The Ranch

( 37 )

Overview

They had been inseparable as roommates in college, Mary Stuart, Tanya, and Zoe. But in the more than twenty years that followed, the three had moved on with their lives. 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 Tetons, 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 among ...
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The Ranch

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Overview

They had been inseparable as roommates in college, Mary Stuart, Tanya, and Zoe. But in the more than twenty years that followed, the three had moved on with their lives. 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 Tetons, 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 among them runs high. Mary Stuart Walker, married for twenty-one years to a Manhattan lawyer, 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 .... Dr. Zoe Phillips has little time for herself as a single mother to an adopted two-year-old, and as a doctor at an AIDS clinic in San Francisco - 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.
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Editorial Reviews

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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739314500
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Series: Danielle Steel Series
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Abridged, 4 Cassettes, 6 hrs.
  • Product dimensions: 4.42 (w) x 7.09 (h) x 1.17 (d)

Meet the Author

Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world's most popular authors, with over 530 million copies of her novels sold. Her many international bestsellers include Toxic Bachelors, Miracle, ImPossible, Echoes, Second Chance, Ransom, Safe Harbour, 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.

Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world's most popular authors, with over 530 million copies of her novels sold. Her many international bestsellers include Toxic Bachelors, Miracle, ImPossible, Echoes, Second Chance, Ransom, Safe Harbour, 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.

Biography

When it comes to commanding bestseller lists, no writer can come close to Danielle Steel. Her work has been published in 47 countries, in 28 languages. She has been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the author who has spent the most consecutive weeks on The New York Times bestseller list. She has not only published novels, but has written non-fiction, a book of poetry, and two series of children's books. Many of her books have been adapted for television movies, one of which (Jewels) was nominated for two Golden Globe awards. She has received the title of Chevalier of the distinguished Order of Arts and Letters by the French Government for her immense body of work. In short, to say that Steel is the single most popular living writer in the world is no overstatement.

Steel published her first novel, Going Home, when she was a mere 26 years old, and the book introduced readers to many of the themes that would dominate her novels for the next 30-odd years. It is an exploration of human relationships told dramatically, a story of the past's thrall on the present. Anyone familiar with Steel's work will recognize these themes as being close to her heart, as are familial issues, which are at the root of her many mega-sellers.

Although Steel has a reputation among critics as being a writer of fluffy, escapist fare, she never shies away from taking on dark subject matter, having addressed illnesses, incest, suicide, divorce, death, the Holocaust, and war in her work. Of course, even when she is handling unsavory topics, she does so entertainingly and with refinement. Her stories may often cross over into the realm of melodrama, but she never fails to spin a compelling yarn told with a skilled ear for dialogue and character, while consistently showing how one can overcome the greatest of tragedies. Ever prolific, she usually produces several books per year, often juggling multiple projects at the same time.

With all of the time and effort Steel puts into her work (she claims to sometimes spend as much as 20 hours a day at her keyboard), it is amazing that she still has time for a personal life. However, as one might assume from her work, family is still incredibly important to her, and she maintains a fairly private personal life. Fortunately for her millions of fans, she continues to devote more than a small piece of that life to them.

Good To Know

Along with her famed adult novels, Steel has also written two series of books for kids with the purpose of helping them through difficult situations, such as dealing with a new stepfather and coping with the death of a grandparent.

When Steel isn't working on her latest bestseller or spending time with her beloved family, she is devoting her time to one of several philanthropic projects to benefit the mentally ill, the homeless, and abused children.

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

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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 37 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2005

    One of the best!

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2013

    Wuldfire

    Too true.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2013

    Ti daniel

    Hayyy

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2013

    Daniel

    Waits for a slave.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    A.n c .b

    Ill try iv just had a hard day.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 26, 2013

    first DS book and I fell in love! the characters the hardship, f

    first DS book and I fell in love! the characters the hardship, friendships and bond beautiful book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    CONFUZZLED?

    Are u hoku?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    Jaykit

    Pads in

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2013

    HORSE THIEF

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2013

    The hore

    He looks at kate confuzzled

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2013

    Kate

    I have to go. Bye. BTW im NOT coming back

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2013

    A blck horse

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2013

    Yue

    She looker over at the little girl and smiled. "Im Yue, whats your name?" She looked over at Kate. "We don't sell horses here, we board them."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2013

    Kate to horse thief

    She went through the cameras, trying to figure out who had stolen the horse. She hopped on Jocko, a black stallion arabian and rode out, following some tracks. She halted and looked down at a tuft of hair on some brambles. She put her fingers on the track, now crumbling. She continued to ride, finding pieces of the hair from the horses mane.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    great book

    Love her books

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2012

    Ranch

    I realy enjoyed reading this one from her, for me it was such a touching book for me.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2009

    First time Danielle Steel Reader

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2007

    I loved this story sense i first heard it

    This is a great story i loved it from beginning to the end i know that there are other stories out there i have heard second chance miracles and one on twin that lived somewhere and i read that but i never got a chance to find it in cd form

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2005

    Great book

    This is probably one of the greatest books, its not to sexually explained! I love the fact the three women come together and reunite. They really inpire me in ways I never thought a book would do. I reall recommend this book for future reading. EXECLENT book! Thanks, Julie

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2002

    Good Book, BUT..rodeo details were way off!

    I enjoyed the book and the characters in the story. However, I was born and raised in a ranching/rodeo family and was extremely disappointed in the writing concerning rodeo. I was hoping the author would have done the research necessary to convey correct information. Ms. Steel is not knowledgeable when it comes to rodeo and she should have found someone knowledgable to advise her. I did have a good laugh reading some of the passages she wrote because of their inaccuracies.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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