by Danielle Steel

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback)

$7.99 View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, September 25


First time in paperback!

This compelling, centuries-spanning novel brilliantly interweaves the lives of two women—a writer working in the heart of modern academia and a daring young Sioux Indian on an incredible journey in the eighteenth century. The result is an unforgettable story of courage in the face of the unknown.
At the age of thirty-eight, Brigitte Nicholson has a job she likes, a man she loves, and a book she’s writing that she will finish—someday. Someday is Brigitte’s watchword. Someday she and Ted will clarify their relationship. Someday she will stop playing it so safe. Then, on a snowy day in Boston, Brigitte’s life is jolted and everything she has counted on changes. As she struggles to plot a new course, Brigitte agrees to help her mother on a family genealogy project and makes a stunning discovery that reaches back to the French aristocracy. How did Brigitte’s mysterious ancestor Wachiwi, a Dakota Sioux, travel from the Great Plains to the French court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette? How did she come to marry into Brigitte’s family? What is the truth behind the tantalizing clues in the fragmented, centuries-old records? Traveling from South Dakota to Paris, following the threads of Wachiwi’s life, Brigitte finds herself in the forefront of her own story. With a powerful family legacy coming to life around her, someday is no longer in the future. Instead, in Danielle Steel’s mesmerizing novel, someday is now.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440245162
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/27/2011
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 346,971
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About 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.


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

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


There was a heavy snowfall that had started the night before as Brigitte Nicholson sat at her desk in the admissions office of Boston University, meticulously going over applications. Other staffers had checked them before her, but she always liked to take a last look at the files herself to make sure that each one was complete. They were in the midst of making their decisions, and in six weeks acceptances and denials would be going out to the applicants. Inevitably, there would be some ecstatic prospective students and more often many broken hearts. It was difficult knowing that they had the lives and futures of earnest young people in their hands. Sifting through the applications was Brigitte's busiest time of year, and although the ultimate choices were made by committee, her job was vetting applications, and conducting individual interviews when students requested them. In those cases, she would submit her notes and comments with the application. But essentially, grades, test scores, teachers' recommendations, extracurricular activities, and sports contributed heavily to the final result. A candidate either looked like an asset to the school or not. Brigitte always felt the weight of those decisions heavily on her shoulders. She was meticulous about going over all the materials they submitted. Ultimately, she had to think about what was best for the school, not for the students. She was used to the dozens of calls and e-mails she got from anxious high school counselors, doing all they could to help their candidates. Brigitte was proud to be associated with BU, and much to her own amazement, had worked in the admissions office for ten years. The years had flown by, seemingly in an instant. She was number three in the department and had turned down opportunities for promotion many times. She was content where she was and had never been terribly ambitious.

At twenty-eight, Brigitte had come to BU as a graduate student, to get a master's in anthropology after assorted minor jobs post-college, followed by two years of working at a women's shelter in Peru and another one in Guatemala, and a year of traveling in India and Europe. She had a bachelor's degree in anthropology with a minor in women's and gender studies from Columbia. The plight of women in underdeveloped countries had always been a primary concern to her. Brigitte had taken a job in the admissions office just until she could complete her degree. She had wanted to go to Afghanistan for a year after that, but like so many other graduate students who took job sat the university while they were there, she stayed. It was comfortable, safe, and a protected atmosphere she came to love. And as soon as she got her master's, she started working on her Ph.D. The academic world was addictive and womb like, along with its intellectual challenges and pursuit of knowledge and degrees. And it was easy to hide from the real world and its demands. It was a haven of scholars and youth. She didn't love her job in admissions, but she really, really liked it. She felt productive and useful, and she was dedicated to helping the right students get into the school.

They had more than sixteen thousand undergraduate students, and over thirty thousand applications every year. Some were eliminated summarily, for inadequate test scores or grades, but as the number of eligible applicants got whittled down, Brigitte became more and more focused on the process. She was meticulous about detail in everything she did. She didn't have her doctorate yet, but was still working on it, taking a class or two every semester. At thirty-eight, she was satisfied with her life. And for the last seven years, she had been working on a book. She wanted it to be the definitive work on the subject of voting and women's rights around the world. While getting her master's, Brigitte had written countless papers about the topic.

Her thesis argued that how countries handled the voting rights of women defined who they were as a nation. She felt that the vote was crucial to women's rights. Her colleagues who had read what she'd written so far were impressed by her eloquence but not surprised by her thoroughness and diligence. One criticism of her work was that she sometimes got so involved in the minutiae of what she was studying that she neglected the big picture. She tended to get caught up in the details.

