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With 47 novels under her belt, you might think bestselling author Danielle Steel would be ready to take a rest. But much to the delight of her millions of fans, the prolific writer shows no signs of stopping or even slowing down. Steel's capacity for getting straight to the core of what matters most in life is the reason her books strike a chord with so many. And her latest, The Wedding, is no exception, tapping into basic human emotions with aplomb.
On the surface, the Steinberg family, one of Hollywood's royal families, appears to have it all. Its patriarch, Simon, is an Academy Award-winning producer, and his wife, Blaire, has been writing and directing a highly successful television show that has been winning awards for nearly a decade. Their youngest daughter, Samantha, is a fashion model and their oldest, Allegra, is an entertainment lawyer. Only their son, Scott, has chosen a non-Hollywood career path, though in his role as an orthopedic surgeon, he has occasion to tend to some of Tinseltown's most famous.
But while the Steinberg family may seem to glitter on the outside, there are problems lurking beneath the surface. For Allegra, it's her two-year relationship with an emotionally stingy lawyer who has yet to divorce his wife. When the relationship comes to an abrupt and shattering end, happiness seems light-years away.
The demands of her highly volatile clientele, which includes some of Hollywood's biggest names, leave Allegra with little time to worry about her love life. Then she makes a fateful trip to New York, meets novelist Jeff Hamilton, and finds her world turned suddenly upside down. Before long, Allegra is planning a wedding that is mere months away, and happiness seems within her grasp at last. But first life has a few more surprises in store.
Seventeen-year-old Samantha gets into some trouble that forces Allegra to take a hard look at her plans for the future. There is an obvious strain between Simon and Blair, the cause of which Allegra suspects but doesn't want to believe. When Allegra meets her future mother-in-law, she discovers the woman is a bigoted, pretentious old harridan with an intense hatred or Jews. As if all that isn't enough to make life complicated, Allegra's future with Jeff is threatened by the demands of her career and her spoiled, needy clientele, forcing her to take stock and reconsider her priorities. Throughout it all, Allegra's upcoming nuptials serve as a sort of anchor and symbol for all -- a symbol of hope, love, forgiveness, and reconciliation.
Steel does an excellent job of balancing the amusingly self-centered antics of the glitterati with sympathy for the havoc their fame often wreaks on their lives. While the characters in The Wedding all lead lives of glamour and glitz, their problems are ordinary and familiar. And Steel, in her classic fashion, takes delightful advantage of life's common peccadilloes by tapping into the emotional vaults inherent in us all.