Safe Harbour (Danielle Steel)
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In her fifty-ninth bestselling novel, Danielle Steel tells an unforgettable story of survival...of how two people who lost everything find hope...and of the extraordinary acts of faith and courage that bring —and keep— families together...
On a windswept summer day, as the fog rolls across the San Francisco coastline, a solitary figure walks down the beach, a dog at her side. At eleven, Pip Mackenzie's young life has already been touched by tragedy; nine months before, a terrible accident plunged her mother into inconsolable grief. But on this chilly July afternoon, Pip meets someone who fills her sad gray world with color and light. And in her innocence and in his kindness, a spark will be kindled, lives will be changed, and a journey of hope will begin.
From the moment the curly-haired girl walks up to his easel on the sand, Matt Bowles senses something magical about her. Pip reminds him of his own daughter at that age, before a bitter divorce tore his family apart and swept his children halfway across the world. With her own mother, Ophélie, retreating deeper into her grief, Pip spends her summer at the shore the way lonely children do: watching the glittering waters and rushing clouds, daydreaming and remembering how things used to be. That is, until she meets artist Matt Bowles, who offers to teach the girl to draw—and can't help but notice her beautiful, lonely mother. At first, Ophélie is thrown off balance by her daughter's new companion—until she realizes how much joy he is bringing into their lives, despite the sadness she sees in his eyes. As their newfound friend works his subtle magic, mother and daughter slowly begin to heal, to laugh again, to rediscover what they have lost.
When summer ends, and Ophélie and Pip must leave the beach for the city, the season of healing continues. Gathering her newfound strength, Ophélie begins a volunteer job at a city outreach program, where she works with the homeless, and can no longer ignore the blessings in her own life. But as soul-sharing phone calls and autumn beach getaways deepen Ophélie and Matt's friendship, fate strikes another blow. Out of the blue, Matt must confront unfinished business from his past. Days later, Ophélie is struck by a stunning betrayal by someone she trusts. And as these events reverberate in two already wounded hearts, something extraordinary happens. Out of the darkness that has shadowed them both comes an unexpected gift of hope.
With grace and compassion, Danielle Steel explores the fragile bonds between mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, family members and lifelong friends. Her haunting, impassioned novel takes us across the complex landscape of loss—to the blessings that arise from even the darkest tragedies. At once a story of triumph and a moving elegy to those who suffer and survive, Safe Harbour is perhaps her most powerful and life-affirming novel to date.
From the Hardcover edition.
curious about them, just as he had been about her. It was a reasonable thing to ask. “Robert has dark hair and brown eyes like me. And Vanessa’s blond with big blue eyes. She looks just like her mother. Does anyone else in your family have red hair like you?” Pip shook her head with a shy smile at his question. “My dad had dark hair like you, and blue eyes, and so did Chad. My mom is blond. My brother used to call me carrot stick, because I have skinny legs and red hair.” “That’s nice of him,”
while before she approached again, and stood near enough for the artist to notice her at last. He looked up, startled, as the dog bounded past him, sending up a spray of sand. It was only then that the man glanced up and saw the child. He said nothing, and went on working, and was surprised to notice that she hadn’t moved, and was still watching him, when he turned his head again, and mixed some water in his paints, half an hour later. They said nothing to each other, but she continued to watch,
a sizable collection of them, most of them pretty good. She was learning a lot from Matt. It was on a Friday morning, when she had brought him lunch again, that she walked off with Mousse for a few minutes to look for shells, as she sometimes did, and he saw her jump back from the water’s edge. He smiled, thinking she had seen a jellyfish or a crab, and he waited to hear Mousse bark. But this time he heard Mousse whine, and saw Pip sitting on the sand, holding her foot. “Are you okay?” he
his floor too. He sat her on a kitchen chair, and lifted her foot gently to rest it on the sink. And within seconds, it looked like there was blood everywhere, and all over him as well. “Will I have to go to the hospital?” she asked nervously. Her eyes looked enormous in the pale face. “Chad cut his head open once, and he bled all over the place and had to have a lot of stitches.” She didn’t tell him it was because he had had a tantrum, and had banged his head into the wall. He had been about
wasn’t sorry she had told him about Chad. It was an insight into Pip as well for him, she liked him so much, it seemed important to Ophélie to let him know how brave her daughter had been, how much she’d been through, and what she had lost. Heavy baggage for a child to carry, and for Ophélie too, and he had his too, far more than she knew. At a certain age, no matter who it was, people had baggage and wounds and scars and lives that had hurt or sometimes even broken them. No one ever went