Mary, Tanya and Zoe had been inseparable in college. But in the twenty years or more that followed, the three had moved on with their lives, settled in different cities, and found successful careers and new roles as mothers and wives. At a sprawling ranch in Wyoming the three women, each by chance finding themselves alone for a few weeks one summer, come together and find courage, healing and truth, and reach out to each other again.
Once they shared everything, but now pretence between them runs high. Mary, married for twenty-two years to a Manhattan lawyer, masks the guilt and fear that her husband will never forgive her for their son's death. Tanya, a singer and rock star, enjoys all the trappings of fame and success - a mansion in Bel Air, legions of fans, and a broken heart - for the children she wanted but never had, and the men who have takehn advantage of her. Zoe has her hands full as single mother to an adopted two-year-old, and as a doctor at an AIDS clinic in San Francisco, until unexpected news forces her to re-evaluate both her future, and her current life.
But their friendship is still a bond they all treasure and share. For each of the women, a few weeks at the ranch bring healing and release. In The Ranch, bestselling author Danielle Steel brings reality to the meaning of friendship, with dramas whose truths we all share.
Twenty years ago, in college, the three female protagonists of Steel's 40th novel were "like sisters." Now, Mary Stuart Walker is on all the best charity boards in Manhattan, Tanya Thomas is a Hollywood megastar and Dr. Zoe Phillips runs an AIDS clinic. But sometimes it's tough on women who seem to have it all. Mary Stuart's marriage is glacial, and her husband, a big-shot lawyer, blames her for their son's suicide. Tanya's third husband walks out on her, unable to withstand life in the tabloid fishbowl. Zoe, single mother of an adopted child, learns that she has AIDS. What to do? If you're one of these three, you head for a Wyoming dude ranch for a little R&R--Reunion and Romance. In Steel's cotton-candy world, horses, female comradeship and new men prove the panacea for every woe--except for bad writing. Steel seems to be going for the world record here for sentences that begin with the word "And," imparting a herky-jerky rhythm to her narrative. The trials of being a megastar are granted far more dramatic weight--both in terms of sheer page length and depth of discussion--than are those of someone stricken with AIDS. As usual, Steel's world is one in which, no matter what they're going through, the women always look "spectacular." As for the real world, there's just no room for it here.