I went to the library and on the spur of the moment picked up a Danielle Steel book - among other books. The last time I read a Danielle Steel was about seven years ago when I was in high school. In total I think I've read about five of her books. Right, so I opened it and started reading. Page one, I thought hmm...Page two, again hmm...Page three, hmm...Then I thought, right, I can't take this anymore but let me give it another go. So I kept reading until I finished three chapters before deciding that was it. I couldn't do it. I put the book down and started wondering what exactly my teenage self saw in those books to read five of them.
The writing is atrocious I'm sorry to say. It's dull, repetitive and too simple. I don't know what she thinks of her audience to write like that. I mean I was just entering my teens when I started reading her books - for some reason these books were all over my school and since everyone seemed to be reading them I thought why not. Back then I thoroughly enjoyed them. I don't think I gave much thought to style at that age. I was an indiscriminate reader and relished being in the company of some work of fiction instead of finishing my homework. But really, it's puzzling so I kept wondering, is this her targeted audience? People who want simple reading? There is a great article on this blog and one commenter seems to think so. She targeted this particular audience and stuck with it, became famous and successful and that was it, it doesn't matter anymore. The same stuff keeps being churned out. How does she do it? People keep buying and reading.
Personally, I think her writing is mere chick lit. Indubitably romance although she insists it's not. If it's not romance, what is it then? Even when I was reading her books as a teenager I chose them for the sole purpose that they were romantic books. I was going to read about a tall, handsome man sweeping an equally beautiful woman in his arms, and they were going to have the best night of their lives together. I expected and wanted that at that age, and that's what I got. But now I'm so glad I know better. The book that I borrowed is Second Chance. Each time I turned over a page, I sighed. It's sucked the energy out of me and I kept asking myself why was I even wasting my time. In this book the protagonist is editor-in-chief of a leading fashion magazine. Danielle - on the word go - describes how beautiful and elegant she is, how hardworking, no nonsense but fair everyone finds her. They all respect and adore her. How she is content with her life and her dog and does not need a man. She is independent. Hmm...OK, great. But then she repeats this description over and over again. Protagonist goes to her house where she's throwing a party, party is over she goes to sleep, this description comes up again. Next morning she's awake preparing for work, we get this description again. I mean, just too much padding. Same goes for all her other characters. There is just too much filling you'd be forgiven for thinking it was written by an amateur. It's ludicrous and tedious.
I'm returning the book on Monday. That's me done with Danielle Steel I'm afraid. There are so many talented writers out there and so many more captivating books than hers. It was good while I was teenager and I'm so glad I never touched another one for a long time.
Discuss! I'd like to hear your views.