On Sale: February 23, 2010
Featuring: Victoria Dawson
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Women's Fiction Contemporary
In this heartfelt and incisive new novel, Danielle Steel
celebrates the virtues of unconventional beauty while
exploring deeply resonant issues of weight, self-image,
sisterhood, and family.
A chubby little girl with
blond hair, blue eyes, and ordinary looks, Victoria Dawson
has always felt out of place in her family, especially in
body-conscious L.A. Her father, Jim, is tall and slender,
and her mother, Christina, is a fine-boned, dark-haired
beauty. Both are self-centered, outspoken, and disappointed
by their daughter’s looks. When Victoria is six, she sees a
photograph of Queen Victoria, and her father has always said
she looks just like her. After the birth of Victoria’s
perfect younger sister, Gracie, her father liked to refer to
his firstborn as “our tester cake.” With Gracie, everyone
agreed that Jim and Christina got it right.
her parents and sister can eat anything and not gain an
ounce, Victoria must watch everything she eats, as well as
endure her father’s belittling comments about her body and
see her academic achievements go unacknowledged. Ice cream
and oversized helpings of all the wrong foods give her
comfort, but only briefly. The one thing she knows is that
she has to get away from home, and after college in Chicago,
she moves to New York City.
Landing her dream job as
a high school teacher, Victoria loves working with her
students and wages war on her weight at the gym. Despite
tension with her parents, Victoria remains close to her
sister. And though they couldn’t be more different in looks,
they love each other unconditionally. But regardless of her
accomplishments, Victoria’s parents know just what to say to
bring her down. She will always be her father’s “big girl,”
and her mother’s constant disapproval is equally
When Grace announces her engagement to a man
who is an exact replica of their narcissistic father,
Victoria worries about her sister’s future happiness, and
with no man of her own, she feels like a failure once again.
As the wedding draws near, a chance encounter, an act of
stunning betrayal, and a family confrontation lead to a
Behind Victoria is a lifetime of hurt
and neglect she has tried to forget, and even ice cream can
no longer dull the pain. Ahead is a challenge and a risk: to
accept herself as she is, celebrate it, and claim the
victories she has fought so hard for and deserves. Big girl
or not, she is terrific and discovers that herself.
47 comments posted.
Re: Big Girl
No not really...I was about 7 years old when I read my first romance...I snuck into my Mum's stash of Barbara Cartland novels and have been hooked on romances since. I actually don't read as many historical romances as I used...You wanna hear something funny...I tried reading Danielle Steele once and just couldn't get into her books so she's one of the authors whose works I haven't followed up at all.
(Anna Hoque 9:21am March 21, 2010)
Hi Sandi--I left a comment on Facebook also (I've been having trouble getting on here.)Anyway, the first adult novel I read was one of my dad's books. I don't remember the name but I read it behind closed bedroom doors at night. :) I do remember reading Doctor Zhivago and Gone with the Wind when still in junior high. I read your comments about listening to Steele being better than reading with interest. Perhaps I should try an audio. I used to read a lot of her stuff. My mom was a big fan also.
(Mary Perry 11:51am March 21, 2010)
Humm, I can't say I'm not as enthralled as I was. But Jude Deveraux was my first "adult" romance, and I still love her. She's written a few books I didn't care for but those are rare and few in number.
I'm can't really think of anyone else. I'll have to think on this today and come back.........
Great post Sandi!!!
(Wilma Keel 12:30pm March 21, 2010)
I can't believe the Promise was your
first adult book! Mine too. It is the
first book that I read for pleasure in
college and is what got me hooked on
reading. I stayed up all night reading it
and finished at 5 am!
(Molly Wilsbacher 12:33pm March 21, 2010)
I was about 13 and sneaked Valley of the Dolls.Lege70542
(Eva Lege 12:35pm March 21, 2010)
Sandi, I can't for the life of me remember my first adult book, but I think it was Mrs. Mike.. great romantic story about love and hardships of life in the Yukon. Or it could have been Barbara Taylor Bradford's A Woman of Substance. I fell in love with this series and her writing. But I do remember that The Promise was my first DS book.. And you are right she openned up the doors for us to read authors like Robyn Carr and Sherryl Woods etc.
(Kathleen O'Donnell 12:38pm March 21, 2010)
Grace Livingston Hill! I read every one our local library had and decided that it was my job to find a bad boy and turn him good :>)
(Karin Tillotson 12:44pm March 21, 2010)
The first adult novel I read was THE EXORCIST by William Peter Blatty. In the 8th grade. I remember spending my own money for the paperback version (and wanting to read it because my English teacher thought it was a terrific book and I adored him), bringing it home and my mother read it before I did. And then my oldest sister read it. Then they both ceremoniously threw it in the trash. So, being the creative reader I am, I checked it out of the library along with another book about the same size swapped the covers and read it right under my mother's nose. After I was finished I confessed and we discussed the book. After THE EXORCIST, there was no looking back as far as adult books went. I'd discovered a whole new world--not to mention an entirely new room at the library to explore!!
(Cindy Ferrell 1:09pm March 21, 2010)
For me it would be Rosemary Rogers!
(Danielle DeBuono 1:29pm March 21, 2010)
I can't remember the first book I read, but I do remember my mom reading a page of a book I left on the coffee table. She told me to that I wasn't allowed to read trashy novels anymore. I, in my 7th grade know-it-all attitude, told her I could read about sex or I could be like the other girls in my school and be doing it. She handed me my book and said go while pointing to my room which is where I always escaped to read. LOL!!!
(Dianna Kish 1:36pm March 21, 2010)
No, I don't have an author I once followed that I am ashamed to admit to following now. Some names which were my introduction to romance were Kay Hooper, Sandra Brown, Iris Johansen from the Loveswept line. I believe Susan Brockman and Janet Evanovich also wrote for that line way back when....
(G. Bisbjerg 1:39pm March 21, 2010)
I'm with you with Danielle Steele's books. In fact for some reason this month I've felt compelled to re-read some of her older books! Season of Passion, Palomino and The Promise. I loved it :) I may go back for more. I think the most recent book of hers that I enjoyed like I did the older books was H.R.H. (also a few years old but still fairly recent).
(Erin Suitor 2:12pm March 21, 2010)
My first was Gone With the Wind...it's still one of my favorites. I've dropped several authors I used to follow because I no longer care for their work.
(G S Moch 2:21pm March 21, 2010)
Not sure I can remember my first romanace book. I have always loved to read. I did read the Cherry Ames books if anybody remembers those. But that was about a girl learning to become a nurse in England. Harlequins might be the first romanace books I read.
(Sally Orwig 3:05pm March 21, 2010)
I was all ready to say no that there wasn't anyone I was embarrassed to have read until I read the first comment about Barbara Cartland. My sister brought a few of them home after spending a college semester in England in the 70's and I got hooked on romance when I was about 13. After collecting about 50 or so I moved on to other writers, probably Harlequin books. My parents always encouraged us kids to read so the first adult book I read was Dr No by Ian Fleming when I was 12 or so.
(Elizabeth Mitchell 3:42pm March 21, 2010)
I don't remember my first adult book. I do remember my mom letting me use her adult library card because I was only allowed children and YA at the time. Yes I do remember reading Mary Stewart,Helen Mac Innes, Alistair Mac Lean, Victoria Holt, Gone with the Wind, and Mila 18.
(Joyce Mandle 3:54pm March 21, 2010)
I don't remember the first adult book but I can remember I hid them under my mattress so my parents would not find them. then we were moving and my dad told me that I needed to get the books out from under the mattress and get rid of them if I did not want my mom to find them. LOL. I called my girlfriend and we must have carried and thrown away about 20 paperbacks. what a day,
kim in ohio
(Kim More 4:00pm March 21, 2010)
Interesting question, Sandi. My mind just doesn't remember that far back!! The first adult book I read was over 50 years ago, it might have been Gone With The Wind or any other book that was around in the early 50's!!! Yea, I'm dating myself but that is okay. I've been hooked on reading since I was very young as I grew up to the ripe age of 13 with no TV and then there was just one channel. Oh, how the world has changed. I don't read Danielle Steele anymore unless someone passes one of her books on to me & then it usually sits a long time before I get to it. Two of my favorite books by her are Thurston House & Fine Things. I also loved Message From Nam and Palamino. I still have several books of hers that I kept partly because they are hardbacks.
As always you have given us something interesting to think about.
(Donna McClure 4:38pm March 21, 2010)
Mine was a Woodweiss novel. I think it was Shanna.
