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Danielle Steel takes us beyond the dazzle of Hollywood in her compelling new novel—the story of one woman’s journey from suburban mom to award-winning screenwriter...and all the joy, heartbreak, and challenges along the way.
The phone call came on a hot July day—a day like any other for Marin County mom and freelance writer Tanya Harris. But this call—from ...
Danielle Steel takes us beyond the dazzle of Hollywood in her compelling new novel—the story of one woman’s journey from suburban mom to award-winning screenwriter...and all the joy, heartbreak, and challenges along the way.
The phone call came on a hot July day—a day like any other for Marin County mom and freelance writer Tanya Harris. But this call—from Tanya’s agent—was anything but ordinary, offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: the chance to write a major Hollywood screenplay, a dream she had put aside long ago to devote her energies to her family. This time, Tanya knows she cannot refuse, even though she’s torn about leaving her husband and their daughters. From the moment she steps into her lush bungalow at the fabled Beverly Hills Hotel, Tanya is thrust into an intoxicating new world where she feels reborn—energized by the creativity swirling around her—yet the pull of her family at home is strong.
Suddenly she’s working alongside A-list actors and a Hollywood legend: Oscar-winning producer Douglas Wayne, a man who always gets what he wants–and who seems to have his sights set on her. Flying home between shoots, struggling to reconnect with a family that seems to need her less and less, Tanya watches helplessly as her old life is pulled out from under her in the most crushing of ways.
As her two lives collide, as one award-winning film leads to another, Tanya begins to wonder if she can be a wife, a mother, and a writer at the same time. And just as she confronts the toughest choice she has faced, she is offered another dazzling opportunity—one that could recast her story in an amazing new direction, complete with an ending she never could have written herself.
In Bungalow 2, Danielle Steel takes us into a world few ever see—a world of fame and fortune, celebrity and genius–daring to show us the real lives, real dreams, and real struggles hidden beneath the flash and glitter of Hollywood.
In Steel's latest, 42-year-old Tanya Harris loves her life as a mother of three, wife of a dashing San Francisco lawyer and moderately successful writer of short stories and soap opera scripts. She has long given up on her dream of writing a screenplay, but then her agent calls with a dream offer: a major director wants her and her alone to write the script for a new high-profile film. Tanya's first reaction is distress (her twin daughters are about to start their senior year, and her son is making the transition to his freshman year at UC Santa Barbara; how can she leave them?), but her detailed deliberations are cut short by her husband, who convinces her that this is her big opportunity. In Hollywood, Tanya's cosseted in every possible way, and she takes to the work immediately. But the weekend flights home aren't enough, and her worst fear is realized when her husband strays. Steel follows Tanya as she copes with domestic upheaval, all the time pushing ahead with her blossoming screenwriting career. Steel's characters spend a lot of time contemplating problems, and Tanya is especially adept at hand-wringing. Steel's many loyal readers will be entertained by this story of a dedicated mother and wife who embarks on a series of life-altering adventures in Hollywood. (June)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
A freelance writer who turns out short stories and soap opera scripts, Tanya Harris is the mother of three children-Jason 18, and Megan and Molly, 17-year-old fraternal twins-and wife of a successful San Francisco lawyer. She adores both her husband and her life as a stay-at-home mom; there have been no upsets in her marriage or with the kids. Then one night her agent calls, informing her that a well-known director wants her to write the script for his new feature film in California. Tanya's first reaction is definitely to say no, but her husband persuades her that this is her big opportunity in Hollywood. She unenthusiastically takes the job, planning to work in Hollywood during the week and return home on weekends. Predictably, her husband begins an affair with her widowed best friend and next-door neighbor, and Tanya herself has a romantic interest in the producer. Her picture-perfect life begins to unravel rapidly, but Tanya finds a new man, things work out with her children, and of course she wins an Academy Award. Recommended for those who love Steel. [This book was initially released in June 2007; the mass market paperback appears in May 2008.-Ed.]
