Leap of Faith
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In her fifty-second bestselling novel, Danielle Steel weaves a compelling story of the power of lies, the misuse of trust--and of one woman's triumph over a devastating betrayal.
Marie-Ange Hawkins has the kind of childhood that most people dream of. Freedom, love, security in a beautiful old French château. But when Marie-Ange is just eleven, a tragic accident marks the end of her idyllic life.
Orphaned and alone, she is sent to America, to live with her great-aunt on a farm in Iowa. Bitterly resented by the old woman, cut off from everything she has known and loved, Marie-Ange is forced to work tirelessly on the farm, dreaming only of the day she can return to her beloved Château de Marmouton.
In Marie-Ange's isolated existence, only the friendship of a local boy, Billy Parker, offers comfort and hope. But her only wish is to gain an education--and escape. Then, just after her twenty-first birthday, an unexpected visitor brings startling news and an extraordinary gift: the freedom to return to France, to Château de Marmouton.
When she arrives in France, Marie-Ange learns that the château's new owner is Comte Bernard de Beauchamp, a dashing young widower who invites her into his home, then into his heart. But their magical life together, which soon includes marriage, children, and lavish homes, slowly takes an ominous turn. A mysterious woman tells Marie-Ange a shocking story, a story so chilling she doesn't want to believe it.
Not even her dear friend Billy can help her now. He is thousands of miles away. And as the darkness gathers around her, Marie-Ange must find the faith and courage to take one, last desperate step to save her loved ones and herself.
Danielle Steel's powerful novel is about being pulled into a place where nothing is what it seems. It is about being seduced and lied to and turned around, and wanting to believe the lies--until the moment comes, in one blinding instant, when survival and salvation depend on a final Leap of Faith: the only path to freedom, and life.
sitting on her bed staring at the photographs she had put on the dresser, of her parents and her brother. And her hand was touching her locket. She gave a start when she heard her great-aunt wheel herself into the doorway. “I want to see what you brought with you in those three ridiculous suitcases. No child should have that many clothes, Marie, it’s sinful.” Marie-Ange hopped off the bed and dutifully unzipped her cases, pulling out one smocked dress after another, the embroidered nightgowns,
best friend in Iowa.” She smiled at him. “He thinks I’ve lost my mind.” She was sorry to have upset Billy, but she was entirely sure of Bernard, and his love for her, and hers for him. “So have I.” Bernard smiled. “It must be contagious.” “What did the priest say?” she asked calmly. She wasn’t worried about any of the things Billy said. He was suspicious of Bernard, understandably, and only time would prove him wrong. But she had wanted him to know that she and Bernard were getting married. He
back in the chateau at Christmas again brought back a million memories for her, some of them beautiful, and some of them finally less painful, because he was with her. She talked to Billy in Iowa on Christmas Eve, and he was happy for her, but still worried that she didn’t know her husband well enough and had been too impulsive about getting married. And she reassured him as best she could. She had never been as happy in her life. “Who would have thought a year ago that I’d have been living in
decided to sell the house on the rue de Varenne, and everything in it. She hated to stay in the apartment, but all their things were there, all that they had left, and Bernard could no longer hurt her. He had tried to call her once at the hotel, and she had refused his call. She never wanted to see him again, except in court, and she hoped he would go to prison forever for what he had done to Charles, and tried to do to her children. But the real tragedy for Marie-Ange was that she had not only
Norman Rockwell print on the other. The bed had a metal frame, a thin mattress, and there were two sheets and a blanket folded neatly on it, a single pillow and a towel. There was a small closet, and a narrow dresser, and even Marie-Ange could see that there would be nowhere to put what she had brought in her three huge suitcases, but she would have to face that dilemma in the morning. “The bathroom is down the hall,” Carole explained. “You share it with me, and you’d better not spend too much