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All That Glitters: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – October 26, 2021
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About the Author
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Coco Martin, officially Nicole, was a striking looking young woman with dark hair and green eyes. She had a stunning figure, and the poise of someone older than her years. What made her remarkable and even more appealing was that she was totally unaware of her great beauty. She was modest as well as spectacularly beautiful. Men had stared at her for years and she was oblivious to them. Women would have been jealous of her, but she was so kind to everyone that they forgot what she looked like, and genuinely liked her. She had turned twenty-one at the end of last year, and had just finished her junior year as a journalism major at Columbia University. It had been a major coup when she landed a summer internship at Time magazine. She’d found the notice on the bulletin board in the school of journalism. The position was intended for graduate students, but after her interview, they had been so impressed that they had hired her. She was thrilled. She had started two weeks before and she was excited to have the opportunity to work at such a prestigious magazine.
It was a hot Friday in July when she boarded the jitney in New York for the three-hour trip to Southampton to spend the weekend with her parents. She was an only child, and had always enjoyed an unusually close relationship with them, even when she was very young. They treated her more as an adult than a child, and took her everywhere with them. They had had some wonderful trips together, and welcomed her among their friends when they entertained. The three of them enjoyed one another’s company. Tom and Bethanie were proud of their only daughter.
Their marriage had gotten off to an unusual start when they were young themselves. They had met when they were both in college and fell madly in love, although they came from vastly different backgrounds. Martin had grown up dirt poor, as he readily admitted, in the Midwest. He had gotten a full scholarship to Princeton, and it changed his life. His parents would have been more than satisfied if he had wanted to be a plumber or electrician, or at the most maybe an accountant. But Tom had never accepted his parents’ limited vision for him. His friends in college convinced him that it was more profitable to manage other people’s fortunes than try to make his own from scratch. After Princeton, he got an entry-level job at a New York bank and eventually, after working diligently, with Bethanie’s help, he attended Wharton, and in time became one of the most respected investment advisors in New York. He was a quiet, discreet man, not given to showing off, although he had a business partner, Edward Easton, who was far more visible and one of the well-known stars in the business.
Like Coco, Bethanie had been dazzling when Tom met her, a stunning beauty and a lively, creative young woman. She was studying photography in the department of visual arts at Brown University, and had genuine talent.
Bethanie was from a venerable old New York family. Both she and Tom were only children and she had made her debut the year before she met Tom. They had fallen in love when they were both nineteen, had met at a party in New York and had been together ever since. When Bethanie told her parents they wanted to get married after they graduated from college, they’d objected strenuously, and thought that Tom would never amount to anything. They wanted her to marry someone from their own social circle, not a poor boy from a simple background with ambitious dreams. They didn’t see how he could go very far. Bethanie saw all his strengths and merits, and had total faith in him. Even if he would never become a material success, and remained poor forever, she loved him. When her parents flatly refused to agree to the marriage, two weeks after they graduated, Bethanie and Tom pooled what they had in their checking accounts, went to Las Vegas for the weekend, and got married in the Elvis Chapel. The Monday after, she faced her parents with the news, and they were outraged.
Tom took the bank job he’d been offered, and found work waiting on tables at night to save for business school. Bethanie refused to accept her usual allowance from her parents and took freelance photography jobs, and worked as a waitress with him at night. They lived on what they made and saved all they could. And eventually Tom went to Wharton and got his MBA. Coco had come along by then. And in the end, they proved Bethanie’s parents wrong, and won their respect and admiration. When Tom became successful, he bought his own parents a house.
The two things Bethanie lived by, and had said to her daughter frequently, were “Don’t play by other people’s rules” and “Think outside the box.” She said that one of the worst things in life was to have no dreams. Coco’s parents had convinced her that she could do anything she wanted to, if she was willing to work hard and face whatever challenges came up.
Coco’s parents were shining examples of perseverance, courage, and hard work to achieve their goals. Her father had certainly done that. They had never given up their dreams, or lost faith in each other. Twenty-four years after they married, they were still in love, and Tom was still in awe of his beautiful wife. She had been staunchly at his side for richer or poorer, just as she had promised in the Elvis Chapel. Their wedding pictures still made them smile.
Their parents had been older, which was something they had in common too. All of them had died when Coco was very young, and she had grown up without the advantages or complications of grandparents. Her parents had been her whole world, and she was the focus of all their love and attention. As he made his fortune, Tom had acquired a patina of sophistication, with Bethanie at his side, showing him the way.
They had a beautiful apartment in Manhattan, on Fifth Avenue, with a Central Park view, and a sprawling, comfortable, luxurious house in Southampton, right on the beach. Coco loved spending time with them. She was going out for the weekend to tell them all about her internship at Time and what she’d done that week. Bethanie and Tom had sent Coco to one of the best private coed schools in New York, which she had attended through high school. It was where she met her best friend, Samuel Stein. She had girlfriends too. She was an independent thinker, but never hung out in cliques, and her closest friend since she was in fourth grade had been Sam. They had hung out in school together and went everywhere together, even though he was a year older and a grade above her. And despite differences of gender, background, and religion, they were kindred spirits and soul mates from the moment they met. She told him everything, as he did with her. He satisfied her need for male companionship and was like a brother, and loyal friend, who gave her excellent advice once she started dating.
