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44 Charles Street: A Novel Hardcover – April 5, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
After her boyfriend and business partner leaves her, Manhattan art dealer Francesca Thayer is forced to take in boarders in order to save her beloved home. In short order, she rents out rooms to Eileen, a young teacher; Marya, a famous chef; and Chris, an attractive single father. They all become close friends, but their lives remain chaotic. Eileen falls in love with tattooed men, Marya has a persistent, married suitor, and Chris gains full custody of his son as his ex-wife becomes increasingly erratic. Along the way, Francesca stops worrying about what might have been, and becomes more involved in the world around her-romances, plumbing problems, and all. While addressing the recession, the lethal danger of Internet dating, and the evils of drug abuse, Steel keeps the tone gentle and soothing in this warm, cozy tale about the triumph of love, friendship, and second chances. (Apr.)
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When Francesca Thayer and her husband, Todd, divorce, he wants to sell their art gallery as well as their charming house at 44 Charles St., and split the proceeds. Francesca can't bear to part with either. She talks her artist father into becoming a partner in the gallery, but that still leaves the problem of how to keep her home. Against the advice of her mother, Francesca decides to share her house with three other people. She chooses carefully: Eileen Flanders, a young, fresh-faced teacher; Chris Harley, a divorced father with shared custody of his little boy, Ian; and Marya Davis, a newly widowed, famous chef who doesn't want to live alone. It looks as though Francesca's problems are solved. However, Eileen isn't as innocent as she seems, and the men she meets on the Internet and brings home range from incredibly rude to physically abusive, shattering the peace of the new family. This book is classic Steel--lots of emotion, friendship, romance, heartbreak, tragedy, and danger. Her countless fans are guaranteed to find it impossible to put down. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: With 590 million books in print and best-seller-list placements lasting nearly 400 consecutive weeks, Steel, somehow both predictable and surprising, is unfailingly popular. --Shelley Mosley
Top customer reviews
I tried this because I like the trope of gathering diverse people under one roof and making a story out of it (roommates, inns, hotels...). This story wasn't so bad but the writing was...ungodly. I don't know if Steel is one person or--like Carolyn Keene--a bunch of hacks keeping a brand alive. I kind of suspect that she is one person who is getting older because this writing reminds me of my 70 year old mother who keeps repeating herself when telling anecdotes.
"You remember Mary, she's your age. She's a nurse at your grandmother's nursing home. I saw her yesterday. She looks good for being forty. I saw her when I went to visit grandma; She was working there. As a nurse, not a volunteer." Etc.
The writing is just so repetitious. At one point Steele spends 5 pages saying the same piece of information over and over again. It's painful and it's a shame. It could've have been edited down into a great novella because the story was fine. But I'd advise that unless you are goldfish you skip this.
Most recent customer reviews
Stop forcing me to do that please. My review is worthless.