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Jewels

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Jewels

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On Sarah Whitfield's seventy-fifth birthday, memories take her back to New York in the 1930s. To a marriage that ends after a year, leaving Sarah shattered. A trip to Europe with her parents does...
On Sarah Whitfield's seventy-fifth birthday, memories take her back to New York in the 1930s. To a marriage that ends after a year, leaving Sarah shattered. A trip to Europe with her parents does...
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Description-
  • On Sarah Whitfield's seventy-fifth birthday, memories take her back to New York in the 1930s. To a marriage that ends after a year, leaving Sarah shattered. A trip to Europe with her parents does little to raise her spirits, until she meets William, Duke of Whitfield. In time, despite her qualms, William insists on giving up his distant right to the British throne to make Sarah his dutchess and his wife.

    On their honeymoon, the newlyweds buy an old French chateau, but not long after, the war begins. William joins the allied forces, leaving Sarah, their first child, an infant, and their second child on the way, in France. After the Nazi forces take over the chateau, Sarah continues to survive the terror and deprivation of the Occupation, unwavering in her belief that her missing-in-action husband is still alive.

    After the war, as a gesture of goodwill, the Whitfields start buying jewels offered for sale by impoverished war survivors. With Sarah's style and keen eye, the collection becomes the prestigious Whitfield's jewelry store in Paris. Eventually, their jewelry business expands to London and Rome, as their family grows. Phillip, their firstborn, is stubborn and proud; Julian, their second son, is charming and generous and warm; Isabelle is rebellious and willful; and Xavier, unusual and untamed, is the final unexpected gift of their love. They each find their own way, but will be drawn to the great house of gems their parents built. In Jewels, Danielle Steel takes the reader through five eventful decades that include war, passion, international intrigue, and the strength of family through it all.

    From the Paperback edition.

Excerpts-
  • Chapter One The air was so still in the brilliant summer sun that you could hear the birds, and every sound for miles, as Sarah sat peacefully looking out her window. The grounds were brilliantly designed, perfectly manicured, the gardens laid out by Le NÙtre, as Versailles' had been, the trees towering canopies of green framing the park of the Ch,teau de la Meuze. The ch,teau itself was four hundred years old, and Sarah, Duchess of Whitfield, had lived here for fifty-two years now. She had come here with William, when she was barely more than a girl, and she smiled at the memory as she watched the caretaker's two dogs chase each other into the distance. Her smile grew as she thought of how much Max was going to enjoy the two young sheepdogs.

    It always gave her a feeling of peace, sitting here, looking out at the grounds they had worked so hard on. It was easy to recall the desperation of the war, the endless hunger, the fields stripped of everything they might have had to give them. It had all been so difficult then. . . so different. . . and it was odd, it never seemed so long ago. . . fifty years. . . half a century. She looked down at her hands, at the two enormous, perfectly square emerald rings she almost always wore, and it still startled her to see the hands of an old woman. They were still beautiful hands, graceful hands, useful hands, thank God, but they were the hands of a seventy-five-year-old woman. She had lived well, and long; too long, she thought sometimes. . . too long without William. . . and yet there was always more, more to see, to do, to think about, and plan, more to oversee with their children. She was grateful for the years she had had, and even now, she didn't have the sense that anything was over, or complete yet. There was always some unexpected turn in the road, some event that couldn't have been foreseen, and somehow needed her attention. It was odd to think that they still needed her, they needed her less than they knew, and yet they still turned to her often enough to make her feel important to them, and still somehow useful. And there were their children too. She smiled as she thought of them, and stood, still looking for them out the window. She could see them as they arrived, from here. . . see their faces as they smiled, or laughed, or looked annoyed as they stepped from their cars, and looked expectantly up at her windows. It was almost as if they always knew she would be there, watching for them. No matter what else she had to do, on the afternoon they were to arrive, she always found something to do in her elegant little upstairs sitting room, as she waited. And even after all these years, with all of them grown, there was always a little thrill of excitement, to see their faces, hear their tales, listen to their problems. She worried about them, and loved them, just as she always had, and in a way, each one of them was a tiny piece of the enormous love she had shared with William. What a remarkable man he had been, larger than any fantasy, than any dream. Even after the war, he was a force to be reckoned with, a man that everyone who knew him would always remember.

    Sarah walked slowly away from the window, past the white-marble fireplace, where she often sat on cold winter afternoons, thinking, writing notes, or even writing a letter to one of her children. She spoke to them frequently on the telephone, in Paris, London, Rome, Munich, Madrid, and yet she had an enormous fondness for writing.

    She stood looking down at a table draped in an ancient, faded brocade, a beautiful piece of antique workmanship that she had found years ago, in Venice, and she gently touched the...

About the Author-
  • Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world's most popular authors, with over 570 million copies of her novels sold. Her many international bestsellers include Amazing Grace, Bungalow 2, Sisters, H.R.H., Coming Out, The House, 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.

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    Random House Publishing Group
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