Book Review: “A Perfect Life” By Steel

“A Perfect Life” is a contemporary romance novel by Daniel Steel and was published in 2015 by Dell, a division of Random House LLC.  332 pages long. It is written in omniscient third person narrative style that focuses on telling the reader instead of showing and action.

I received the book in a free box of books. I am not being paid for my review in anyway.

Book Synopsis (back cover summary):

The heroine is a successful television journalist in her mid-forties. She puts work ahead of everything. It all came at the expense of her personal life. She has a 19 year old diabetic blind daughter she barely knows or spends time with. When her daughters caretaker dies suddenly the school closes and her daughter has to move home. The daughters new caretaker is 15 years younger than the heroine. The heroine and the new caretaker (the hero) end up together at the end of the book.

Rating Legend: 1-Didn’t like it 2-It was alright, 3-I liked it, 4-It was pretty good/well done, 5-It was excellent

Ratings (1-5 scale):

  • Overall: 1.5
  • Heroine: 1.5
  • Hero: 1.5
  • Read another book by this author: Maybe; if it showed up in a free box of books.

Review:

The heroine is a mid-forties television journalist at the top of her career. She is the golden reporter of the station, every interview, and everything she does is just perfect. The novel spends a considerable time going over how great, talented, wealthy and wonderful the heroine is. Her daughter has spent most of her life at a boarding school living in a small cottage with her care taker. She has diabetes and is blind. After her care taker dies the school is temporarily closed and she has to go home to live with her mother. Along for the adventure is her new care taker; a man, fifteen years younger than the heroine.

In true romance novel fashion there is some drama. Either caused by old relationships, or current fiction between the hero and heroine. In this case the hero believes that the daughter has been stifled in her independence. The mother thinks the care taker should just continue to do everything for her blind child. Just like the old care taker did. The hero and heroine get together; and then take a four month separation from each other. Then they come back together at the end of the novel.

Where this story falls short; and why it got only a 1.5:

  • Two political soapboxes in the novel:
    • The first happens at the start of the novel with a mass shooting at a college campus. This is the focus of the first seven pages. The heroine ends up putting the blame on two groups: mentally ill people and those against stronger gun control legislation. In the story the heroine mentions that she might do a story about the issue past the two page editorial. Only by page forty-eight the heroine decides against it and calls the entire incident, “…not necessarily newsworthy anymore, it was just sad.”
    • The other political soapbox occurs when the heroine is faced with being pregnant. She wrestles with the idea of having an abortion. She eventually decides to keep the child.
  • The book is repetitive. A lot of the repetition reads as if it is just there to fill the pages. Some of the narrative does include new details left out the first time. It wasn’t until at least the second description of the heroine’s daughter that the reader found out that she was blind.
  • Incredibly long sentences, and a lot of sentences started with the word “and”.
  • Unneeded cuss words.

Related blog posts: Roseylinn: Recycled Book Reading Challenge  and the creator of the Recycled Book Reading Challenge: LifeExperimenting Blog Recycled Book Reading Challenge Post

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