NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this powerful novel, Danielle Steel tells the story of two World War II concentration camp survivors, the life they build together, and the son who faces struggles of his own as a first-generation American determined to be his own person and achieve success.
When U.S. troops occupy Germany, friends Jakob and Emmanuelle are saved from the terrible fate of so many in the camps. With the help of sponsors, they make their way to New York. In order not to be separated, they allow their friendship to blossom into love and marriage, and start a new life on the Lower East Side, working at grueling, poorly paid jobs.
Decades later, through talent, faith, fortune, and relentless hard work, Jakob has achieved success in the diamond business, invested in real estate in New York, and shown his son, Max, that America is truly the land of opportunity. Max is a rising star, a graduate of Harvard with friends among the wealthiest, most ambitious families in the world. And while his parents were thrown together by chance, Max chooses a perfect bride to start the perfect American family.
An opulent society wedding. A honeymoon in Tahiti. A palatial home in Greenwich. Max’s lavish lifestyle is unimaginable to his cautious old-world father and mother. Max wants to follow his father’s example and make his own fortune. But after the birth of children, and with a failing marriage, he can no longer deny that his wife is not the woman he thought she was. Angry and afraid, Max must do what he has never done before: struggle, persevere, and learn what it means to truly walk in his father’s footsteps, while pursuing his own ideals and setting an example for his children.
Moving from the ashes of postwar Europe to the Lower East Side of New York to wealth, success, and unlimited luxury, In His Father’s Footsteps is a stirring tale of three generations of strong, courageous, and loving people who pay their dues to achieve their goals.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Charting one family’s journey from the harrowing Buchenwald concentration camp to the glittery Manhattan of the early ’70s, In His Father’s Footsteps is Danielle Steel at her most refined. Holocaust survivors Jakob and Emmanuelle strive for and, ultimately, achieve the American dream; Steel focuses on their son, Max, who, despite being born into unlimited wealth and opportunity, yearns to make his own mark. While many might not think of Steel as a writer driven by social commentary, this novel will change their minds. The story’s central themes—how immigration benefits American society and how money can corrupt a man’s soul—feel particularly timely.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A pleasure to read
In His Father’s Footsteps by Danielle Steel takes us back to April 1945. Emmanuelle Berger and Jakob Stein are in Buchenwald when U.S. troops liberate the camp. Jakob had been in the concentration camp for five years and his entire family was exterminated. Emmanuelle was near death when the soldiers arrived. To avoid separation, the pair marry and relocate to America with the help from a sponsor. They work hard at labor intensive jobs and live in a small, dingy apartment on the Lower East Side. One day, Jakob meets Israel “Izzy” Horowitz, a diamond dealer, who offers him a job. Jakob learns the business quickly and is soon Izzy’s right hand man. As Jakob makes more money, he invests it into real estate. Jakob and Emmanuelle have a son, Max who they dote upon. Max attends the best schools with the determination that he will never struggle for money. Instead of following in his father’s footsteps after graduating from Harvard, Max wants to make his own way in the business world. He marries Julie Morgan at a lavish society wedding and installs her in a luxurious home with a large staff. Max is a successful business with a beautiful wife, extravagant home and children. However, he feels that he cannot have enough money and is constantly at work rarely seeing his wife and children. A tragedy makes Max see that he has a failing marriage and is setting a poor example for his children. While Max achieved the American dream, he neglected the basic lessons his father taught him. Can Max turn his life around?
In His Father’s Footsteps is a well-written and engaging story. It is an emotional novel that takes us from horrific Buchenwald to the lavish Upper East Side. We follow our characters as they set out to achieve the American dream of becoming successful and having a family. Can you imagine living through the horrors of a concentration camp? It will indelibly leave its mark on a person as we see in this book. I could feel the characters emotions and struggles. The choices the characters made was based on their experiences. I thought the author captured the time period and the various settings. I admit that I enjoyed Emmanuelle and Jakob’s story better than Max’s. Max, though, was raised differently which caused him to make decisions that we may not like (or agree with) but were understandable. I appreciated the epilogue which nicely wraps up the book (we would expect no less from Danielle Steel). While there is some predictability to the story, it did not hinder my reading pleasure. I have been reading Danielle Steel’s books since I was twelve years old and I never get tired of reading her novels. I am giving In His Father’s Footsteps 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it).
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In His Father's Footsteps
Not her best and no tears while reading this one. Why are all her characters filthy rich?? It's getting tedious and of course they are always beautiful and never look their age. Plug into the real word please Danielle.