Sam’s religious Orthodox Jewish parents were uncomfortable about their friendship from the beginning, and found it strange that a boy and girl would be best friends. Their greatest concern was that eventually, when they got older, their closeness would turn into romantic feelings, and they would fall in love and want to marry. Sam’s mother, Zippora, particularly didn’t want that to happen, although his father didn’t want it either. When the time came, they wanted Sam to marry within their faith. Zippora kept a kosher home. They celebrated Shabbat every Friday night, and obliged Sam to go to synagogue with them on Saturdays. He was the oldest of four children, and had two sisters and a brother. The others had gone to a religious school in Brooklyn, but they sent Sam to a more liberal, nonsectarian school in the city, and were never sure it had been the right decision. But he had flourished there and was an excellent student, which was their main goal for him.
Eventually his next youngest sister, Sabra, gave them real cause for concern. She fell in love with Liam, an Irish Catholic boy she’d met at an interschool high-school conference on diversity, and she was determined to marry him after they graduated from college. She was even willing to convert for him. That took the heat off Sam and his friendship with Coco, and caused the Steins even more anxiety than Coco did.
Sam was a year older than Coco, and had just graduated as an econ major from NYU. Coco had gone to his graduation and his parents had been polite to her, as they always were, but having known him for twelve years, she knew how they felt about their being best friends. They made no secret of it, and lectured Sam constantly about the danger of their being friends.
- Publisher : Dell (October 26, 2021)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 400 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0399179704
- ISBN-13 : 978-0399179709
- Item Weight : 6.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.15 x 0.98 x 6.87 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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I have read all of her books but I swear this is a repeat story line. From the greedy husband right to the purchased houses !! If Danielle Steel didn't write a book with the almost exact story line it has been copied from another author. Someone please tell me I am not crazy.....
edit - Leap of Faith - also Danielle Steele same story
I hated that she had so many men through-out the story. It was as if she felt her life wasn't worth living without one...but then on the other hand maybe it was the loss of her parents, in such a violent way, that made her feel so desperate.
Before Coco Martin enters her senior year at Columbia, she plans to spend the summer working at Time as an intern. It prevents her from going to Europe with her parents like she usually does, but she doesn’t mind since she’s looking forward to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Besides, she has Sam, her best friend since fourth grade, and they can spend the weekends at her family’s beach house in Southampton.
As the duo returns from the beach one weekend, they learn that there was a massive terrorist attack in France and that her parents were two of the people killed in the explosion. It is a nightmare that Coco never saw coming. The two people she loves most in the world are now dead, leaving her with no family whatsoever, only Sam, and neither feels particularly grown up yet.
Devastated, Coco buries her family and inherits a fortune. But her beauty, wealth, and innocence make her a target for bad men. Eager to make her parents proud, she must learn to navigate life, live by her own rules and think outside the box. Doing so will take an impressive amount of inner strength, and the help of very good friends, if she’s ever going to see beyond the world’s glitz and discover what truly matters.
With ALL THAT GLITTERS, Danielle Steel once again draws us into a world populated by the rich and powerful and shows us that money alone doesn’t guarantee happiness, and everything but our personal integrity can be taken from us at a moment’s notice. She whisks us from New York to London, Paris, and beyond as Coco forges her way through life, drawn from one enigmatic man to the next like a moth to a flame.
ALL THAT GLITTERS is a parable for our time, a lesson that begs us to slow down and remember that real happiness comes when we find balance in our lives, learn to enjoy the exciting moments even as we come to appreciate the security that comes from friendship, simplicity, and joy. As always, Steel manages to peer into our heart of hearts, to see what we yearn for and believe in, even in the midst of chaos. Most of all, she reminds us to never, ever, give up. There are better days ahead!
[As originally published at JathanandHeather.com]
Coco is on the verge of graduating from college and stepping into the big bad world with a dream internship when life as she knew it is ripped from her in one fell swoop with her parents being killed in a foreign terrorist attach while traveling. The emotion is high and love and sadness prevail as she tries to pick up the pieces of her future without her two stabilizers.
She portrays a loyalty that shines bright when showcasing the relationship she has shared over the years with her best friend Sam. Her career ambition is strong, but she keeps her eyes open as different facets of the field intrigue her. Her only weakness is her quickness to succumb to the wrong type of men and inability to stand on her own without one by her side.
I enjoyed the book and recommend it to anyone who wants an easy read without a lot of interwoven drama and saga like storyline.
Top reviews from other countries
However, even so the book sort of grew on me. I lost myself in the story. Maybe it was partly because I found so much of myself in it. Falling for flashy guys is something many women tend to do. But Danielle Steel always puts a lot of wisdom in her stories, no matter how superficial and fancy the circumstances. She has obviously experienced a lot in her life and as always I found several sentences I wanted to underline as of special importance to me.
I have read all Steel's books. Some old ones I'm reading a second time. There is a reason Steel is read and loved by so many. She is a brilliant storyteller and in later years has put a lot of life's wisdom into her books.I don't mind that her stories usually take place in affluent surroundings. I know it's not for all of us just to buy a ticket to Rome or Paris and spend a week end there in an expensive hotel. Most of us do not meet a client at our workplace who asks us out to the best restaurants and fly us in their own plane to their house in the Carribean and the South of France etc. etc. But you know what, I love to read about it. Love to read about excessive beauty and luxury and finding the nearest Chanel store to buy a new dress when I am unexpectedly invited to a grand dinner.
A ds book always ends well. The heroines always have good sense and end up embracing life's true values which are warm and loving and do not glitter. Danielle Steel is a master of fairytales for grownups. I have loved fairytales since I was a little girl and am happy to have found an author to write them for me also as I am well into my old age. Thank you, Danielle, and keep on the good work
PS) I have given the book four stars just because it's not one of your best, but it is still very, very good.