Thursday, February 4, 2010

Southern Nights by Danielle Steel Book Review

Need to escape a long, cold, dreary winter? I recommend reading this new book by Danielle Steel. Much of it is set in sunny Charleston.

Southern Lights by Danielle Steel
326 pages
Copyright 2009

Southern Lights is Danielle Steel’s 79th novel. I like about 30% of her novels as some of them are very tedious. This one was very enjoyable. It is a story of betrayal, family secrets, loss, bitterness, grace, and healing.

It is mostly set in Charleston and Manhattan. Charleston is described as a beautiful, historic, Southern city with gorgeous architecture, lovely beaches, nice weather, and friendly people. “It is just like the ‘War Between the States’ never ended.” It sounds like a lovely place and this book will make you want to visit.

I feel sympathy for the main character, Alexa Hamilton. She has suffered and has never recovered from her past. Alexa is a Yankee from Manhattan who has been dumped by her rich, Southern, banker husband from Charleston. He dumps her after 8 wonderful years of marriage to remarry his first wife. Heartbroken, Alexa flees back to Manhattan with their 8 year old daughter to become a public defender. Ten years later in the middle of prosecuting a dangerous serial killer, her daughter receives threats from the killer. She is sent to Charleston to live with her father and his unfriendly family until it is safe for her to return home.

What makes this book so engaging are the two simultaneously occurring story lines and the intriguing characters. The trial of the creepy serial killer flips back and forth with the challenges of establishing relationships with a disapproving family. You can easily sympathize and admire Alexa and her daughter Savannah while hating and despising Tom and his mean spirited wife Luisa.

This is not the book for you if you are expecting a lot of suspense and twists and turns. This is a good story about family and healing.

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