Tanya and Peter had three children. Jason was eighteen and was leaving for college at the end of August. He was going to UC Santa Barbara, and although he couldn't wait to go, Tanya was going to miss him terribly. And they had twin daughters, Megan and Molly, who had just turned seventeen. Tanya had loved every moment of the last eighteen years, being a full-time mom to her kids. It suited her perfectly. She never found it burdensome or boring. The tedium of driving car pools had never seemed intolerable to her. Unlike mothers who complained of it, she loved being with her children, dropping them off, picking them up, taking them to Cub Scouts and Brownies, and she had been head of the parents' association of their school for several years. She took pride in doing things for them, and loved going to Jason's Little League and basketball games, and whatever the girls did as well. Jason had been varsity in high school, and was hoping to make either the basketball or tennis team at UCSB.
His two younger sisters, Megan and Molly, were fraternal twins, and were as different as night and day. Megan was small and blond like her mother. She had been an Olympic-caliber gymnast in her early teens, and only gave up national competitions when she found it was interfering with her work at school. Molly was tall, thin, and looked like Peter, with dark brown hair and endless legs. She was the only member of the family who had never played competitive sports. She was musical, artistic, loved taking photographs, and was a whimsical, independent soul. At seventeen, the twins were going into their senior year. Megan wanted to go to UC Berkeley like her mother, or maybe UCSB. Molly was thinking about going east, or to a college in California where she could follow artistic pursuits. She had been thinking seriously about USC in L.A., if she stayed out west. Although the twins were very close, they were both adamant about not going to the same school. They had been in the same school and class all through elementary and high school, and now they were both ready to go their own ways. Their parents thought it was a healthy attitude, and Peter was encouraging Molly to consider the Ivy League schools. Her grades were good enough, and he thought she'd do well in a high-powered academic atmosphere. She was considering Brown, where she could design her own curriculum in photography, or maybe film school at USC. All three of the Harris children had done exceptionally well in school.
Tanya was proud of her children, loved her husband, enjoyed her life, and had thrived in their twenty-year marriage. The years had flown by like minutes since she'd married Peter as soon as she'd graduated from college. He had just graduated from Stanford Law School, and joined the law firm where he still worked. And just about everything in their life had gone according to plan. There had been no major shocks or surprises, no disappointments in their marriage, no traumas with their kids as Jason, Megan, and Molly navigated through their teens. Tanya and Peter enjoyed spending a lot of time with all three of their children. They had no regrets, and were well aware of how fortunate they were. Tanya worked in a family homeless shelter in the city one day a week, and she took the girls with her whenever she could and their schedules allowed. They both had extracurricular pursuits, and did community service through school. Peter liked to tease Tanya about how boring they all were, and how predictable in their routines. Tanya took great pride in keeping it that way, for all of them. Everything about their life felt comfortable and safe.
Her childhood had not been quite as neat and clean, which was why she liked keeping their life so tidy. Some might have called her life with Peter overly sterile and controlled, but Tanya loved it that way, and so did he. Peter's own youth and adolescence had been very similar to the life he and Tanya had created for their children, a seemingly perfect world. In contrast, Tanya's childhood had been difficult and lonely, and frightening at times. Her father had been an alcoholic, and her parents had gotten divorced when she was three. She had only seen her father a few times after the divorce, and he died when she was fourteen. Her mother had worked hard as a paralegal to keep her in the best schools. She had died shortly after the twins were born, and Tanya had no siblings. An only child of only children, her family consisted of Peter, Jason, and the twins. They were the hub of her world. She cherished every moment that she spent with them. Even after twenty years of marriage, she couldn't wait for Peter to come home at night. She loved telling him what she'd done that day, sharing stories about the children, and hearing about his day. She still found his cases and courtroom experiences fascinating after twenty years, and she liked sharing her own work with him as well. He was always enthusiastic and encouraging about what she did.
Tanya had been a freelance writer ever since she'd graduated from college, and through all the years of their marriage. She loved doing it because it fulfilled her, added to their income, and she worked at home, without interfering with their children. She led something of a double life as a result. Devoted mother, wife, and caregiver by day, and singularly determined freelance writer at night. Tanya always said that to her, writing was as essential as the air she breathed. Freelance writing had proven to be the perfect occupation for her, and the articles and stories she'd written had been well reviewed and warmly received over the years. Peter always said he was immensely proud of her, and appeared to be supportive of her work, although from time to time, he complained about her long work nights, and the late hours when she came to bed. But he appreciated the fact that it never interfered with her mothering or devotion to him. She was one of those rare, talented women who still put her family first, and always had.
