The book’s cover is pleasing enough, a woman walking in the rain almost monotone. Judging by the looks – solid romance novel. And even the title: Honor Thyself. Yes, it has every sign of being pure chick lit.
However, Danielle Steele has a tendency to repeat herself. For one, she never has ugly people as leading characters. And all of the amazingly gorgeous women who play the main role in her books never see themselves as pretty. Anyway, this is a book which is sad and exciting at the same time. One time Oscar winner Carole Barber leaves Hollywood for Paris, where the fifty year old actress plans to write her first novel. However, on her first night in town, a terrorist assault kills many innocent people and leaves the movie superstar severely injured. She is rushed to a hospital, but ends up suffering from amnesia. After her tragic accident, Carole tries to remember what kind of a kind of person she used to be. On a lonely path to finding out who she is, she learns not only about the past, but also how to deal with all the heartbreak she has endured.
Through Carole’s journey to gain back her memory, the reader learns about her life as she does. As she recovers physically, the paparazzi are like locusts, swarming her at the hospital. She gets a regular visitor whose face she does not recall. But the person who visits still remembers her from their time together fifteen years ago. Her adult children cross the pond while praying for their mom to heal. During all this, Carole slowly, one fact at a time, begins to remember her life, her failures, and her regrets. Realizing that God has given her a second chance with those she loves, she digs in deep within her soul to find the courage to go for it.
At first, the life of international movie star Carole Barber seems just too perfect, but the courage, sincerity, and gratefulness that she shines with throughout her recovery prove that she is just a good person through and through. This is an interesting character driven tale in which Carole meeting her loved ones for the “first” time since her amnesia will garner a lot of reader empathy. However, the story line never digs deep into her decision making as to why she kept her secret lover and even her children at a distance.
Though the tone of the story and the main character comes across as bit uninspiring as compared to those from other Steele’s other novels, there is a fair amount of character build up in the story. Even if the book takes a bit of time to get into, the chapters toward the end of the book present some interesting pieces to the puzzle. Even though the majority of the story doesn’t have too many happy moments, the ending will make readers smile.
After reading more than a couple of her books, it is easy to get used to Ms. Steel’s characters making the reader feel for them, especially the heroines. In that aspect, the plot lacks a little. However, the overall theme of examining one’s life and relationships-past and present, provides an interesting point of view. Also the terrorist element is definitely relevant to this day and time and is something for everyone to contemplate. While enjoying Carole’s second chance at living and mending her relationships, fans of Danielle Steele will find this a pleasurable read and root for the heroine to succeed.
Other related titles: