When a beautiful young Frenchwoman and a brilliant American actor meet in wartime Paris, their love begins like a fairy tale but ends in tragedy. Suddenly orphaned, their three children are cruelly separated. Megan, the baby, adopted by a family of comfortable means, becomes a doctor in the rural Appalachia. Alexandra, raised in lavish wealth, marries a powerful man whose pride is in his pedigree and who assumes that Alexandra is her parents’ natural offspring. Neither of them has the remotest suspicion that she is adopted, or what turbulent tragedy lurks in her past. And Hilary, oldest of the Walker children, remembers them all, and the grief that tore them apart and cast them into separate lives. Feeling the loss throughout her life, and unable to find her sisters, she builds an extraordinary career and has no personal life.
When John Chapman, lawyer and prestigious private investigator, is asked to find these three women, he wonders why. Their parents’ only friend, he did nothing to keep them together as children and has been haunted by remorse all his life. The investigator follows a trail that leads from chic New York to Boston slums, from elegant Parisian salons to the Appalachian hills, to the place where the three sisters face each other and one more final, devastating truth before they can move on.
Okay. So this is the second Danielle Steel book I’ve read, the first was Zoya which I’ve read 2 or 3 years ago. I can barely recall what it was all about except that it was a story about a woman named Zoya (duh). Obviously, I am not a huge DS fan.
Kaleidoscope revolves around three sisters, Hilary, Alexandra, and Megan, who were separated while they were still kids. In my opinion, the whole plot revolves around the life of Hilary and her depressing and solitary existence while the other two main characters – Alexandra and Megan – were just add-ons to make the story more cohesive. It was supposed to be touching and emotional but I do not find it powerful enough to move me to tears. I understand Hilary’s bitterness and anger, all that hate and resentment against Arthur, except that the supposed build up towards the twist at the end was not a big surprise. In fact, it was kind of expected, in the way Danielle Steele frames her story where she leaves some hints here and there. No big shock there, man. Or maybe this is not supposed to be a suspense story.
This is not to say, though, that I hated it. Kaleidoscope is still a very interesting story. I love how Danielle Steel created each of her characters, including Sam, Solange, John Chapman, Margarita, even the dancer Sasha, with such depth and clarity. I love the contrast between the three lead characters except that maybe she has made them too predictable for my taste.
Kaleidoscope is an easy read. I finished it in one night under the light of a rechargeable lamp because of a blackout. It is a good read before one goes to sleep. Because the final lesson of the story is, All is well that ends well.
Had I read Kaleidoscope when I was much younger and not yet de-sensitized to shocking plot twists in other books, I would have given this a much higher rating.
***WARNING***MAJOR SPOILER FOLLOWS!!!
I might have given this 5 stars if after Hilary’s revelation of who Megan’s true father is, the story proceeds to another complication like Arthur denying all of Hilary’s accusations. That despite Hilary having overheard Solange’s declaration that she was having an affair with Arthur, and that Megan was Arthur’s daughter, all of these were false and simply uttered by Solange to get back at Sam’s womanizing activities. That Solange had died simply out of a very unfortunate circumstance. Now, that would have been more exciting. But well. I am not Danielle Steel.
7/50 Goodreads 2011 Reading Challenge.
4/30 Off The Shelf Reading Challenge.
Book blurb from Goodreads.