Tanya's first book had been a series of essays, mostly about women's issues. It had been published by a small publisher in Marin in the late 1980s, and reviewed mostly by obscure feminist reviewers, who approved of her theories, topics, and ideas. Her book hadn't been rabidly feminist, but was aware and independent, and the sort of thing one would expect a young woman to write. Her second book, published on her fortieth birthday, two years earlier, and eighteen years after her first book, had been an anthology of short stories, published by a major publisher, and had had an exceptionally good review in The New York Times Book Review. She had been thrilled.
In between, she had been frequently published in literary magazines, and often in The New Yorker. She had published essays, articles, and short stories in a variety of magazines over the years. Her volume of work was consistent and prolific. When necessary, she slept little, and some nights not at all. Judging by the sales of her recent book of short stories, she had a loyal following both among average readers who enjoyed her work and among the literary elite. Several well-known and highly respected writers had written her letters of warm praise, and had commented favorably about her book in the press. As she was in all else, Tanya was meticulously conscientious about her work. She had managed to have a family, and still keep abreast of her work. For twenty years, she had set time aside every day to write. She was diligent and highly disciplined and the only time she took days off from her writing mornings was during school vacations, or when the children were home sick from school. In that case, they came first. Otherwise, nothing kept her from her work. In her hours away from Peter and the children, she was fanatical about her work. She let the phone go to voice mail, turned off her cell phone, and sat down to write every morning after her second cup of tea, once the kids had gone off to school.
She also enjoyed writing in a more commercial vein, which was the profitable side of it for them, something Peter respected as well. She did occasional articles for the local Marin papers, now and then for the Chronicle, on an editorial basis. She liked writing funny pieces, and had a knack with comedic work, in a wry, witty tone, and now and then she wrote pure slapstick when describing the life of a housewife and mother, and scenes with her kids. Peter thought it was what she did best, and she enjoyed doing it. She liked writing funny stuff.
The real money she'd made, compared to what she made on her articles and essays, was writing occasional scripts for soap operas on national TV. She had done quite a number of them over the years. They weren't high literary endeavors, and she had no pretensions about what she did. But they paid extremely well, and the shows she wrote for liked her work, and called her often. It wasn't work she was proud of, but she liked the money she made, and so did Peter. She usually wrote a dozen or so scripts a year. They had paid for her new Mercedes station wagon and a house they rented for a month at Lake Tahoe every year. Peter was always grateful for her help with tuition for their children. She had saved a nice little nest egg from her commercial writing work. She had cowritten a few miniseries, too, mostly before the market for miniseries and television movies had been impacted by reality TV. These days no one wanted miniseries or TV movies, and the only regular work she got for TV was on her soaps. Her agent called her about a script for a soap at least once a month, and sometimes more often. She knocked them out in a few days, working late at night while the rest of the family slept. Tanya was lucky that she needed very little sleep, much to her agent's delight. She had never made gigantic money for her work, but she had produced steadily for many years. She was in effect a housewife and writer with stamina and talent. It was a combination that worked well.
Over the years Tanya's freelance writing had been a steady, satisfying, and lucrative career, and as the kids got older, she had plans to write more. The only dream she had that hadn't been fulfilled yet was to write the screenplay for a feature film. She had persisted in pushing her agent about it, but to some extent her work in TV made her ineligible. There was very little, if any, crossover between television and feature films. It irritated her because she knew she had the skills to do movies, but so far nothing in that vein had come her way, and she was no longer sure it ever would. It was an opportunity she'd been waiting for, for twenty years. In the meantime, she was happy with the writing she did. And the system and schedule she juggled so successfully worked well for all of them. She'd had a steady flow of work during her entire career. It was something she did with her left hand, while she tended to her family with her right and met all their needs. Peter always said that she was an amazing woman, and a wonderful mother and wife. That meant far more to her than favorable literary reviews. Her family had been her first priority during all her years of marriage and motherhood. And as far as Tanya was concerned, she had done the right thing, even if it meant turning down an assignment now and then, although that was rare for her. Most of the time, she found a way to fit it in, and was proud of having done that for twenty years. She had never let Peter or her kids down, nor her work, or the people who paid her to do it.
