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Precious Gifts
Cover of Precious Gifts
Precious Gifts
A Novel
Borrow Borrow
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Handsome, widowed, sophisticated, utterly charming, Paul Parker won the heart of a wealthy young Frenchwoman—the daughter of an American financier, the granddaughter of a major French art dealer—as his second wife. In two marriages, he fathered a challenging son and three very different daughters. But as irresponsible as he was irresistible, he ultimately shrugged off the demands of marriage and parenting to pursue life as an international bon vivant.
Raised by their mother with all the care and resolve their father lacked, the three Parker sisters have become vibrant, self-reliant young women: Timmie, the oldest, a fiercely dedicated social worker in New York; sweet, nurturing Juliette, proprietor of a fledgling bakery in Brooklyn; and their younger sister, Joy, who is struggling to build an acting career in Los Angeles. While they love their mostly absent, glamorous father, he has left them with a legacy of impermanence and uncertainty in their own relationships with men. And with no strong role model to guide him, Paul's son has gone from one failure to another, even while his stepmother makes excuses for him, as he seethes with jealousy of his younger sisters.
Now, after a long illness, Paul has slipped away peacefully in his sleep, and his family has gathered together to read his will. As his final wishes are revealed, his son is forced to face reality as an adult. And his daughters see a new side to their father—one that shows a caring man trying to redeem himself with a different, lasting legacy. He has made a very personal bequest to each of his children, carefully designed to help them achieve their own unique dreams and find true happiness. But Paul has saved the biggest surprise for his ex-wife Véronique: a secret from the past that shakes her world and sets her free. He leaves her a gift that remained a mystery for their entire marriage, and she begins a search to discover its history and rightful owner.
The story of a man's last wish to make a difference—and of the loved ones he leaves behind fulfilling their destinies at last—Precious Gifts is bursting with indelible characters and emotional complexity as it takes readers from New York and Los Angeles to the art capitals of Europe and the South of France. Inspiring and uplifting, it is a deeply moving exploration of the rich territory of loss, inheritance, and reawakening—Danielle Steel at the height of her literary prowess.
From the Hardcover edition.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Handsome, widowed, sophisticated, utterly charming, Paul Parker won the heart of a wealthy young Frenchwoman—the daughter of an American financier, the granddaughter of a major French art dealer—as his second wife. In two marriages, he fathered a challenging son and three very different daughters. But as irresponsible as he was irresistible, he ultimately shrugged off the demands of marriage and parenting to pursue life as an international bon vivant.
Raised by their mother with all the care and resolve their father lacked, the three Parker sisters have become vibrant, self-reliant young women: Timmie, the oldest, a fiercely dedicated social worker in New York; sweet, nurturing Juliette, proprietor of a fledgling bakery in Brooklyn; and their younger sister, Joy, who is struggling to build an acting career in Los Angeles. While they love their mostly absent, glamorous father, he has left them with a legacy of impermanence and uncertainty in their own relationships with men. And with no strong role model to guide him, Paul's son has gone from one failure to another, even while his stepmother makes excuses for him, as he seethes with jealousy of his younger sisters.
Now, after a long illness, Paul has slipped away peacefully in his sleep, and his family has gathered together to read his will. As his final wishes are revealed, his son is forced to face reality as an adult. And his daughters see a new side to their father—one that shows a caring man trying to redeem himself with a different, lasting legacy. He has made a very personal bequest to each of his children, carefully designed to help them achieve their own unique dreams and find true happiness. But Paul has saved the biggest surprise for his ex-wife Véronique: a secret from the past that shakes her world and sets her free. He leaves her a gift that remained a mystery for their entire marriage, and she begins a search to discover its history and rightful owner.
The story of a man's last wish to make a difference—and of the loved ones he leaves behind fulfilling their destinies at last—Precious Gifts is bursting with indelible characters and emotional complexity as it takes readers from New York and Los Angeles to the art capitals of Europe and the South of France. Inspiring and uplifting, it is a deeply moving exploration of the rich territory of loss, inheritance, and reawakening—Danielle Steel at the height of her literary prowess.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Excerpts-
  • From the book Chapter 1

