Family Album

Family Album

4.2 25
by Danielle Steel

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Through forty years—from Hollywood's golden days in World War II to the present—Faye Price would create first a career as a legendary actress, then a family, and finally she would realize her dream of becoming one of Hollywood's first woman directors. But nothing was more precious to Faye than her five children. In a changing world, a milieu where

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Through forty years—from Hollywood's golden days in World War II to the present—Faye Price would create first a career as a legendary actress, then a family, and finally she would realize her dream of becoming one of Hollywood's first woman directors. But nothing was more precious to Faye than her five children. In a changing world, a milieu where family values are constantly challenged from without and within, the Thayers would face the greatest challenges and harshest test a family can endure, to emerge stronger, bound forever by loyalty and love. It is only when Faye is gone that they can each assess how far they have come, and how important their family album is.

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Random House Publishing Group
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4.17(w) x 6.89(h) x 1.20(d)

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Chapter One

The sun was so brilliant nearly everyone was squinting, though it was only eleven o'clock in the morning. The tiniest of breezes ruffled the women's hair. The day was so beautiful there was a kind of agony to it, an amazing silence, and all one could hear in the silences were birds, a quiet chirping, a sudden shrieking, and the overwhelming smell of flowers. . . lily of the valley, gardenias, freesia, buried in a carpet of moss. But Ward Thayer saw none of it and he seemed to hear nothing at all. His eyes had been closed for several minutes, and when he opened them, he stared for the longest time, almost like a zombie, looking colorless, so unlike the image everyone had of him. . . had had for the last forty years. There was nothing dashing or exciting or even handsome about Ward Thayer this morning. He stood immobilized in the brilliant sunlight, watching nothing, his eyes closed again, almost too tightly, he pressed his eyelids tightly together, and for a moment he wanted never to open them again, as she had not, as she never would again.

There was a voice, droning softly in the distance, saying something, sounding no different than the hum of insects buzzing near the flowers. And he felt nothing. Nothing. Why? Why did he feel nothing, he asked himself? Had he felt nothing for her? Had it all been a lie? He felt a wave of panic wash over him. . . he couldn't remember her face. . . the way she wore her hair. . . the color of her eyes. . . his eyes flew open brusquely, tearing the lids apart like hands that had been clasped, skin that had once upon a time been grafted. The sun blinded him in an instant, and he saw only a flash of light and smelled the flowers, as a bee hummed lazily past him, and the pastor said her name. Faye Price Thayer. There was a muffled popping sound to his left and the lightning of a camera exploded in his eyes, as the woman beside him pressed his arm.

He looked down at her, his eyes adjusting to the light again, and suddenly he remembered. Everything he had forgotten was reflected in his daughter's eyes. The younger woman looked so much like her, yet how different they were. There would never be another woman like Faye Thayer. They all knew that, and he knew it best of all. He looked at the pretty blonde beside him, remembering it all, and longing silently for Faye.

His daughter stood tall and sedate. She was plainer than Faye had been. Her smooth blond hair was pulled tightly into a knot, and beside her stood a serious-looking man, who touched her arm often. They were on their own now, all of them, each one different, separate, yet part of a larger whole, part of Faye. . . and of him as well.

Was she truly gone? It seemed impossible, as tears rolled solemnly down his cheeks and a dozen photographers leapt forward to record his pain, to put on front pages around the world. The grieving widower of Faye Price Thayer. He was hers now, in death, as he had been hers in life. They were all hers. All of them. The daughters, the son, the co-workers, the friends, and they were all there to honor the memory of the woman who would never come again.

The family stood beside him in the front row. His daughter Vanessa, her bespectacled young man, and beside him, Vanessa's twin, Valerie, with hair of flame, a golden face, a perfect black silk dress which clung to her breathtakingly, her success stamped on her unmistakably, and beside her an equally dazzling man.

They made such a beautiful pair one had to stare at them, and it pleased Ward to see how much Val looked like Faye. He had never noticed it quite so much before, but he saw it now. . . . And Lionel, who looked so like her too, though more quietly. Tall and handsome and blond, sensual, elegant, and delicate, yet at the same time proud. He stood staring into the distance now, remembering the others he had known and loved. . . . Gregory and John, lost brother, treasured friend. He thought too of how well Faye had known Lionel, better than anyone perhaps. She had known him better than he knew himself. . . and as well as he himself knew Anne, standing beside him now, prettier than she had been before, so much more confident, and still so young, in sharp contrast to the gray-haired man who held her hand.