She had just sat down at her computer with a cup of tea, and was looking over the draft for a short story she'd started the day before, when the phone rang, and she heard the answering machine pick it up. Jason had spent the night in San Francisco, the girls were out with friends, and Peter had long since left for work. He was preparing for a trial the following week. So she had a nice, peaceful morning to work, which was rare when the kids were out of school. She wrote far less in the summer than she did in the winter months. It was too distracting trying to write when the children were home on vacation, and around all the time. But she'd had an idea for a new short story that had been bugging her for days. She was wrestling with it, when she heard her agent leave a message on the phone, and strode rapidly across the kitchen to pick it up. She knew that all the soaps she wrote for were on hiatus, so it wasn't likely to be a request for a script for a soap. Maybe an article for a magazine, or a request from The New Yorker.
She answered the phone just before her agent hung up. The message he'd left was a request for her to call him. He was a long-established literary agent in New York, who had represented her for the past fifteen years. The agency also had an office in Hollywood, where they generated a very respectable amount of work for her, as much as in New York, sometimes more. She loved all the different aspects of her work, and had been dogged and persistent about pursuing her career through all the kids' years of growing up. They were proud of her, and once in a while watched her soaps, although they teased her a lot, and told her how "cheesy" they were. But they bragged about her to their friends. It was immensely important to her that Peter and her children respected what she did. And she liked knowing she did it well, without sacrificing her time with them. There was a sign on her office wall that said "What hath night to do with sleep?"
"I thought you might be writing," her agent said as she picked up. His name was Walter Drucker, and he went by Walt.
"I was," she said, hopping onto a high stool near the phone. The kitchen was the nerve center of the house, and she used it as an office. Her computer was set up in the corner, next to two file cabinets bulging with her work. "What's up? I'm working on a new short story. I think it may turn out to be part of a trilogy when it grows up." He admired her, and the fact that she was unfailingly professional and conscientious about everything she did. He knew how important her children were to her, but she still stayed on track with everything she wrote. She was very serious about her work, and everything she touched. It was a pleasure to deal with her. He never had to apologize for her missing a deadline, forgetting a story, going into rehab, or blowing a script. She was a writer to the core, and a good one. Tanya was a true professional. She had talent, energy, and drive. He liked her work, although usually he wasn't a short-story fan, but hers were good. They always had an interesting twist, a surprise. There was something very quirky and unusual about her work. Just when the reader expected it least, she came up with a stunning twist, turn, or ending. And he liked her funny stuff best. Sometimes she made him laugh till he cried.
"I've got work," he said, sounding vague and somewhat cryptic. She was still thinking about her story, and not entirely focused on what he'd said.
Excerpted from Bungalow 2 by Danielle Steel Copyright © 2007 by Danielle Steel. Excerpted by permission.
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Posted April 4, 2011
This book was not as captivating as other Danielle Steel novels. Parts of it seemed pretty redundant and I felt bored at times. It seems as though this book was written in a rush. That said, it was relatable to some degree as far as the ups and downs of relationships are concerned. Overall, as a huge fan of this author, I can honestly say that this particular book was disappointing.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 23, 2013
Posted July 3, 2013
A great read until the end...which didn't seem to flow to Danielle Steels great hype on all her characters. Seemed the end was a plop of sorts...
It was like she was 'grasping' to find a end to the story within a few chapters...Regardless, I adore all her books as they keep me in suspense, with many ahhh moments and some tears mixed with laughter...nothing better than a romantic novel which Danielle Steel consistently puts out.
