The Ranch

The Ranch

4.3 38
by Danielle Steel
     
 

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They had been inseparable in college, Mary Stuart, Tanya, and Zoe. But in the more than twenty years that followed, the three had moved on with their lives, settled in different cities, and found successful careers and new roles as mothers and wives. By chance, each would find herself alone for a few weeks one summer, wrestling with both the present and the past. At a

Overview

They had been inseparable in college, Mary Stuart, Tanya, and Zoe. But in the more than twenty years that followed, the three had moved on with their lives, settled in different cities, and found successful careers and new roles as mothers and wives. By chance, each would find herself alone for a few weeks one summer, wrestling with both the present and the past. At a sprawling ranch in the foothills of Wyoming's Grand Teton Range, the three women come together and find courage, healing, and truth, and reach out to each other once again.

Despite the honesty they once shared, now pretense between them runs high. Mary Stuart Walker, married for twenty-two years to a Manhattan lawyer, kept herself busy with volunteer work, and now masks the loneliness that consumes her life. A year has past, and Mary Stuart still hasn't gotten over the guilt, or the fear that her husband will never forgive her for their son's death...Tanya Thomas, an award-winning singer and rock star, enjoys all the trappings of fame and success--a mansion in Bel Air, legions of fans, and a broken heart. All the Grammy awards in the world can't make up for the children she wanted but never had, the men who have taken advantage of her and just gone along for the ride and still are...Dr. Zoe Phillips has her hands full as a single mother to an adopted two-year old, and doctor at an AIDS clinic in San Francisco. Predictably, as they all know, she is as liberal as she ever was, and marriage was never a dream she coveted or shared with them. Tending to her patients is a full-time job that leaves Zoe little time for herself--until unexpected news forces her to reevaluate both her future, and her current life.

But despite the changes in their lives, their friendship is still a bond they all treasure and share. For each of the women, a few weeks at the ranch will bring healing and release, as old hurts are buried, ancient secrets revealed, and love replaced or renewed. In The Ranch, bestselling novelist Danielle Steel brings reality to the meaning of friendship, with dramas whose truths we all share.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
Twenty years ago, in college, the three female protagonists of Steel's 40th novel were "like sisters." Now, Mary Stuart Walker is on all the best charity boards in Manhattan, Tanya Thomas is a Hollywood megastar and Dr. Zoe Phillips runs an AIDS clinic. But sometimes it's tough on women who seem to have it all. Mary Stuart's marriage is glacial, and her husband, a big-shot lawyer, blames her for their son's suicide. Tanya's third husband walks out on her, unable to withstand life in the tabloid fishbowl. Zoe, single mother of an adopted child, learns that she has AIDS. What to do? If you're one of these three, you head for a Wyoming dude ranch for a little R&R-Reunion and Romance. In Steel's cotton-candy world, horses, female comradeship and new men prove the panacea for every woe-except for bad writing. Steel seems to be going for the world record here for sentences that begin with the word "And," imparting a herky-jerky rhythm to her narrative. The trials of being a megastar are granted far more dramatic weight-both in terms of sheer page length and depth of discussion-than are those of someone stricken with AIDS. As usual, Steel's world is one in which, no matter what they're going through, the women always look "spectacular." As for the real world, there's just no room for it here.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Twenty years ago, in college, the three female protagonists of Steel's 40th novel were "like sisters." Now, Mary Stuart Walker is on all the best charity boards in Manhattan, Tanya Thomas is a Hollywood megastar and Dr. Zoe Phillips runs an AIDS clinic. But sometimes it's tough on women who seem to have it all. Mary Stuart's marriage is glacial, and her husband, a big-shot lawyer, blames her for their son's suicide. Tanya's third husband walks out on her, unable to withstand life in the tabloid fishbowl. Zoe, single mother of an adopted child, learns that she has AIDS. What to do? If you're one of these three, you head for a Wyoming dude ranch for a little R&RReunion and Romance. In Steel's cotton-candy world, horses, female comradeship and new men prove the panacea for every woeexcept for bad writing. Steel seems to be going for the world record here for sentences that begin with the word "And," imparting a herky-jerky rhythm to her narrative. The trials of being a megastar are granted far more dramatic weightboth in terms of sheer page length and depth of discussionthan are those of someone stricken with AIDS. As usual, Steel's world is one in which, no matter what they're going through, the women always look "spectacular." As for the real world, there's just no room for it here. (May)
Library Journal
Friendship, love, and all the usual Steel sentiments in a variety of formats.
Kirkus Reviews
Predictable Steel (Silent Honor, 1996, etc.)—competent but uninspired—as three fortysomething women find romance, love, friendship, and hope (they already have the wardrobe) at an expensive dude ranch in Wyoming.

Tanya Thomas, a rock-and-movie superstar; Mary Stuart Walker, perfect wife to a successful lawyer; and Zoe Phillips, a doctor who runs an AIDS clinic in San Francisco, were dorm mates at Berkeley. A fourth friend, Ellie, committed suicide in their senior year, and Zoe and Mary Stuart haven't talked since. Twenty-six years later, Tanya's third marriage has just fallen apart; Mary Stuart's son Todd has committed suicide, and her husband, who seems to blame her, has not made love to her in a year; and Zoe, like a Mother Teresa, leads a selfless life attending to her incurably ill patients, and has herself just been diagnosed with HIV. Tanya tricks her two old roomies into spending two weeks' vacation with her at the ranch. While there, they bond and then pair off. Zoe conducts a romance by phone with Sam Warner, a doctor who's always loved her, and who asks her to marry him when he hears that she has AIDS. Tanya, a simple Texas girl at heart, falls for Gordon, a wrangler at the ranch, and spends blissful nights in his cabin. And Mary Stuart gets her confidence back in the company of a successful writer, who wants to steal her away from her lout of a husband. Each of these men is "there" for his woman; likewise, each of these women is lovingly "there" for her friends.

