In Danielle Steel’s thrilling novel, a woman’s legacy—shaped by tragedy, fortitude, and undying devotion—transforms lives and hearts long after she is gone, and fulfills at last her most precious bequest.Faded photographs of a glamorous couple in postwar Europe. Old letters hinting of tragic loss. And a breathtaking array of magnificent jewelry, spectacular stones in exquisite settings. These are the contents of a safe-deposit box long abandoned in a New York City bank. If no heir can be identified, the jewelry will be auctioned. But who was the woman who left such a fortune and no will?Two people, drawn together by chance, begin to unravel the mystery. Jane Willoughby is a law clerk at the surrogate’s court and Phillip Lawton a fine arts expert for Christie’s auction house. They are simply doing their jobs when they come to the bank to inspect the contents of the box. But for both Jane and Phillip the search turns personal—and their efforts to reconstruct an enigmatic life will lead from New York to London and Paris, to Rome and Naples, and a series of stunning revelations.Eighteen-year-old Marguerite Pearson left America with a broken heart in the shadow of World War II. She found a new life in Europe but forever mourned what she left behind. As the truth about Marguerite’s extraordinary history—her forbidden love affair and her family’s treachery—is slowly revealed, more people are drawn into the puzzle that Jane and Phillip have pieced together, and one among them will inherit the most unexpected gift of all.
Danielle Fernandes Dominique Schuelein-Steel was born on August 14, 1947 in New York. Her father was a descendant of the Lowenbrau beer family and her mother was the daughter of a diplomat. She studied both literature and fashion design, first attending the Parsons School of Design and then New York University, graduating in 1967. Danielle Steel is currently the bestselling author alive today, and the fourth bestselling author of all time with over 650 million copies of her books sold. Steel has written 129 books, 93 of which were novels, primarily romance. Every one of her novels has achieved best seller status. She has been published in 69 countries and in 43 different languages. She has had 22 of her novels adapted for television movies and two of those received Golden Globe nominations. Danielle releases three new novels a year and works on multiple books at a time, often as many as five at once.
Steel has been married five times and although she is currently divorced, she is a strong believer in marriage and family. An only child, she discovered the joys of a big family as a child through one of her friends. She has nine children (seven biological and two stepsons that she has always considered her own) that are her greatest accomplishment. Her joy in life is her children and she speaks of them frequently on her website and her blog. Many of her books have been dedicated to one or more of her children. She was based in California for most of her career and now lives in both San Francisco and Paris.