The Sins of the Mother: A Novel
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Every woman makes choices. And no one has made more difficult choices than Olivia Grayson. The enormously successful businesswoman missed out on much of her children’s lives while she built her legendary home-furnishings empire. In Danielle Steel’s character-rich new novel, Olivia faces the past, tries to balance the present, and makes amends where due, while still running her vastly successful business.
THE SINS OF THE MOTHER
As a way of making up to them for time lost, Olivia spends months every year planning a lavish holiday that everyone in her family will enjoy. This summer she has arranged a dream trip in the Mediterranean on a luxurious yacht, which she hopes will be the most memorable vacation of all. Her lavish gesture every year expresses her love for them, and regret at all the important times she missed during her children’s younger years. Her younger daughter, Cassie, a hip London music producer, refuses the invitation altogether, as she does every year. Her older daughter, Liz, lives in her mother’s shadow, with a terror of failure as she tries to recapture her dream of being a writer. And her sons, John and Phillip, work for Olivia, for better or worse, with wives who wish they didn’t. In the splendor of the Riviera, this should be a summer to remember, with Olivia’s children, grandchildren, and daughters-in-law on board. But as with any family gathering, there are always surprises, and no matter how glamorous the setting things don’t always turn out as ones hopes.
Family dynamics are complicated, old disappointments die hard, and as forgiveness and surprising revelations enter into it, new bonds are formed, and the future takes on a brighter hue. And one by one, with life’s irony, Olivia’s children find themselves committing the same “sins” for which they blamed their mother for so many years. It is a summer of compassion, important lessons, and truth.
The Sins of the Mother captures the many sides of family love: complex, challenging, funny, passionate, and hopefully enduring. Along the way, we are enthralled by an unforgettable heroine, a mother strong enough to take more than her fair share of the blame, wise enough to respect her children for who they really are, and forgiving enough to love them unconditionally.
From the Hardcover edition.
word was “No!” Maribelle whispered to her son-in-law more than once that Cassie was just like her mother. Olivia had had her own ideas as a child too, but she had been much easier than Cassie, who became the family dissident. Cassie adored her father, and early on she always complained about how little time their mother spent with them. The others had noticed it too by then, but Olivia had an empire to run, she had to rely on Joe and her mother to do for the children whatever she didn’t have the
the right people to help her. Amanda was certain that her mother-in-law did, but she had never dared to ask her for her assistance, and Olivia had never volunteered. The relationship between the two women had always been civil, but there was no great warmth between them. Amanda loved every opportunity to be in the social columns and the papers. Olivia cared about none of that and was interested only in the business section, where she appeared regularly on the front page. Phillip never did, nor
but had turned out to be the greatest blessings of her life, far more than their fathers had been. The marriage to Sophie’s father would never have lasted, even if he hadn’t died, and Jasper, Carole’s father, was a handsome, narcissistic flake. He was harmless and incompetent, and had spent a lifetime having beautiful children in his image and doing nothing for them. There was no one there, and never had been. And the men Liz had been involved with since, albeit briefly, had been no better. She
intelligent, and madly in love with John, which pleased Olivia no end. It touched her heart to see her so loving to her son. Olivia had come to know her children better as adults than she had as children. She was far more aware now of their sensitive points, their fears and weaknesses, and she worried about them more in recent years than she had when they were young. In the early days, they had had their father and grandmother to protect them, and Olivia had been around as much as she could. In
his brother looked at him strangely. “Are you okay? You look weird.” “I am weird,” he said vaguely. “Amanda got appointed to the federal bench yesterday. She’s reorganizing the world.” “Have you calmed down about Mom?” “Maybe. I don’t know. I haven’t thought about it.” But in light of what he was doing with Taylor, or might be doing, or could do, and wanted to do, his objections to Peter Williams seemed strange even to him. Maybe this was how those things happened. He hadn’t allowed himself