco’s homeless and only scored a ticket to the swank event thanks to a generous friend. When the quake strikes (and it’s a doozy), the carefully constructed lives of the three ladies crumble like a deck of cards. Sarah’s husband is exposed as a fraud when the quake’s resulting power outage keeps him from hiding his illegal financial maneuvers. His misdeeds cost the family dearly and Sarah has to come to terms with just how much loyalty she owes the man she once adored. Thanks to the resulting chaos of the natural disaster, Melanie gets the chance to escape her mother’s watchful eye and act like a normal college-age kid. She volunteers at the victims’ shelter, eats junk food and makes non-industry friends. The change of venue does the pop princess good: it seems Melanie is well on the way to independence. Maggie’s future is more uncertain. While working with the injured and frightened, Maggie crosses paths with a handsome photographer. The seemingly mismatched pair fall in love and must decide if they want to place their bets on a future together. The characters are paper-thin (Maggie is especially laughable and scantily developed) and the plot manufactured.
Similar to a fast-food meal, the book won’t meet daily nutritional requirements and just might leave you with a bellyache.