She was friendly and kind, trustworthy and responsible. She was a deeply caring person and extremely hardworking, and thorough about everything she did. The only complaint that her best friend, Amy Lewis, made of her, to her face as a rule, was that she lacked passion. She intellectualized everything, and followed her brain more than her heart. Brigitte thought passion, as Amy referred to it, was a flaw, not a quality, a dangerous thing. It made you lose perspective and direction. Brigitte liked staying on course, and keeping her goals in plain view.

She didn't like rocking the boat or taking chances, on anything. Risk-taking was not her style. She was someone you could count on, not someone who would act impulsively, or without a great deal of thought. And she herself readily admitted that she was slow to make decisions while she weighed all the pros and cons.

Brigitte estimated that she was halfway through her book. She planned to speed up the process and finish it in five years, around the time she got her Ph.D. Twelve years spent on a book covering such an important subject seemed reasonable to her, since she was also working full-time and taking classes toward her doctorate. She was not in any rush. She had decided that if she completed both her doctoral degree and her book by the time she was forty-three, she'd be pleased. Her steady, relentless, unruffled way of dealing with things sometimes drove her friend Amy crazy. Brigitte was not a fast-track kind of person and hated change. Amy thought Brigitte should live life to the fullest, and leap into things more spontaneously. Amy was a trained marriage and family counselor and social worker. She ran the university's counseling office, and liberally offered Brigitte her advice and opinions. They were total opposites and yet best friends. Amy dealt with everything-emotional, intellectual, and professional—at full speed.

Brigitte was tall, thin, almost angular, with jet-black hair, dark eyes, high cheekbones, and olive skin. She looked almost Middle Eastern or Italian, although her heritage was Irish and French. The Irish heritage of her father accounted for her jet-black hair. Amy was small and blond with a tendency to put on weight if she didn't exercise, and she had all the passion about life that she claimed Brigitte didn't. Brigitte liked to accuse her friend of being "hyper," with the attention span of a flea, which they both knew wasn't true. But Amy took on new projects constantly, and handled multitasking with ease. While Brigitte had struggled with one epic tome, Amy had published three nonfiction books about dealing with kids. She had two children of her own although she wasn't married. On her fortieth birthday, after years of unsuccessful affairs with graduate students younger than she was or with married professors, she had gone to a sperm bank. And at forty-four, she had two boys, now one and three, who drove her happily crazy. She regularly nagged Brigitte to start having babies of her own. She told Brigitte that at thirty-eight she had no time to waste, her "eggs were getting older by the minute." Brigitte was far more casual about it, and wasn't worried. Modern science made it possible to conceive far older than in her mother's day, and she felt confident about it, despite Amy's dire warnings that she was putting motherhood off for too long.

Brigitte knew she'd have children one day, and more than likely marry Ted, although they never discussed it. There was something about living in the protected atmosphere of academia that made you feel, or Brigitte anyway, that she was going to be young forever. Amy always snapped her back to reality by saying they were middle-aged. It was impossible to believe by looking at either of them. Neither one looked her age, nor felt it, and Ted Weiss, Brigitte's boyfriend of six years, was three years younger. At thirty-five, he looked, felt, and acted like a kid. He had studied archaeology at Harvard, got his doctorate at BU, and had worked in the department of archaeology at BU for the last six years. His dream was to have his own dig. BU had many around the world, in Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan, China, Greece, Spain, and Guatemala. He had visited each of them at least once during his time at BU. Brigitte had never gone with him to see them. She used the time he was away to continue doing research on her book. She was a lot less interested in traveling than she had been right after college. Now she was happy at home.

Brigitte's relationship with Ted was a happy one. They lived in their own apartments quite near to each other, and spent the weekends together, usually at his place because it was bigger. He cooked, she didn't. They often socialized with his graduate students, particularly those in the doctoral program, like her. They also saw a lot of the other professors in their respective departments. They both loved the academic life, although Brigitte's work in the admissions office wasn't scholarly, but the life they led and shared suited them to perfection. It was an atmosphere filled with intense dedication to higher learning, and both of them admitted that most of the time they felt no different from their students. They were thirsty for all they could learn, and loved the intellectual world. Like all universities, there were the usual minor scandals, affairs, and petty jealousies, but on the whole, they both enjoyed the life they led, and had much in common.

