Capturing historical events, terrifying moments of danger, tragedy, the price of war, and the invincible spirit of a woman of honor, The Award is a monumental tale from one of our most gifted storytellers—Danielle Steel’s finest, most emotionally resonant novel yet.Gaëlle de Barbet is sixteen years old in 1940 when the German army occupies France and frightening changes begin. She is shocked and powerless when French gendarmes take away her closest friend, Rebekah Feldmann, and her family, and send them to a detention camp for deportation to an unknown, ominous fate.The local German military commandant makes Gaëlle’s family estate outside Lyon into his headquarters. Her father and brother are killed by the Germans; her mother fades away into madness and ill health. Trusted friends and employees become traitors. And by accident, Gaëlle begins a perilous journey with the French Resistance, hoping to save lives to make up for the beloved friend she could do nothing to help.Taking terrifying risks, Gaëlle becomes a valuable member of the Resistance, fearlessly delivering Jewish children to safety underneath the eyes of the Gestapo and their French collaborators. Then she is suddenly approached by the German commandant with an astonishing and dangerous plan to save part of France’s artistic heritage as the Germans withdraw. And once again, her life is on the line. Conducted in secret, flawlessly carried out, her missions for the Resistance change her life and mark her for years. She is falsely accused of collaboration at the end of the war, and flees Lyon in disgrace, orphaned and alone. She goes to Paris to put the war behind her and begin a new life, with the ghosts of the past always close at hand.Gaëlle’s life will take her from Paris to New York, from a career as a Dior model to marriage and motherhood, unbearable loss, and mature, lasting love. She returns to Paris to run a small museum, honoring victims of the Holocaust. She has never sought recognition for her courage during the war years she can never forget. Her label as a collaborator remains, until her granddaughter, a respected political journalist, is determined that past wrongs finally be made right, and her grandmother’s brave acts be recognized. Now a grateful nation will finally acknowledge this remarkable woman. At last, she is absolved and honored as the war hero she was.
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.