Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Book Review: Past Perfect

Author: Danielle Steel
Title: Past Perfect
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publish Date: Nov 28, 2017
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Sybil and Blake Gregory are the quintessential 21st century power couple: she a cutting-edge interior designer; he a forward-thinking top business analyst. They revel in the privileged, ordered life they lead in Manhattan with their children, teenagers Andrew and Caroline and 6-year-old Charlie. But when Blake accepts a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become the CEO of a visionary social media start-up in San Francisco—and then buys a magnificent turn-of-the-20th-century Pacific Heights mansion on impulse—all that will change. Built by the Butterfields, a prominent banking family, abandoned for decades, the grand house retains its exquisite furnishings and aura of long ago elegance. And that’s not all it retains. The modern Gregorys are about to meet their ghostly long ago counterparts….

Review: I never know what to expect when I pick up a book by Danielle Steel. This book sounded like it was going to be fabulous. I actually requested it from my library, I was that desperate to read it.

Then I got started, and I remembered why I don't often read Ms. Steel.

Her writing leaves a lot to be desired. Too much telling of the story and not enough showing, and writing that is on a grade school level.

However I really loved the interactions of the Gregory family and the Butterfields, but the way the "ghosts" were written perplexed me. They didn't know they were ghosts and to those that could see them, they didn't look like ghosts. They had dinner, played games etc just as they had when they were alive. It just didn't fit with my concept of what ghosts would be like. Plus they were reliving their lives from 1917 on. Life events happen as they did for the Butterfields, even though they are dead. (This is so confusing)

I should have expected this, since Ms Steel wrote a forward, that she didn't really care for timeslip, time travel, or ghost stories. (Yet one of her past novels was called "The Ghost". So I'm confused at her reasoning).

The ending is bittersweet and beautiful, giving the family a happily ever after in a strange kind of way.

The Butterfields were a fascinating family. I would have enjoyed a historical novel around their lives, though I think that might have touched a bit too close to Steel's Thurston House in setting.

The premise was so promising, I just wish it would have lived up to it.

Rating: 2 flowers


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