Brigitte could see herself married to Ted, although she couldn't figure out when. And she assumed Ted would ask her one day. They had no reason to get married for the moment, since neither of them was anxious for children. Eventually, but not yet. They both felt too young for any life other than the one they were living. Brigitte's mother often voiced the same concerns as Amy, and reminded her that she wasn't getting any younger. Brigitte just laughed at them both and said she had no need to nail Ted to the floor, he wasn't going anywhere, to which Amy always responded cynically, "You never know." But her own bad experiences with men colored her view of the situation. She was always somewhat convinced that, given half a chance, most men would disappoint you, although even she had to admit that Ted was a really sweet guy, without a mean bone in his body.

Brigitte said openly that she loved him, but it wasn't something they talked about much, nor did they talk about the future. They lived in the present. Each one was perfectly content living alone during the work week, and their weekends together were always relaxing and fun. They never argued, and disagreed about few things. It was a totally comfortable arrangement. Everything about Brigitte's life was steady, her job, her relationship with Ted, and her slow but steady pace on her book, which would eventually be published by the academic press.

According to Amy, Brigitte's life wasn't exciting, but she liked everything about it, and it worked well for her. She didn't need or want excitement in her life, and looking far ahead to the future, she could see where it was going. Her life had direction and forward motion, even if not with great speed. Just like her studies for her Ph.D., and her book. That was enough for her. It was a journey. She was in no hurry to reach her destination or make any snap decisions. Despite her mother and Amy's cynicism, concerns, and dire warnings, Brigitte wasn't worried about it all.

"So whose life are you ruining today?" Amy asked her with an impish grin as she bounced into the doorway of Brigitte's office.

"That's a terrible thing to say!" Brigitte said, pretending to look stern. "On the contrary, I'm checking to make sure the applicants sent us all the right stuff."

"Yeah, so you can turn them down. Poor kids, I still remember getting those awful letters. 'Although we were very impressed by the work you've done during your senior year, we can't figure out what the hell you were doing all through junior year. Were you drunk or on drugs or just lazy beyond belief? We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors, but not at our school...' Shit, I cried every time I got one of those letters, and so did my mother. She figured I'd wind up working at McDonald's, not a bad job, but she wanted me to be a doctor. It took her years to forgive me for being 'just' a social worker." Amy's grades for junior year couldn't have been that bad, Brigitte knew, since she had gone to Brown, and eventually got a master's of science degree at Stanford before getting her social worker's degree at the Columbia School of Social Work in New York.

They were all academic snobs at BU. In the academic world, where you got your degrees really mattered, just as how often you published did later. If Brigitte had been teaching at BU, she couldn't have lingered over her book for the past seven years without publishing it sooner. There would have been a lot more pressure on her, which was why she was happier working in the admissions office. She didn't have the competitive spirit you needed to survive as a professor. Amy taught an undergraduate psych class and ran the counseling office, and did both well. She left her kids at the campus day care center while she worked. And she had a profound love for young people generally, and her students. She set up the first suicide hotline at BU after losing too many students in her early years of counseling. It was a common occurrence at all universities, and an epidemic that worried them all. Brigitte didn't like the implication that by turning down applicants to BU she was ruining their lives. She hated to think of it that way. As usual, Amy's opinions went right to the heart of the matter, and were bluntly expressed. She didn't mince words, whereas Brigitte was always more careful and more diplomatic about what she said, and how she said it. Amy used a more frontal and confrontational approach, with colleagues or friends.

"So what are you doing tonight?" Amy asked her pointedly, curling up in the chair on the other side of Brigitte's desk.