They were all there in the end. They had come to pay homage to all that she had been. Actress, director, legend, wife, mother, friend. There were those who had envied her, those she had driven too hard and wanted too much from. Her family knew that best of all. She had expected so much of them, yet given so much in return, driven herself so hard, gone so far. Ward remembered it all as he looked at all of them, all the way back to that first time in Guadalcanal. And now here they were, a lifetime past, and each of them remembering her as she had been, as she once was, as she was to them. It was a sea of faces in the bright Los Angeles sun. All of Hollywood had turned out for her. A last salute, a final smile, a tender tear, as Ward turned to glance at the family he had built with her, all of them so strong and beautiful. . . as she had been. How proud she would have been to see them now, he thought, tears burning his eyes again. . . how proud they were of her. . . finally. It had taken a long time. . . and now she was gone. . . it seemed impossible to believe when only yesterday. . . only yesterday they'd been in Paris. . . the South of France. . . New York. . . Guadalcanal.

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Meet the Author

Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world’s most popular authors, with over 650 million copies of her novels sold. Her many international bestsellers include Country, Prodigal Son, Pegasus, A Perfect Life, Power Play, Winners, First Sight, Until the End of Time, The Sins of the Mother, and other highly acclaimed novels. She is also the author of His Bright Light, the story of her son Nick Traina’s life and death; A Gift of Hope, a memoir of her work with the homeless; Pure Joy, about the dogs she and her family have loved; and the children’s book Pretty Minnie in Paris.

Brief Biography

San Francisco, California
Date of Birth:
August 14, 1947
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Educated in France. Also attended Parsons School of Design, 1963, and New York University, 1963-67

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Family Album 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most touching novels I have read and then seen in the movie. When they say the book is always better they are right ! The auther has many talents in writting with getting to your heart and getting right to the point and does not leave one sitting in the dark,
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved reading and watching the movie. i liked the book better. i think the movie left out a lot of things. well i love the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I could not put the book down. It was a great story I never new what would happen next. I enjoyed it very much.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was all right. I was a little put off by the behavior of Ward and Faye. I thought Ward was spoiled and childish. Faye put up with way too much from him in my opinion. She was alwaya holding his hand through all their troubles. She put up with infidelity, and even allowed him to disown their son simply for being gay. She also neglected their youngest child way too much. I enjoyed Lionel's (the oldest son) storyline more than the others, so the book became boring for me when his story was put on the back burner so the book could concentrate on Ward and Faye's twin girls, Valerie and Vanessa. I thought Valerie was a spoiled brat through most of the book, and the Vanessa character was very bland. This wasn't a bad book, I just enjoyed some of Danielle Steel's other books better.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
'Family Album' by Danielle Steel was really really good. The book was full of the families struggles. I liked Faye in the book, the way she bought her family from the bottom to the top. I found it hard to put the book down. No-one can write like Danielle Steel.I started to read more Danielle Steel books after this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutlely loved the book and I finished it in five days! lol I feel this book was important because it deals with family and how hard they had it, especially Faye. Faye is a charcter who I admired because she never put her guard down she loved her family her so much and she had a mind of her own. I was actually surprised about one of the characters being gay in her books but when I thought about it I never realized how hard that kind of lifestyle is for people who are gay and I believe that Steel did this to show that people like Lionel are not alone. I think the movie was so good that they should make a movie out of it. Once again Danille Steel has done it again! Way to Go Steel!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book had a great influence on me when I was in the closet. It really helped me realized that I wasn't alone struggling with my lifestyle that I never chose. It really made me cry a lot but it was a big relief especially on those days where I felt I was trapped not able to open up to anyone about my feelings. I really suggest to read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just love this Danielle Steel story. The characters are wonderful. The Thayer family is basically a typical family once they loose all their money and have to start over. It is the story of a woman's courage and strength, Faye, to keep her family together . She is a truly remarkable woman. This is a book that is very hard to put down. It is fast reading and grabs your interest from the very first page. Faye and Ward are a wonderful couple with a great family that must overcome many hardships, but it is worth reading to see how it all comes out. I strongly recommend this book. Way to go Ms. Steel!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i liked this book because it shows the real diversity between all the family members and how they were each different in there own way and the strength of faye amazes me!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've never had a book make me cry until this one! 'Family Album' is a touching love story with 'real life' family situations blended in. I loved it!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent book. With its ups and downs from beginning to end.