Although frequent business meetings keep her husband, Brad, away from home, Page Clarke feels blessed with her happy family and comfortable marriage. They have a house near San Francisco and she keeps busy looking after their seven-year-old son, Andy, and their teenage daughter, Allyson.
Allyson, at fifteen, is trying her wings and one weekend, instead of an evening with her friend Chloe, the girls lie and go out with two older high school boys. But a Saturday night that was supposed to be fun ends in tragedy when their car collides head-on with another.
At the hospital, Page finds Chloe's divorced father, Trygve, and, unable to locate Brad, she leans on his strength throughout the the long hours of tormenting questions. Will Allyson live? Will any of them? Were the teenagers drinking? Using drugs? Who was at fault? And where is her husband? Without Brad by her side Page feels her life start to come apart as she is forced to confront the fact that Allyson may not live, and if she does, she may never be the same again.
In an inspiring novel that explores how many people are affected by one tragic accident and how they survive it, Danielle Steel brings us close to the characters whose lives are as familiar as our own... and who live, as we all do, in a world where everything can change in a single moment.
Packed with Steel's trademark dense plotting and incidents featuring everything from sexual abuse and infidelity to car crashes and impossible relatives, her 32nd novel (after Vanished ) is set in California's plush Marin County. Page Clarke, devoted wife of Brad and mother of Allyson and Andy, finds her golden life shattered when 15-year-old Allyson sneaks off with friend Chloe to meet two boys. In a subsequent head-on collision, one boy is killed, Chloe is seriously injured and Allyson lapses into a coma. Page can't reach Brad, who confesses when he comes home that he is having an affair. Stunned and hurt, Page keeps a vigil at Allyson's bedside while also coping with needy seven-year-old Andy and an ambivalent husband who can't decide whether to stay or leave. Her only support comes from Chloe's father, Trygve Thorensen, who has been the primary caretaker for his kids since their mother divorced him. Other plot twists include a visit from Page's self-indulgent, neurotic mother and her sister, and a secret concerning the driver of the other car in the accident. While not drawn in much depth, the characters are believable; Trygve in particular is likable and nurturing. The ending is predictable but pleasant, bound to delight Steel's fans. One million first printing; national ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club dual main selection.