 "Tonight? Why? Is it something special?" Brigitte looked blank, and Amy rolled her eyes.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Legacy 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 426 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In less than forty-eight hours, Brigitte Nicholson's life is shattered starting with her archeologist boyfriend Ted abruptly dumping her and finishing with Boston University Admissions Office firing her. Stunned with no place to go, Brigitte agrees to assist her mom who is working on a family tree. Brigitte goes to Salt Lake City to research her ancestry at Family History Library. There she uncovers a strange mystery about her heritage as an ancestor Dakota Sioux princess Wachiwi who apparently traveled to France just before the French Revolution. While there she married a marquis. Wachiwi as the Marquise de Margerac was buried in Brittany rather than the Great Plains. Following clues takes the researcher to Sioux Falls and Paris. In France, Brigitte and Sorbonne Professor Marc Henri meet and are attached to one another. Their encounter and her family project begin to bring back la vivre de joie sprit that Brigitte had lost to complacency. This is an entertaining tale mostly because of the exciting look at the life of Wachiwi, which is inserted throughout the enjoyable present day story line of Brigitte's research. Fast-paced in two centuries, readers will wonder what lessons Brigitte will take from the stirring life of the Sioux princess as Danielle Steel provides a winner for her fans. Harriet Klausner
12GABBY12 More than 1 year ago
LEGACY, by Danielle Steele Reviewed by Hana Gabrielle Packard Thirty-eight year old Brigitte Nicholson, who works as an assistant admissions director at Boston University, (so-so, not exciting or stimulating) and having been in a long-time relationship with Ted Weiss, an archeology professor, and fully expecting to marry him, receives a couple of simultaneous blows that completely change her life. Ted suddenly throws her over for new expectations and shortly after that she is laid off after eleven years from the University. As a last resort she visits her mom who is working on a project researching their family genealogy. She decides to help her as she has nothing better to do. Brigitte goes to Salt Lake City to research her ancestry at Family History Library. She uncovers a strange mystery and discovers a love story that involves a French Aristocrat and a Sioux Indian Princess, Wachwi. Having become excited and interested she jumps on a plane to France to do more research where she meets Sorbonne Professor Marc Henri who helps her so much more than she had anticipated. I thoroughly enjoyed the well-researched and very interesting history included in the wonderful love story and the feel-good, search for a better life.and finding it theme; always a favorite of mine! I've been a fan of Danielle Steele for years.
Francena More than 1 year ago
Another wonderful read by Danielle Steel. I hesitated starting this book because of the negative reviews and I am so glad that I decided to read it. All I can say was that I truly loved this book and like other Danielle Steel books, I was sad when it came to the end. The story of Wachiwi I found inspirational and a wonderful addition to this book.
Jazz1958 More than 1 year ago
This proved to be another awesome Steele book.
bevcricket More than 1 year ago
This was a light read. You can read the book and watch television at the same time without missing anything. It is not as well written as most of Steel's books. The word, "profusely" is overused. As for the story and the characters, I enjoyed the way she intertwined the past and the present... the potpourri of characters was somewhat unique. I have read a couple of Steel's books twice. I would not read this one again. The ending was easily predictable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read just about all that Daniell Stell writes. I have found that most fall in the area of ok and good. Some are good for light reading, others have a story that has some substance to it, but not much more. This is the first time I have written review because I found Legacy to be the first book that I thought was terrific. I truly enjoyed learning about the research that was done by the main character, the second story about the Indian relative, and the extent of effort that was put in to the wriitng. I was sad when the story ended and am hoping mayber there is a sequel in it. My first thought when I finished reading this book, was "wow Danielle is now a grown up author" I hope her new style of writing continues, and I am looking forward to see if this new style continues. Excellant all the way!!!
eliselb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've enjoyed a couple of Danielle Steel's books in the distant past, but couldn't get beyond the first few chapters. It seemed as if she'd realized how popular genealogy was and decided to throw together something relating to it. It was very slow and boring and even though she spent a lot of time attempting to develop her main character, there was no depth. Many of the sentences were poorly constructed. One example from page 77 - "The artifacts at the institute were ancient and fragile, and had been carefully preserved, and once again Brigitte was able to find a librarian, who in this case was not just helpful, but fascinated by the story Brigitte told". I don't mind long sentences, but...she should fire her editor. I wanted to like it and I very rarely fail to finish a book. My mother recommended this to me as I've been an avid genealogist for over 20 years, but that wasn't enough to hold my interest.
dbhutch on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the story of how Brigette's life is changed from the normal easy make no waves kind if life to one of adventure when she losses her long time boyfriend and job with in days of each other. She soon sets out to help her mother with the family tree (which she things is boring ) and soon discovers a family member that intrigs her and she sets off to find everything she can bout the Sioux girl in her family tree .. in Paris she finds Marc who helps her after returning to Boston she gets an email for a job in Paris and goes back and starts things with Marc
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful tale with a little history meshed with today. The details of Wachiwi and her life are so vivid it feels like you are in the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have many book of Danielle Steel, but this one I can read over and over again. One of the best books of Danielle Steel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
pookies-girl More than 1 year ago
I was not prepared to like this book. Yet was very pleasantly surprised to find the writing hooked me from page one. Everyone has felt like their lives have imploded. It is just what you do with your life when that happens that matters. This was a touching story of two strong women that made a difference in their family and moved in an out of their comfort zone to make their lives better. A must read for women of all ages
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My name is spiritclaw im a gray tom with whites stripes in my tail please let me join and thank you flameclaw fot telling people to join hurricane clan
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"I come from a different clan... the Dimond Clan!!" BloodStar exclaimed. BloodStar busted into the camp and tore into BearStar's ribcage!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I know this is a little off-subject but if you want to subscribe to my new newspaper go to caty 1 result! Send in your stories at skill all results!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh bye.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Danielle's books, and have never found any of them not a winner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Comes into the camp and wonders what shes misses.