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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Seeing Double with Danielle Steel
Danielle Steel has been writing megasellers since her early novel, The Promise, and now, with 40-something books under her belt and millions upon millions of copies in print, she has delivered Mirror Image, undeniably one of her best. The prose is clean, the story — one of sisters in love and in war — shines, and yes, you can get out your handkerchiefs and be prepared to laugh, weep, and lose yourself in a riveting saga.
If you're seeing double, it's because twin girls Olivia and Victoria Henderson have grown up practically as one person — although, truth be told, they're extremely different from each other. They look exactly alike, except for the odd marking here and there that only their beloved nanny, Bertie, notices, but in personality they are diametric opposites. Victoria is a suffragette, she smokes when she can, she teaches herself to drive — and that's saying a lot, since the novel is set right after the Titanic disaster. Olivia, on the other hand, is very domestic, serene, and not given to fits or flights of fancy. The twins have grown up, after the death of their mother, on a luxurious estate in Croton-on-Hudson with the tennis and leisure set, mingling with their neighbors (the Rockefellers!), and doting on their beloved father, who comes up on the weekends from his demanding but wealth-producing investments and steel-mill business in Manhattan. The girls have lived an idyllic existence, very sheltered from the world, but when they become young women, their lives change. At thispoint,Edward Henderson is semiretired, spending most of his time at the estate, but news comes from his attorney that he needs to attend to things back in the city for a short while. His attorney's young partner, Charles Dawson, visits the Henderson clan, and soon Olivia is smitten with him, without giving out any unladylike signals. Charles lost his wife to Titanic and now throws himself into his work, for the most part. Olivia finds him both sad and magnetic, but being the demure woman she is, she merely watches him; Victoria would've been more direct, but she has no interest in the young conservative attorney — she'd rather be off getting arrested with the other women at the suffragette rallies.
When their father has to relocate them temporarily, Victoria begins to get into all kinds of trouble, and eventually scandal ensues. She's met an absolute rascal of a lover, and she may be just about to ruin the family name with her carrying on. Nature takes its course, and Victoria finds herself pregnant with the child of this married man. To save her reputation, Charles agrees to marry her — but Victoria wants little of this. She was never meant to be tied down, and so she convinces her sister to do something that is completely against Olivia's nature.
We can't tell you what that something is, because to do so would destroy the surprise, but here's a sneak peek at what author Steel has in store for readers: the Titanic, the Lusitania, World War I, sweeping Hudson River estates of the rich and famous, and New York in the teens of this century, all the things money can buy, and the tears that come with the purchases. All of this is why we love Danielle Steel and take her stories into our homes and hearts.
Steel has had a bit of variety in her writing year, from her comic novel The Klone and I to her profound memoir of her son's short life, His Bright Life: The Story of Nick Traina, to this, a blockbuster historical about sisters and the men they love. Bravo, Danielle—you are at the top of your form, after all these bestsellers and all these years.
— Jessi Rose Lucas
Jessi Rose Lucas's first romance novel, The Swan Prince, is forthcoming. She lives on the New England coast and is currently working on her second novel, The Tarnished Knight, a medieval romance about Lancelot and Guinevere.