Short Book Reviews: The Ranch, The House On Hope Street & The Kiss

Hello everyone,

if you're a regular reader of my blog, you know that I'm not a big fan of Danielle Steel, yet I have quite a lot of her books. Why? Well, I read a couple of her older books in high school and thought they were quite good so my family and friends starting giving me her newer novels as birthday and Christmas presents. Only that while usually writers get better and better the more they write, the same can't be said for Danielle Steel. Her recent books are all very rushed and short, and it seems that now that she's successful and rich she can't be bothered to write a good novel anymore.

I didn't have the heart to tell my loved ones to stop giving me her books, especially because a part of me hoped it was just a bad phase and Steel's writing would improve again, and so the books, and the disappointments, kept coming on. I rarely get one of her books these days but I decided to reviews the ones I have here anyway in case someone may be interested in them. So let's get started:

The Ranch by Danielle Steel
As it often happens with Danielle Steel's books, The Ranch has an interesting but poorly-executed plot. It tells the story of three women who used to be best friends in college, but, as it often happens, have lost touch over the years. Now, they have decided to reunite and go on holiday together at a ranch in Wyoming. Mary Stuart is a housewife. She has dedicated her entire life to her family, but after her son's suicide, her marriage is falling apart. Tanya has become a very successful and rich singer and actress and now has to deal with all the problems celebrity brings like the attention of the press and the difficulty of finding a man that can put up with all the pressures her life is subjected to. Zoe is a doctor at an AIDS clinic. She never married but has recently adopted a child. At the ranch, the three women renew their friendship and find the strength to face their problems. It is a book full of important themes like suicide, AIDS, celebrity, friendship, death and hope, but sadly none of them is explored in-depth. The writing style is very rushed and full of repetitions, which really spoils what could potentially have been a really good book.
Available at: amazon.com
Rating: 2/5

The House On Hope Street by Danielle Steel
My review of this book is pretty similar to the one above. It includes some very interesting themes like the sudden loss of a loved one and how children can react to their parents remarrying, but their execution leaves a lot to be desired. Again, none of these themes is developed and before you know it the book is over. It's actually very short and can be read in a couple of hours. But what is it about? Liz and Jack have been happily married for 18 years when one Christmas day he's killed. His family is devastated but, just before Labour Days she meets a doctor and they start dating, which doesn't go down well with Liz's children. Now, this is a very modern and common problem and it would have been interesting to see it explored in-depth, but tough. That's not what Danielle Steel does. Overall, this is more of a short story than a novel, but I'm sure Steel's fans will still appreciate it.
Available at: amazon.com
Rating: 2/5

The Kiss by Danielle Steel
You probably guessed it by now. Interesting plot, rushed execution. Isabelle is married to a cold man who never loved her. All he saw in her was her wealth and connections. They had two children, a daughter and a desperately ill son. His father can't stand Teddy because of his illness and so Isabelle has spent all the years since he was born at home caring for him. She rarely left the house but on one of these occasions she has met Bill. He's handsome, rich, smart, caring, and his marriage too is a sham. They decide to spend a couple of days in London, but one night, as they are kissing, the car they're travelling on has a horrific accident and the two are seriously injured. Now their secret is out and they will have to fight not just for their lives but to stay together as well. This is my favourite book out of the three reviewed today. It's very emotional but sadly poorly written and full of repetitions that drag the book on unnecessarily.
Available at: amazon.com
Rating: 2/5

Have you read these books? What do you think of them?