Review Copy Provided By~Publisher
I have read several works by Danielle Steel over the years. For the most part, I can't really think of one that I truly disliked. I know that many people feel that much of Ms. Steel's work follows the same formula and are more or less similar stories with different names and locations, etc. Personally, however, I find myself enjoying the stories of real life types of people working through real life issues and the complexities of family dynamics that are addressed within many of Danielle Steel's books. Happy Birthday was no exception. Once I read the synopsis of the story, I was incredibly intrigued and wanted to delve right into the story.
Happy Birthday focuses on a mother and daughter - April, the daughter, who is incredibly work oriented and considers her beloved restaurant her entire life, she is celebrating her 30th birthday this year. Valerie, April's mother, is a world known and loved television personality that easily gives Martha Stewart a run for her money. This year, Valerie is celebrating her 60th birthday. Enter Jack Adams, a football hero who has lived the lush and spoiled life of woman and partying. This year, Jack is celebrating his 50th birthday. All three of these people celebrate their birthdays on the same day and all three people will have a very different year than they could ever imagine.
As far as characters go, I really enjoyed April, Valerie and Jack. I do have to admit that Valerie's over-the-top obsession about her age annoyed me a bit. Granted, growing older is difficult, especially the older one gets; however, her rantings about it were a bit much for me. I think my favorite character was April simply because she was such a strong and ambitious woman. I also loved how her character progresses throughout the story. I don't want to give too much away, but the trials and tribulations that she finds herself face to face with in her 30th year are all too common in today's society and the way that she deals with those things and herself lend a greatness to the overall story. As far as the jock, Jack, I also enjoyed his progression throughout the story. He matures in a way that is admirable and endured himself to me.
The story itself was enjoyable and flowed well. I do have to mention that I was a bit let down with the "terrifying act of violence". Though this sets a life changing flow into action for everyone, I thought that perhaps it could have been written a bit more in-depth. Again, I don't want to give too much away, but what I thought would be a bigger part of the story was basically a blimp on the overall map of the story.
Danielle Steel has such an incredible and enormous talent for story telling and drawing the reader into the worlds that she creates. For me, Happy Birthday was a very satisfying, engrossing and enjoyable read. This is a story of life, of facing your demons, dealing with the unexpected and coming out on top. The love stories within Happy Birthday were enduring and sweet, the life stories heartwarming. I greatly enjoyed Happy Birthday and look forward to diving into some of Danielle Steel's backlist books as well as her future works.