Mixed Blessings

Danielle Steel, Author
Danielle Steel, Author Delacorte Press $23.5 (369p) ISBN 978-0-385-29910-7
Hardcover - 369 pages - 978-0-385-30663-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 432 pages - 978-0-440-21411-3
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-553-47171-7
Hardcover - 384 pages - 978-0-385-30664-5
Paperback - 472 pages - 978-0-8161-5792-1
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-0-552-13746-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 416 pages - 978-0-440-24338-0
Hardcover - 978-0-7089-8810-7
Open Ebook - 448 pages - 978-1-4090-9198-1
Open Ebook - 215 pages - 978-0-307-56669-0
Hardcover - 978-0-7531-0826-0
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The prolific Steel ( No Greater Love ) turns her attentions to a contemporary topic: infertility, and the desperate measures that couples resort to in the hope of biological parenthood. Steel's approach, however, is often maudlin and simplistic. Here, three California couples are married on the same day; none of the women proves able to conceive. The couples never meet, but Steel tracks their common fate with a vigor that rivals her characters' quest for children. Various partners consult fertility experts, and ultimately every conceivable aspect of reproductive medicine, including surrogate motherhood, is given its due. Steel explores the emotional strain on the couples: Diana and Andy, who previously led charmed lives; bubbleheaded would-be starlet Barbi and unexciting but wholesome Charlie; and 42-year-old Pilar, a successful attorney, and 61-year-old Bradford, a judge and widower who has two children. Marriages founder, but conventionally good characters find their way to happy endings. While Steel sets up potentially complex family relationships, she forgoes developing them; just as it wreaks havoc on the characters, the single-minded pursuit of babies damages the narrative. Major ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selection. (Dec. )
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