What They’re Reading

Since this week we had Valentine’s Day, we thought a romance writer would be a natural choice, so we chose the queen of romance writers Danielle Steel. Although, she has two favorite books, so we had to feature them both. One she said was a favorite from growing up and the other she read when she was 18 and inspired her to write her first book at 19.

Her favorite childhood book was Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Jane Eyre is an extraordinary coming-of-age story featuring one of the most independent and strong-willed female protagonists in all of literature. Poor and plain, Jane Eyre begins life as a lonely orphan in the household of her hateful aunt. Despite the oppression she endures at home, and the later torture of boarding school, Jane manages to emerge with her spirit and integrity unbroken. She becomes a governess at Thornfield Hall, where she finds herself falling in love with her employer—the dark, impassioned Mr. Rochester. But an explosive secret tears apart their relationship, forcing Jane to face poverty and isolation once again.

The novel that inspired Steel to begin her writing career is Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan. Bonjour Tristesse is a bittersweet tale narrated by Cécile, a seventeen-year-old girl on the brink of womanhood, whose meddling in her father’s love life leads to tragic consequences. Freed from boarding school, Cécile lives in unchecked enjoyment with her youngish, widowed father — an affectionate rogue, dissolute and promiscuous. Having accepted the constantly changing women in his life, Cécile pursues a sexual conquest of her own with a “tall and almost beautiful” law student. Then, a new woman appears in her father’s life. Feeling threatened but empowered, Cécile sets in motion a devastating plan that claims a surprising victim.

Danielle Steel is an American novelist, currently the bestselling author alive and the fourth bestselling author of all time, with over 800 million copies sold. Based in California for most of her career, Steel has produced several books a year, often juggling up to five projects at once. All her novels have been bestsellers, including those issued in hardback. Her formula is fairly consistent, often involving rich families facing a crisis, threatened by dark elements such as jail, fraud, blackmail and suicide.

Steel has also published children’s fiction and poetry, as well as raising funds for the treatment of mental illness. Her books have been translated into 28 languages, with 22 adapted for television, including two that have received Golden Globe nominations.

danielle steel

Jane Eyrebonjour tristesse
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