Child’s Play by Danielle Steel: Beautifully written, searingly honest and underpinned with love of family - book review -

Child's Play
Child's Play

Widowed at a young age, Manhattan lawyer Kate Morgan is proud of her three high-flying children. But life rarely turns out the way we plan for our offspring, and soon Kate discovers that learning when to let go and allowing them do what makes them happy is more important than fulfilling her own dreams for their future.

Widowed at a young age, Manhattan lawyer Kate Morgan is proud of her three high-flying children.

But life rarely turns out the way we plan for our offspring, and soon Kate discovers that learning when to let go and allowing them do what makes them happy is more important than fulfilling her own dreams for their future.

Danielle Steel – one of the world’s most popular authors with almost a billion books sold since 1972 – employs her eagle eye, emotional intelligence, and warm heart as she explores how families can evolve and grow in the most unexpected ways.

A senior partner at a prestigious New York law firm, 54-year-old Kate Morgan couldn’t be prouder of her three grown children. Tamara, Anthony, and Claire all went to great schools, chose wonderful career paths, and would have made their father proud.

Kate has been a single mother for 19 years after the death of her congressman husband, Tom, in a helicopter crash. In the aftermath of the accident, she struggled to put meaning back into their lives but, with the help of her mother Margaret, Kate studied law and is now a leading corporate law specialist.

Over the years, Kate has kept a tight rein on her family, her career, and even her own emotions, never once asking herself if she truly knows her children, or if her hopes for them are the right ones, and what they want.

And then, during one hectic summer, Kate’s world turns upside down. Her eldest daughter, Tamara, a caring young woman and successful marketing executive, finally reveals why she has always been so secretive about her private life, and why she won’t she commit to a relationship.

Anthony, a socially awkward computer genius and video games designer, is engaged to the daughter of a wealthy New York investment banker, and planning for their ‘wedding of the year’ is well underway. So why doesn’t Anthony seem happy about it?

And as for Kate’s youngest, spoilt daughter, Claire, at twenty-six she is following in her mother’s footsteps as a corporate attorney. Bouncy, fun and irrepressibly romantic, Claire has no shortage of boyfriends… until she suddenly reveals that she is madly in love with, in Kate’s opinion, the ‘wrong man.’

Challenged as a mother and as a successful independent woman herself, Kate struggles to keep up with a dizzying and escalating chain of events, and begins to realise that she has a part to play in the chaos… because Kate too has kept secrets from her children.

Steel delivers another exquisitely observant story… a tale, built on her own experiences as a mother, which reveals that more often than not, parenting is about embracing the hopes and ambitions of our children, and understanding that their choices are often better than what we wanted for them.

These are the lessons that Kate is forced to learn as the foundations of family life – which she has so carefully and lovingly built over many years – start to crumble around her, and her own, well-hidden secrets rise to surface.

Beautifully written, searingly honest and underpinned with love of family, Child’s Play tackles contemporary issues with Steel’s signature warmth, insight and compassion, and will delight her army of fans.

(Macmillan, hardback, £18.99)