RoadTrip America

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Sisters, by Danielle Steele & Sam Freed (Narrator)

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Everyone knows at least one-the seemingly golden American family that has it all-successful, happily married parents, beautiful, healthy, well-adjusted, loving children and enough money to make anyone's dreams come true. Danielle Steel introduces us to one such family and lets us join them for a joyous, traditional holiday gathering, before she shatters their perfect world with a tragic accident and exposes us to the reality of pain and disappointment that all families suffer at one time or another. Four lovely and accomplished sisters find their worlds forever changed, and they must decide whether to continue their individual quests for happiness or band together and build a new family dynamic based on their altered circumstances.

It would be easy to dismiss each of the characters as unrealistically privileged and prosperous, but Danielle Steele gives them enough flaws, insecurities and difficulties to make them sympathetic rather than disliked. While she describes their charmed lives, she doesn't shy away from the negatives of sibling rivalry and the competition for parental approval that plague real families. She infuses the dialogue with humor which helps to offset the anguish of the tragedy and makes the characters' reactions to their misfortune similar to the coping strategies you or I might use. Sam Freed, the narrator, is believable as the voice(s) of the sisters as well as of the men in their lives.

Whether looking for a feel-good book about families, a romance, an entertaining story about shattered and rebuilt dreams or just a diversion from life's frustrations, this audio book is recommended for a wide range of listeners. Steel is a master at creating a cheering section for her characters as they struggle to overcome the hurdles she places before them. Along the way, the listener is treated to both heartbreaking and heartwarming scenes of love, loss, devotion and recovery. The end result is a very satisfying encounter with a golden family that may be slightly less shiny than we'd imagined, but even more beautiful for its patina.

Ruth Mormon

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