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Publisher's Summary

Perched on a hill overlooking San Francisco, the house was magnificent, built in 1923 by a wealthy man for the woman he adored. For her and for this house, he would spare no expense and overlook no detail, from the endless marble floors to the glittering chandeliers. Almost a century later, with the once-grand house now in disrepair, a young woman walks through its empty rooms. Sarah Anderson, a perfectly sensible estate lawyer, is about to do something utterly out of character. An elderly client has died and left her two gifts. One is a generous inheritance. The other, a priceless message: to use his money for something wonderful, something daring. And in this old house, surrounded by crumbling grandeur, Sarah knows just what it is.

A respected attorney and self-described workaholic, Sarah had always lived life by the book. With a steady, if sputtering, relationship and a tiny apartment that has suited her just fine, Sarah cannot explain the force that draws her to the mansion and its history, to the story of a woman who once lived in the house, then mysteriously left it, to a child who grew up there, and a drama that unfolded in war-torn France, and to a history she never knew she had.

Taking the biggest risk of her life, Sarah enlists the help of architect Jeff Parker, who shares Sarah's passion for bringing the exquisite old house back to life. As she and Jeff work to restore the home's every detail, as one relationship shatters and another begins, Sarah makes a series of powerful discoveries: about the true meaning of a dying man's last gift, about the extraordinary legacies that are passed from generation to generation, and about a future she's only just beginning to imagine.

In a novel of daring and hope, of embracing life and taking chances, Danielle Steel brilliantly captures one woman's courageous choice to pour herself into a dream, and receive its gifts in return.

©2006 Danielle Steel; (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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so slow

I found this book to be very slow. I was able to listen to 7 hours but that's enough. The plot never progresses. Girl is being mentally abused and she knows it. Boyfriend is a jerk. Wants to end relationship but doesn't want to. Now, after 7 hours something should happen but it's still the same old abuse, anger, back to square one. I found myself thinking "oh please get past the weekend and on with the story". The subplot, being the house, is pretty cool, but too little of that, too much angst, no solutions or progress.

If all of her books are like this I'm not buying any more.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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The House

A love story of two people who find their way to each other after not originally being available

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what a beautiful story

I read this book many years ago for a project in middle school and loved it then. The descriptions and life lessons were not lost on my young self. However, as a 20-something now, it hits home. I will suggest this to everyone I know!!

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Well Done!

The book was expected to be entertaining and was greatly enjoyed. The reading~ did not interfer with the writing as the last book I listened to did.

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The House

very refreshing loved the story line

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent...as usual!

Excellent story line and it kept me interested in the main character up until the end! I would love to see another book based on this character too! The story must go on! :)

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  • Lily
  • ConcordAustralia
  • 05-06-06

Starts slow but gets better

I found all the complaints about Phil at the beginning soooo boring - why didn't Sarah just dump him?
Luckily, it improved and by the end I was enjoying the story. In fact, I think it would be fun doing up a house.

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  • Candy
  • Grover Beach, CA, USA
  • 04-29-06

Sort of a Good Read

This book seems like it was written in a hurry -- a deadline or something. It would seem she kept repeating herself over and over. I would have like to explore the mystery that surrounded the people who built the house. However that said I liked the story and it would be a good read for someone who just wants to be entertained on a long commute.

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Trivial Plot - Trite Characters - Don't Bother

This is my first and last Danielle Steel book. Curious about the enthusiasm for this author, I decided to give this book a chance. What I found was a repetitious barrage of being told what characters were thinking and feeling, with no attempt to make them come alive through their actions and words. Her attempts at character development were transparent, and the story line was trite and highly predictable; the story could have been told in a quarter of the time. There were many missed opportunities to enrich the story with details that would have made the House a more meaningful character. Steel's attempts to apply psychology to the main character's motivations towards the end of the book were naive and failed to add anything to the story. Overall it reads like an outline still waiting to be fleshed out into a story. A waste of time and money -- don't bother.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah James
  • 09-24-17

Danielle Steel at her best.

Yes. I've listened to them all, and this one is in my top five favourites. Erik Singer truly is the master narrator and he makes the book even better with his excellent, seemingly effortless performance.
This was written dare I say when Danielle took more time over her plots. It's beautifully paced and so well thought out. Many of her later books ramble a bit and aren't as absorbing and emotionally satisfying as this one. Highly recommended.

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  • Beverley Ambrose
  • 01-06-16

Lovely story

Narration was excellent. Lovely story, nice, easy listening & lots of happy endings. I would have preferred it to be abridged (it went on a bit at times) but overall really enjoyed it. Nice to have a good upbeat story.

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