Danielle Steel Reminds Readers to Choose Happiness in ‘Without a Trace’ [REVIEW]

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A near-death experience makes one man reevaluate his life in Danielle Steel’s Without a Trace. (Photo by Moslem Sheihaky/500px/Getty Images)

A materialistic wife. A loveless marriage. A job he detests. Aside from his children, there is nothing keeping one man going. Then an opportunity presents itself to course correct his life. But at what cost? And is a clean getaway even realistic or possible? Find out in Danielle Steel’s newest thought-provoking novel, Without a Trace.

Danielle Steel's WITHOUT A TRACE
Delacorte Press

Charles Vincent may seem like he has an enviable life with his beautiful wife, successful children, lucrative career, posh Parisian apartment (with a view of the Eiffel Tower, no less), and even a chateau in Normandy. But in truth, the only thing he finds fulfilling is his relationship with his kids. The rest is meaningless, and happiness eludes him.

One night, following yet another argument with his employer, he leaves the city and drives up the coast toward his chateau and a weekend spent entertaining his wife’s friends. God forbid she invite anyone he actually enjoys spending time with. Halfway there, he falls asleep at the wheel and sails over a cliff. Miraculously, he survives, and swims ashore even as his car plunges to the bottom of the sea.

Presumed dead by the authorities, he spends the next five months figuring out his life. As his “widow” makes arrangements for his memorial service, he finds a job he enjoys, and makes new friends who become truly important to him. Still, at his core, he is an honorable man, and he must decide whether or not he can vanish forever, leaving everything behind—and everyone, including his family—or if he will rise from the dead and follow his heart.

Without a Trace is a beautiful novel that examines what it takes to seize happiness, and why it takes honesty and great courage to do so, especially when life has pushed us to our breaking point. Charlie is an empathetic character with a huge heart that readers will fall for, one who is faced with a choice many of us sometimes dream about, especially when we face insurmountable odds and relentless stress.

This is a great parable for our time, one I believe many of Steel’s fans will connect and identify with. I loved the lesson I learned by the time I closed this book. It left me feeling buoyant, optimistic, and hopeful, even though there are some very realistic, problematic, and nail-biting situations sprinkled throughout this richly layered story.

Once again, Steel knocks the ball out of the park with this one. Without a Trace is the perfect read to begin a new year. Fast paced, engrossing, suspenseful, and uplifting, it may even inspire you to choose happiness and make some much-needed changes in your own life.

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About the author

Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world’s bestselling authors, with almost a billion copies of her novels sold.

Her many international bestsellers include The Whittiers, The High Notes, The Challenge, Suspects, Beautiful, High Stakes, Invisible, Flying Angels, The Butler, 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; A Gift of Hope, a memoir of her work with the homeless; Expect a Miracle, a book of her favorite quotations for inspiration and comfort; Pure Joy, about the dogs she and her family have loved, and the children’s books Pretty Minnie in Paris and Pretty Minnie in Hollywood.

To learn more, visit her home on the Web at DanielleSteel.com and her blog at DanielleSteel.net, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

By Danielle Steel
240 pp. Delacorte Press. $28.99
ISBN 978-1-9848-2186-7

Purchase Without a Trace direct from Jathan & Heather Books or anywhere else fine books are sold.

Danielle Steel
Danielle Steel
(Photo by Brigitte Lacombe)

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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