The good: Easy to read with a lot of action.
The not-so-good: All the characters are quite flawed, so it may take time for some to warm to them.
Why I chose it: Love a Danielle Steel novel to relax with on the weekend. Thanks Pan Macmillan!
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Setting: San Francisco and Paris
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
What do you do when the temperature outside is over 40˚C? Sit inside and read of course to try and forget the heat. Turning Point by Danielle Steel did exactly that for me. I plonked myself under the air conditioner and started reading. And reading. Like all Danielle Steel looks, the plot completely sucks you in. I barely moved until the book was finished (but it was still hot outside).
Steel’s books always capture characters with something very interesting in their lives. Turning Point is about a group of emergency department doctors in San Francisco who specialise in trauma. Their lives revolve around their work, which is unpredictable and demanding. They are at the top of their game None of the four are coping well outside work though. Bill is mourning a failed marriage and the relocation of his daughters to the other side of the world. Stephanie is trying to be a good wife and mother, but it’s at the cost of her husband’s career and he’s not happy. Wendy sits around waiting for her married lover to show up on a whim and Tom takes the title of biggest Ladies’ Man. What do they have in common? They are all selected to work on an exchange program with trauma doctors in Paris. It’s going to be an exchange of skills and information. But it turns out to be much more drama than any of them first thought. Terrorist attacks are only the beginning as their French hosts complicate the doctors’ lives and have them asking questions.
What I really liked about Turning Point is that the characters are all strongly flawed and the story is their arc to redemption. They work through their problems (not always in the most appropriate ways) and learn a lot about themselves and their loved ones. They are all taken well outside their comfort zones and forced to paddle like mad. For Tom, this is pretty easy but for Stephanie, this is particularly difficult. Her problems of love, children and fidelity are not clear cut and the suffering she experiences in trying to make a decision that pleases everyone are done realistically. The reader may not always like what she does, but she tries to do what she thinks will hurt the least.
The story wraps up nicely with all the doctors getting their happy ever after in ways that wouldn’t have been possible before the trip to Paris. It’s also a good summary of the way major emergencies are dealt with in Paris and San Francisco. (It probably wasn’t intended, but I found it fascinating how both dealt with large scale emergencies efficiently, in quite different ways). I enjoyed this foray into the medical world by Danielle Steel – it’s tough, yet tender with a compelling storyline.