Fairytale by Danielle Steel

Fairytale: A Novel by [Danielle Steel]

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Date of publication: October 10th 2017

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Drama

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Alibris | IndieBound | Indigo |Audible | Walmart eBook

Format Read In: eBook

Where Did I Get Fairytale: Library via Overdrive

Trigger Warning: Mild violence, attempted sexual assault, death of a parent, grief, cancer

Goodreads Synopsis:

Camille Lammenais has grown up in the beauty of the Napa Valley, surrounded by acres of her family’s vineyards. Her parents, Christophe and Joy, still deeply in love after two decades of marriage, have built a renowned winery and château modeled after Christophe’s ancient family estate in his native Bordeaux. Camille has had a perfect childhood, safe in her parents’ love. After graduating from Stanford, she returns to help manage Château Joy, her lifetime goal. But their fairytale ends suddenly with her mother’s death from cancer.

Six months after losing his wife, the devastated Christophe is easy prey for a mysterious, charming Frenchwoman visiting the valley. The Countess de Pantin is the essence of Parisian seductiveness and sophistication. Within weeks they are a clandestine couple, making love like teenagers, glowing with their secret. Camille, still grieving for her mother, is shocked by the news that her father intends to remarry. Then she begins to see past the alluring looks, designer clothes, and elegant manners of the countess, while her innocent father is trapped in her web.

When tragedy strikes again, Camille is at her stepmother’s mercy, and that of the two evil stepbrothers who appear. Camille needs to fight—first for her legacy, and then for her very life. But as she grapples with the plots being carried out against her, the countess’s elderly, kind, clever mother becomes her only ally, and a childhood friend emerges as a prince worthy of any fairytale.

First Impressions:

When I was browsing my library (virtually, of course) and saw that Fairytale was available for takeout, I was excited. My grandmother introduced me to Danielle Steel when I was a tween. She had a vast collection of her early works and was more than happy to share them with me. So, I had to take this book out and read it.

I was a little taken aback by the lack of dialogue in the first half of the book. While it was beautifully written, I wanted to see some verbal interactions between Camille, Christophe, and Joy.

The characters came across as flat. I couldn’t connect to Joy, Christophe, or Camille. That frustrated me because I wanted to connect but couldn’t.

Going into the middle of the book, I got bored and put the book down for 2-3 days. I debated on continuing. I decided since I had already read 1/2 the book, then I will continue reading it.

Mid-Book Impressions:

The middle of the books starts with Christophe meeting Maxine. I knew what she was the minute she came into the picture. A gold digger and I knew her true colors would come out as soon as they got married.

They did, oh boy, did they. Maxine dropped her act with Camille as soon as she said her vows. She was trying to separate and alienate Christophe from Camille, and it almost worked.

I will say that the book did get better when Maxine brought her mother over from France. I loved her!! She brought much-needed laughter and light to an otherwise depressing part of the book.

I wish that Camille had more of a backbone. She let her stepbrothers, Maxine and Cesar, run rampant all over her. There were parts of the book where I was shaking my head in disbelief. Of course, it only amped up after Christophe died and left Camille his sole heir.

There was a lag in the middle of the book, and it almost derailed it. I also found that there was a lot of unnecessary repeating of events. I wouldn’t say I liked that there was an emphasis on how evil and bad Maxine’s sons were. It kept being driven home. After the 4th or 5th time, I was like, “Stop; I get it. They’re evil jerks.

End of Book Impressions:

The last half of Fairytale was challenging for me to finish. I will admit, I skimmed over some parts. I couldn’t wrap my head around a woman being pushed around the way Camille was. I mean, she was forced out of her house and into a freaking horse barn, and she allowed it!!!! I wanted to reach through the book, shake her, and tell her to be assertive. Uggh.

The Cinderella angle of the book came into play during the last half of the book. I was looking forward to seeing how that played out. I was sorely disappointed. There were 3-4 (maybe a couple of more) chapters with Camille in the Cinderella role. Such a disappointment!!

The end of Fairytale was predictable and boring. The minute that Camille decided to go to the Harvest Ball, I figured something would happen. I also figured who was involved. But I didn’t figure the surprise twist. That took me by surprise because it came out of nowhere.

My Overall Thoughts on Fairytale:

While I am a fan of Danielle Steel, I was not too fond of this book. The book seemed hastily written with a lot of repeating of unnecessary scenes/dialogue. The characters came across as flat and two-dimensional. They got into predictable situations that had predictable outcomes. The Cinderella angle of the book was short and kept to only a few chapters.

I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book. There is sex but it isn’t graphic. There is an attempted sexual assault (not graphic) and talk of elder abuse.

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