(Marlene Breakfield 4:39pm March 21, 2010)
P.S. As an "older" adult I never feel guilty about anything I read. It would just be useless and why should you feel guilty about something that gives you pleasure.
(Donna McClure 4:39pm March 21, 2010)
Wow, do some of these posts take me back, esp the Danielle Steele posts about "the promise", but the first adult book I read would be by Judy blume, first "forever"at least adult compared to her kids books and being discretely passed around the middle school classroom and then "wifey"
(Kelly Holt 4:41pm March 21, 2010)
I don't feel embarrassed or guilty about anything I read or have read. I'm a grown-up. I'm allowed.
(Mary Preston 4:45pm March 21, 2010)
Does anyone remember the scandal "Peyton Place" caused? My mother was reading it and hid it in the bookshelves. I would sneak it out and read it when no one was around. One time, as I was reading it, the doorbell rang and it was our minister! Whew! What a close call! I was about 15 at the time. Then I read "Gone with the Wind" in 4 days when I was a sophomore in high school. Been reading ever since.
(Trudy Miner 5:29pm March 21, 2010)
The Promise was my 1st Danielle Steel book and I loved it! Coincidentally, I am re-reading it for a group read. I've seen the made for TV movie a few yrs ago. My mother loved DS so I'll always look at her books fondly. I think she is a great story teller but as a writer not so great. I really do prefer listening to her books on CD when I can. This way all the repetition doesn't bother me so much, especially since I usually listen while driving so 100% concentration is not being given as it is when I sit and read. As for the 1st real adult book it was probably Gone With the Wind & I was about 12. Still one of my favorites.
(Pam Nolan 6:15pm March 21, 2010)
Since I only read the books I enjoy I can't give any example; if I don't like a book after a few chapters I simply don't finish it.
(Diane Sadler 6:24pm March 21, 2010)
I really don't remember the first romance book I read either. I know they were probably Harlequin's but don't remember any authors names. I have been reading for a long time and my Father always told me it wasn't good me but as you can tell I didn't listen.
(Diana Smith 6:46pm March 21, 2010)
Gone with the Wind....grade 8 - I fell in love with the book and named my oldest daughter Tara. I re-read the book every few years and fall in love all over again.
(Danelle Drake 7:24pm March 21, 2010)
I was 12 yrs old and it was "Interview with a Vampire". Now it may not been a true romance but it had lots of action in it for a 12 yr old. I hid it under my pillow and read it every night by flashlight. Then I started picking up my mother's Danielle Steele's and anything else i could get my hands on.
(Heidi Shafer-Wilson 7:49pm March 21, 2010)
I remember reading an adult novel on Queen Elizabeth I (I don't remember the author). Since I was a child, my mother had to make a special trip to the library to take the book out. Do I feel old.
(Rosemary Krejsa 8:42pm March 21, 2010)
I don't really have a author I don't enjoy reading. I know the first author I remember reading was Jude Deveraux. My mom read her. I believe the first ones I read was Twin of Ice and Twin of Fire. I remember there were a whole bunch of them tied together and I loved that series. I think I still have them packed away somewhere.
(Julie Harper 8:44pm March 21, 2010)
The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss. I was around 10/11, the book was my older sister's and I hid in the closet to read it so I wouldn't get caught. I've been hooked ever since. The Promise is the only Danielle Steel book I've ever read, just couldn't get into her. My best friend has every book of hers and that's all she reads. I tell her there are so many other good authors around she should broaden her horizons; she said she's tried a couple but no go. She's sticking with her Danielle.
(Jill Merriott 9:06pm March 21, 2010)
First adult novel for me was Lace by Shirley Conran. I still love re-reading it every now and then!
(Sharmila Prasad 9:15pm March 21, 2010)
Actually, I don't have any books or authors that I'm "ashamed" of reading. I guess one by Noel B. Gerson was the first touching upon adult subjects. I started reading authors like Frank Yerby, Frank G. Slaughter, Anya Seton, Elswyth Thane, Thomas B. Costain and his daughter Molly Costain Haycraft. Yep, more men than women, but in those days even they were hardly "guilty pleasure." I tried PALOMINO by Danielle Steele but found it disappointing when compared to books by the authors above and the Harlequin Books I'd been reading for about 20 years. And I have dropped some of my early favorite authors although they are still writing, but that's because I've found authors that I like better.