    Timmie Parker sat with one leg tucked under her at her desk. As the stress of the morning increased, she had shoved her long blond hair into a rubber band, and by noon there were four pencils and a pen stuck through it. She wore a clean but wrinkled plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up, over a tank top, torn jeans, and high-­top Converse, and no makeup. She had the tall, lean, elegant frame of her father. She was six feet tall in bare feet, twenty-­nine years old, and had a master's in social work from Columbia. She was currently working for a foundation whose mission was to find free or low-­cost housing for eligible members of the homeless population of New York, and she'd been at her desk since six o'clock that morning trying to catch up on work. There was a mountain of files on her desk. And she would have liked to find a place to live for every single one, and knew that if she was lucky and continued pounding on government agencies and other resources they used, she'd find a home for one or two who were eligible. The word "eligible" was used as a catch-­all phrase to filter out all those who needed it most.

    It was a sweltering July day, and as usual her air conditioner wasn't working. She could already tell it was going to be one of those days where nothing worked quite the way she wanted it to, and she'd be delivering bad news to some of her most desperate clients. Heartbreak was her stock in trade. She lived in a permanent state of outrage over the injustices in the system, and how ineffective it was to help her clients. Helping the homeless had been her passion since her teens. She was a dedicated and deeply caring though often angry person. Her tirades over social issues at the dinner table in her youth had been frequent. And she had spent all the years since trying to do something about it. Above all, Timmie Parker wasn't a quitter—­she worked tirelessly for those she served. And once she found them housing, she stuck with them. Once they were isolated in tiny government-­owned efficiency apartments, without the support system they had come to rely on in the streets, loneliness, despair, and suicide became serious risks.

    Timmie had a hundred great ideas about how to make things work better, but there was never enough money or support teams. Poverty programs had been slashed in the economic crisis, private foundation funds were dwindling, too, and no one in government would listen. Timmie felt like she was emptying the ocean with a thimble, as she watched her clients slip through the cracks, waiting a year or more to enter free detox programs or qualify for a place to live. The women fared worse than the men on the streets and were often victims of violent crimes in shelters. She faced miles of red tape every day, trying to help people fill out forms for disability benefits or ID cards. Her soft spot was always teens, but it was easier to refer them to youth programs around the city, and they were more resourceful about surviving on the streets. Timmie had already seen six clients by noon that day and had a dozen more to see that afternoon. She rarely left the office before eight or nine p.m. and sometimes stayed till midnight, and came in long before office hours began every day. Her work was her life, and for now it was all she wanted.

    She'd lived with a man in grad school, who had cheated on her with her best friend. And she had been engaged to another man after that, who cheated on her, too, though at least not with someone she knew. She'd broken up with him and since then had poured all her love, passion, and energy into her work, and hadn't dated anyone for the past two years. She often said...
About the Author-
  • Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world's most popular authors, with over 650 million copies of her novels sold. Her many international bestsellers include Undercover, Country, Prodigal Son, Pegasus, A Perfect Life, Power Play, Winners, First Sight, and other highly acclaimed novels. She is also the author of His Bright Light, the story of her son Nick Traina's life and death; A Gift of Hope, a memoir of her work with the homeless; and Pure Joy, about the dogs she and her family have loved.
Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    July 1, 2015
    Faithless and feckless if charming Paul Parker hurt his wife and left his three daughters deeply suspicious of men. But when he died, he also left these four women tellingly appropriate bequests that give their lives new meaning and free them to pursue their dreams. The settings range from New York and Paris to Rome, Florence, and Venice. Steel's fourth new hardcover in 2015; with a 400,000 copy first printing.

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Random House Publishing Group
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A Novel
Danielle Steel
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