Posted February 26, 2013
having a family and a career that you enjoy comes with heartache and pain only Tanya Harris prove it to be wrong. loved itWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 8, 2011
Posted October 7, 2010
I've read the book and it made me feel mad, upset and frustrated with what happend with the character's marriage. It was a good story and it tells us that not all good marriage that we thought good are perfect, though we trust our partners, we should also think that everyone has a skeleton in their closets. This book is brilliant.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 5, 2010
I have read alot of Dannielle Steel books and I always enjoy her writing style. Once again she doesnt disappoint. I enjoy the main character in this book she is a strong character. She is a everyday women just a housewife that does writing on the side who get a once in a life time chance to write a movie script. But by taking the job it upsets her life. It is a very good storyWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I really enjoyed Secrets, so when I saw this one I thought it'd be similar. It's hard to root for the main character Tanya because she let's a selfish husband who just wants a housekeeper and someone to make him feel like a man 24/7 rule her world. Not to mention her bratty spoiled kids. I just want to punch them all while reading the book. For someone who is supposedly, so smart, she just annoys me. It's one of those books that you do not enjoy, but out of curiosity want to see how the thing ends. It takes getting half way through to book for anything to happen. Other readers mentioned how Danielle just repeats herself...it is true. We got it the first time. I don't need to read 50 pages of how Tanya chooses her ungrateful family over herself.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 6, 2009
Posted March 16, 2009
I loved this book and the way it was written. I'm all about going after your dreams and doing the things you've always loved doing. The only thing I didn't like was the fact that the main character would not have done it if her husband hadn't talked her into it. I'm so glad Danielle wrote this book, and I don't take this as a mean comment. But her photo on the back of the book looks like she went through hell writing this book and it shows in her piture. It took more than a few months to recover from this book, and that's good! I love the story and I'm going to add it to my DS collection. GREAT BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I haven't read Danielle Steel in years until this one. It just sounded like something that would interest me--fame, fortune, etc. I was draw into the world of the character and couldn't put it down. Two thumbs definitely up!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 28, 2009
I Also Recommend:
I adore Danielle Steel's writing and this book did not disappoint me in the least. It did start off a tad bit slow but when it picked up, I couldn't put it down. And the ending was so totally unexpected!!! Phenomenal writing!!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 10, 2008
The perfect wife, the perfect husband, three perfect children, a perfect house, a perfect life. So starts Bungalow 2, one of a myriad of novels authored by Danielle Steel, the queen of romance. Tanya Harris, our heroine, is a freelance writer, producing articles for numerous magazines as well as scripts for the occasional soap opera. Her husband Peter, a successful attorney, is handsome and devoted to her. Tanya has everything she¿s always wanted, both materially and emotionally, with the exception of working on a screenplay for a movie. One day her agent calls with great news ¿ she¿s been offered a screenplay. To top it off, it¿s not just any movie, but one produced by Douglas Wayne, a top Hollywood producer whose work is practically guaranteed an Academy Award. The only glitch? Tanya would have to leave her suburban home to live in Los Angeles while the movie is being filmed. Will she take the job? If she does, how will her family survive without her for nine months? Will she return to her perfect life or will the glitter of Hollywood lure her away? The premise of Bungalow 2 is an interesting one and could easily entice readers bored with their own suburban lives. What would it be like to work with a famous Hollywood producer? To interact daily with A-list actors? Be treated like royalty by staff and live in a gorgeous apartment at the Beverly Hills Hotel? While these are all fun daydreams, the problem with this novel quickly becomes apparent within the first few pages. The first 20 pages of the book describe Tanya¿s perfect life, over, and over, and over again. The whole book reads like a first draft with so much text that has yet to be re-worked or deleted. Not just ideas, but whole phrases, are repeatedly used within the span of a few pages. For example, when talking about Megan, Tanya¿s spoiled daughter who hates her mom for leaving, Peter explains how Megan will forgive Tanya ¿¿when you come home¿ (pg. 145). Then, on the next page, ¿When you come home¿¿ followed on the next page by ¿I think it will get better when you come home.¿ Of course, Peter is also going on and on for several pages about the same thing ¿ when Tanya comes home, all will be well. It could have been said in one page. There are probably 50 pages of text that are redundant and should have been removed. Where was the editor when this book was being produced? Many of the characters in Bungalow 2 were rather one-dimensional and it was hard to understand how anybody could like them, particularly Tanya Harris, a woman of deep moral convictions. Of course, few people read Steel¿s books for their complex character development. The Hollywood life is an interesting backdrop and for that, it can be a fun read. Quill says: If you can skip over all the repetitive text, Bungalow 2 is an entertaining, fluffy, beach read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 17, 2008
Posted February 12, 2008
Not a good book at all. Think a combination of 'Once in a Lifetime' and 'Secrets.' There is absolutely nothing new here. Ms. Steel seems to go back into her previous books for plots. Maybe it's time for her to retire.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 31, 2007
Posted October 18, 2007
I have to agree with the other reviews. I only read the first 20 pages and then quit. I have been a long time fan of Danielle Steel, but I too have noticed how much she repeats herself over and over. It becomes so annoying! Does she really think her readers can't get the feel of her characters the first time? Just reading the book was making my stomach turn and there are so many other great books out there to read! I say don't waste your time!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 7, 2007
Posted June 29, 2007