It's quite a feat that Steel can combine the tragedy of AIDS with color-coordinated cowboy boots and still create characters a reader can care about. Her mannered style, however, has begun to tilt toward caricature.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385318716
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/02/1997
Pages:
416

Read an Excerpt


"When are you coming in? I'll meet you at the airport," Mary Stuart offered.

"I'll pick you up on the way into town, and we can go to the hotel and talk. I'll be in on Tuesday." Tanya was flying in on the recording company's plane, as she always did. It was just like hopping in a car for her, and the casual way she flew around always amused Mary Stuart. "I'll call you from the plane."

"I'll be here," Mary Stuart said, feeling suddenly like a kid. There was something about the way Tanya swept her up and took her under her wing that made her feel young again, instead of a thousand years old. She grinned at the thought of seeing her again, it had been ages since the last time, she couldn't even remember when, although Tanya could, distinctly.

"See you, kiddo," Tanya said, smiling at her end. And then, sounding more serious, and as gentle as Mary Stuart always remembered, "I love you."

"I know." She nodded as tears sprang to her eyes. It was kindness which Mary Stuart could no longer tolerate. The loneliness was so much easier to deal with. "I love you too," she said, choking on her own words, and then, "...I'm sorry..." She closed her eyes, fighting back the waves of her own emotions.

"Don't be, baby...it's okay...I know...I know." But the truth was she didn't. No one knew. No one could possibly understand what she felt now. Not even her husband.

"I'll see you next week," Mary Stuart said, sounding composed again, but Tanya wasn't fooled. There was a flood of agony held behind the dam that Mary Stuart had built to keep her grief in check, and Tanya couldn't help wondering how long she could stand it.

"See youTuesday. Just wear jeans. We'll go have a hamburger, or order room service or something. See ya..." And then she was gone, and Mary Stuart was thinking of her, and the days in Berkeley, before they had all moved on to their lives, before life had gotten so full, and so hard, and they had all had their dues to pay. It had all been so easy then...at first. Until Ellie had died, just before graduation. That had been their entry into the real world, and as she thought of it, she glanced at a photograph on her night table, of the four of them in freshman year. They looked like children to her now, even younger than her own daughter. She saw Tanya with her long blond mane, looking sexy and sensational, and Zoe with long red pigtails, so earnest and intense, and Ellie so ethereal with a little halo of blond curls, and Mary Stuart herself, all eyes and legs and long dark hair, looking straight into the camera. It seemed a hundred years ago, and it was. She thought about them for a long time, and eventually she fell asleep on her bed, in her jeans and her pink T-shirt. And when Bill came in at eleven o'clock, he found her there. He stood looking at her for a long time, and then turned off the light. He never spoke to her and never touched her, and she slept in her jeans all night. And when she woke the next morning, he had already gone back to the office. He had simply passed through her life once again, like the stranger he was now.

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

Hometown:
San Francisco, California
Date of Birth:
August 14, 1947
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Education:
Educated in France. Also attended Parsons School of Design, 1963, and New York University, 1963-67
Website:
http://www.randomhouse.com/features/steel/

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The Ranch 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read at least 37 books written by Danielle Steel. Each time I think it's her best yet. This book was predictable, but at the same time, you want a continuation on each character to see what happens next in their lives. Each character was believable and you grew to care about them as if they were real. The only one that surprised me slightly was Mary Stuart, a part of me tells me she made the wrong choice.
Mistress_Nyte More than 1 year ago
I realized about two thirds of the way through this book, which I had been devouring ever since I started to read it, that I had in fact read this book once before. And I loved it the second time through as well. I enjoyed the three main characters so very much, and I feel like I could identify with all in some way, even though they all are written as very successful women, and having all achieved an extraordinary standard of living, neither of which applies to me. I am highly recommending this book for a nice read, and happy endings, even though tragedy is woven throughout the entire story. At this time in my life, however, I do not feel the need to keep this book on my shelf. Too much has changed in me since the first time I read it, and too much hits home in it for me to want to read it again. But I believe it to be a fantastic book, and it makes me miss the mountains more than I already do.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hayyy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ill try iv just had a hard day.
chineeangel More than 1 year ago
first DS book and I fell in love! the characters the hardship, friendships and bond beautiful book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Are u hoku?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pads in
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A figure dressed entirely in black with a mask on slips into the ranch. The mysterious person enters the stable. A pair of hazel eyes observes the horses as the owner of the eyes paces by the stalls. The mask-wearing figure stops before a stall. The person's eyes settle on a magnificent chestnut mare with a white stripe. Slipping a bridle over the horse's head and a saddle on her back, the black-clad figure leads the horse away from the ranch. Once they are a safe distance away, the horse gallopd into the night, with the black-clad rider on her back.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to go. Bye. BTW im NOT coming back
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A bllck horse with a sign tied to her walks through. The sign says her name Luna. She is a tall black horse with a long maine and tail. On her forehead is a white cresent moon shape.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love her books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I realy enjoyed reading this one from her, for me it was such a touching book for me.
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This was the first time I read a Danielle Steel book. I was just looking for a book to read at work, and a co-worker asked if I would like to try reading this book. I am so glad I did read it, because it mad me love this Author. This book made me laugh, and cry all at the same time. So I give this book more than a 5 star. I am now a big fan of Daneille Steel and can not wait to read more books of hers.