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Southern Lights: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – October 26, 2010

270 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A veteran of exploring wealthy family dynamics, Steel now flirts with the thriller, introducing two familiar fixtures, the serial killer and the strong single female attorney determined to get him convicted. Unfortunately, her focus quickly shifts away from New York ADA Alexa Hamilton and her conflict with rapist-murderer Luke Quentin to Alexa's 17-year-old daughter, Savannah, and her relationship with her father, Tom Beaumont, who broke Alexa's heart when he divorced her to remarry his first wife. After Savannah begins receiving threatening letters sent from Luke or an associate, Alexa asks Tom to provide Savannah a haven, which he does over his wife's objections. The visit helps Savannah grow closer to her dad and stepfamily; it also gives Alexa, on weekend visits, an opportunity to heal in classic Steel style, but the resulting courtroom drama feels rushed and inexpert. Thriller fans will be disappointed with all the family bonding, though Steel's many readers will, of course, devour this. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world’s most popular authors, with over 650 million copies of her novels sold. Her many international bestsellers include Country, Prodigal Son, Pegasus, A Perfect Life, Power Play, Winners, First Sight, Until the End of Time, The Sins of the Mother, and other highly acclaimed novels. She is also the author of His Bright Light, the story of her son Nick Traina’s life and death; A Gift of Hope, a memoir of her work with the homeless; Pure Joy, about the dogs she and her family have loved; and the children’s book Pretty Minnie in Paris.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Dell; Reprint edition (October 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440243327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440243328
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (270 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world's most popular authors, with over 590 million copies of her novels sold. Her many international bestsellers include 44 Charles Street, Legacy, Family Ties, Big Girl, Southern Lights, Matters of the Heart, One Day at a Time, and other highly acclaimed novels. She is also the author of His Bright Light, the story of her son Nick Traina's life and death.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Christa on December 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Danielle Steel is an author that no matter how many times she disappoints, you continue coming back for more in the hopes that she will redeem herself. I must say that I enjoyed this story. She stepped away from the fairytales, and attempted something more edgy and realistic. I loved the tight knit relationship between Alexa and Savannah, and I thoroughly despised the character of Luisa, and pitied the weakness of Tom, which is a testament to the dynamic of Steel's writing, because I loathe a story where everything, including the characters, are sugarcoated and nauseating. I did get a sense that the romance between Alexa and Edward was a bit rushed and underdeveloped, but that's to be expected I guess when writing a book from a couple of different angles. I, too, hope that Steel continues taking the time to craft stories that don't fit the cookie cutter molds she has been cheat sheeting with as of late. Because 'Southern Lights' was a long awaited step foward for her imo.
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34 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Sissel M. Østdahl on October 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I sense a new maturity in Danielle Steel's latest books. The glamorous fairytales have given place to more down to earth stories about people and their lives and strives. Yes, we are still dealing with successfull people from the upper classes. Moneyed families living in fabulous mansions. But the difference is there. And distinct.

Alexa Hamilton is single mother to 17 year old Susannah. After a bitter divorce ten years ago, Alexa becomes a lawyer and has built a brilliant career as an assistant D.A. in New York. When accused serial murder Luke Quentin is captured and put to trial, Alexa is handed the case, which is an opportunity of a lifetime.

Not long after she has started the trial preparations, threatening letters, addressed to beautiful young Susannah, start arriving. Suspecting that Luke Quentin may have something to do with the letters, Alexa, still hurt by her ex-husband Tom's betrayal, feels forced to send Savannah back to him and his new family until the trial is over.

The book is first of all a story about love, betrayal, bitterness and finally - healing - within a family. Parallell with the trial, we follow as old wounds are being exposed, the healing process and how it all affects both the relationship between mother and daugther and the whole family as such. And apart from circumstances and surroundings, it's not so different from similar incidents lots of people go through in the course of a lifetime.

Danielle Steel has always been a great storyteller known for light entertainment told with - especially lately - warmth and wisdom. There may be luxury and glamour but there is no doubt the author has known loss and suffering. Both earlier and later work bears proof of that.

Still as busily writing as ever, Danielle Steel can be trusted to deliver. As the saying goes, she is a phenomenon!

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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Clara on October 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover
After over 70 books, Danielle Steel had gotten into a ho hum rut. I wasn't sure how this book would be. She hit it out of the park!!! She skillfully wove 2 stories together into a single conclusion.

Alexa was divorced from Tom and raised her daughter Savannah alone. Forced out of the marriage was more like it. Tom's ex-wife got pregnant and he had to re-marry her. Alexa meanwhile went to law school in NY and became an assistant DA. She is given a difficult case of rape and murder with 18 victims in different states. Her daughter is sent threatening letters by either the defendant or his accomplice. Alexa makes the difficult decision to send 17 year old Savannah to Charleston SC to live with her father, Tom to keep her safe.

Tom's wife in enraged and refuses to even be polite to Savannah but the rest of the family including her half brothers and sister welcome her. The grandmother had been instrumental in destroying Alexa's marriage to Tom, but realized that she had made a mistake. At first she was cool to Savannah, but when Savannah said she wanted to know about her Southern history, the grandmother decided that she liked her. She is a hard core Confederate and couldn't reconcile herself to Tom's marriage to Alexa who was a "Yankee."

What makes this work is the successful back and forth telling of Alexa's trial work on this case, and Savannah's adjustment to life in Charleston which she hadn't seen since she was 6 years old. Tom tries to admit to Alexa that he never stopped loving her but Alexa with great class tells him to never tell her that again. She says they MAY be able to be friends.

I hope she can keep up this roll. Her last few books were too repetitive of the same theme. Husband divorces wife and marries younger woman. That was BORING!!!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Janet Pham on June 1, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Don't let my one star rating fool you - I only gave that much because I found no grammatical or spelling errors in the book. That alone deserves at least one star.

Having said that, as a long time fan of Danielle Steel, I am profoundly disappointed in her disinterest in writing. The past few books have been a tremendous letdown, and I'm shocked. One of two things happened: either I have outgrown her style of writing, or she has gotten lazy and unimaginative.

This reader is insulted by her weak attempt in writing about the South. As someone who has travelled all over the United States, and lived on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line, I'm embarrassed FOR Danielle Steel - she clearly has no concept on real southern living. If I had to read the phrase "Bless Her Heart" one more time, I felt that I very well would have to stab myself in the eye.

Take a break from writing Danielle Steel - its time to let reality visit you and allow your readers to lick our wounds from this latest embarrassing attempt at writing - we're wounded because you assumed we had a third grade education and a complete disregard for our very realistic and very diverse cultural exposures.

Retire - take a vacation, or better yet, retire. Please.
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