(Sigrun Schulz 10:20pm March 21, 2010)
I have read so many adult novels that I can't begin to recall which was the first one and I have read novels from so many different authors that I started keeping a written list of all the books I read and the authors. It is interesting to look over the list from time to time and remember the best books.
(Gladys Paradowski 10:29pm March 21, 2010)
I don't remember the first, but I do
remember joining a book club and
picking out books that had the most
warnings on them.
(Jung Ja Ahn 11:12pm March 21, 2010)
I can't say there are any I have stopped reading. More like most of them aren't writing. My first adult books were probably Agatha Christie's (thanks to the movie Death on the Nile). I did start reading Presents right before my 12th b'day. My gf passed them to me - they were her mom's. My mom doesn't read romance and didn't have a problem with me reading them. I do have some of those early books, and probably the Carole Mortimer's were one of the first. And she is still an auto buy for me. Someone mentioned "Wifey" - that got passed around when I was in 8th grade. By then, I'd been reading Harlequin's for 2 years.
Great question Sandi. I wish I could say my memory was better though - lol!
(Amanda Reeder-erdly 11:35pm March 21, 2010)
For me...there is pretty big difference between (adult) romance and (romance).
The first adult romance novel (on the erotic end of the spectrum) that I read and thoroughly enjoyed was an older novel titled The Lady's Tutor by Robin Schone. I absoultely loved that book and went searching for more "indepth" hot (novels)...and have found some great ones...but wish there were more.
(Mitzi Hinkey 11:38pm March 21, 2010)
I adore audiobooks. I have found Danielle Steel audiobooks to be particularly good reads. The publisher always seems to do a great job at choosing the readers for their audiobooks. A bad reader can destroy a great book.
(Donna Holmberg 11:49pm March 21, 2010)
The very first adult romance I read and absolutely adored was Captive Bride by Johanna Lindsay. I was 16 at the time and that book got me instantly hooked on romance novels. I don't have a favorite author that I'm embarrassed to admit to still be following, because I still pretty much all of my all time favorites. And the ones I lost interest in a long time ago, I let go of.
(Debbie Beverley 12:58pm March 22, 2010)
Ahhhh, my first 'adult' novel, my first romance, was My Enemy, My Queen, by Victoria Holt. I have read everything she has ever written I do believe. But that one remains one of my all time favorite books.
(Melissa Tackett 3:48am March 22, 2010)
My first adult book would have been Forever, which I read on the sly, while one of my older sisters was reading it. As for an author, I don't follow anymore, but loved when I was younger, Rosemary Rogers would have to be it. I loved her sweeping romances as a teen, now I find them a bit offensive.
(Kathleen Schilling 10:04am March 22, 2010)
The first adult novel I read was an
historical, LYDIA BAILEY by Kenneth
Roberts. I think Victoria Holt was next.
The first real romance author I read, was
(Patricia Barraclough 9:00pm March 22, 2010)
That's funny because Danielle Steele was my first adult author also. I read all of her books until it got to be too much. I branched off to Nora Roberts and all of her books & by that time I wasn't afraid to find new authors and not be worried about betraying the other by switching. Now I can't keep up with all my different authors but still enjoying them.
(Nancy Alexander 12:17pm March 23, 2010)
I don't remember a specific novel, but my mother had a collection of Grace Livingston Hill novels. I think I was in fourth grade at the time.
I don't think I have ever been embarrassed about anything I've read.
(Ray Getzinger 10:04pm March 23, 2010)
I started reading very young, and read everything I could get my hands on. Like you I found some authors to get irritating after a while,and put them aside. Returning later, evan years later,and they seem different, or perhaps it was me, and was able to read and enjoy them again.
(Elizabeth Parzino 12:50pm March 27, 2010)
I discovered Dorothy Eden, Phyllis A Whitney, & Victoria Holt before high school and read through them all. In fact, it was in a Dorothy Eden book ( not one of her suspense stories) that I encountered my first 'adult' scene and was shocked to discover sex described in one of my books. Of course, I've come a long way since then ;)
(Kelly Girard 12:31pm March 28, 2010)
I can't remember what book was actually my first one, but I did read a lot of Danielle Steele's books....had quite a collection of them. I also remember reading "Gone With the Wind".My sister was six years older than I and she too, loved to read so I read most everything she read. I do know that I would read practically anything that was readable and handy. I just simply loved to read.
(Cheri Minott 3:38am April 13, 2010)
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