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BITTERSWEET by Danielle Steel

BITTERSWEET

By Danielle Steel

Pub Date: April 6th, 1999
ISBN: 0-385-31957-6
Publisher: Delacorte

For diehard Steel fans only. As the author gets older, so, happily, do her protagonists—although they always, always, look at least ten years younger than their chronological age. In India Taylor’s case, these good looks aren’t the result of lots of live-in help. Since she gave up her career as a photojournalist 14 years earlier (Steel makes it clear that she could have won a Pulitzer), India has dedicated herself to the rearing of her four swell kids: chauffeuring, soccer-momming, watching ballet classes, and creating a lovely home in the prosperous New York suburb of Westport, Connecticut. But creeping in between the endless car pools is India’s suspicion that there might be more to life. She misses her job; her spirit hungers for a little more career mixed in with wife-and-motherhood. But Doug, her anachronistic husband, has forbidden her even an occasional photo gig. Apparently, India agreed to this domestic arrangement when they married. Her dad, a prizewinning photojournalist, died in action, and India doesn’t want her children growing up without both parents as she did. Add to this emotional stew the fact that Doug doesn’t believe in romance or passionate love anymore, and you have one mad, dissatisfied housewife. When India meets Paul Ward, the “Lion of Wall Street,” on his fabulous sailboat at the Cape, she sees a guy who’s not afraid of living with a career-obsessed woman. Paul’s wife is the successful novelist Serena Smith. On her way to Europe, Serena’s plane is blown up by, yes, Arab terrorists, and Paul goes into deep mourning. He and India form a close friendship while crying on each other’s shoulders, and that friendship quickly develops into love. Their romantic ups and downs (the bitter and the sweet, of course) culminate in the jungle of Rwanda and come to the standard conclusion during a hurricane manquÇ off the Massachusetts coast. Steel manages to make even some solid ideas sound treacly and dated.