Hope you’re all doing well and are enjoying the sunshine! While the nursery I work at has been closed due to the pandemic, I’ve had a lot of time to read, and I recently finished my 13th book of the UK lockdown – Danielle Steel’s Fairytale. As I really enjoyed the book, I thought I’d share my review with you today!
The perfect book for the holidays: Cinderella set amid the wine-making estates of modern-day Napa Valley, complete with an evil Parisian stepmother.
Deeply in love, Christophe and Joy Lammenais built Chateau Lammenais into a small but renowned Napa Valley winery and an idyllic home where they raised their beloved daughter, Camille, who takes on increasing responsibilities for the estate they all treasure. But after Joy’s early death from breast cancer just after Camille’s graduation from Stanford, a lonely Christophe soon falls prey to the machinations of a sophisticate from his native France—who moves, with her two reprobate sons, to consolidate her power over Camille and the property when Christophe is killed in a plane crash. With a French “fairy godmother” on the scene, however, the son of a neighbouring vintner to assist, and a grand Harvest Ball on the horizon, lovely Camille may make some potent magic of her own….
As an unashamed fan of Cinderella, the premise of Fairytale had me straightaway. There was no way I was going to leave the shop without purchasing a copy of Fairytale – especially when I’d heard so many great things about the author Danielle Steel and the cover is stunning!
In Fairytale, Danielle Steel updates the Cinderella story to 21st century California. The protagonist Camille is quite a bit older than the Cinderella I’m used to, and lives with her parents on their vineyard in Napa Valley. Camille’s idyllic life is shattered when her mother sadly passes away, and her father Christophe brings home a new woman. Much to his daughter’s dismay, Christophe is absolutely besotted with Countess de Pantin, and is unaware that she is determined to make Camille’s life unbearable. Bring in Countess de Pantin’s troublesome sons, and add another tragic accident, and Camille is left with having to save her parents’ business from being completely destroyed.
Fairytale is an enjoyable novel that puts a unique twist on a classic fairy tale. As expected from a retelling of Cinderella, I was able to empathise with the protagonist and really disliked her new stepfamily. Countess de Pantin (also known as Maxine) is very selfish and driven by money – Christophe wasn’t the only man she tricked into believing she was a good person – and her sons Alexandre and Gabriel were no better. Camille lost both her parents in short succession and was dealing with grief while trying to maintain the vineyard business – but Maxine showed no sympathy and only cared about getting her hands on the money Christophe left.
Another aspect of Fairytale that I loved was the friendship between Camille and Maxine’s mother Simone, who is kind of like the Fairy Godmother figure in this book. As she has limited funds of her own, Simone is forced to relocate from France to California with Maxine, who doesn’t value her much. Since Simone raised Maxine, she knows just how greedy ad manipulative her daughter can be, and quickly becomes an ally to Camille. Christophe also has a couple of friends who looked out for Camille and helped get rid of Maxine, Alexandre and Gabriel.
Fairytale is just the kind of book you want to read in these unprecedented times. It’s a heart-warming story with an intriguing premise, a picturesque setting, and characters that you’ll either love or hate. While Fairytale is based on a children’s tale, it’s more suited to older readers as it does have some mature scenes, so proceed with caution!
So that’s my review of Fairytale! Have you read Fairytale or anything by Danielle Steel? What book are you reading at the moment?