Danielle Steel’s Full Circle goes flat

interlocking circles on “Full Circle” cover represent mother-daughter relationships
The interlocking circles are a visual metaphor

Full Circle is a story about mothers and daughters.

Jean Roberts’s husband enlists right after Pearl Harbor and is killed before Tana is born. Jean is determined Tana won’t have to struggle as she did.

Jean becomes assistant to a wealthy Arthur Dunning, performing all wifely duties without benefit of marriage.

When Tana is 15, Arthur’s son rapes her.

Jean refuses to believe Tana’s story.

In response, Tana shuts herself off emotionally.

Fortunately, she meets Harry Winslow who loves her enough to respect her desire that they never be more than friends.

Tana leaves home for college, then on to study law.

When Harry loses his legs in Vietnam, Tana talks him into studying law, too. When Harry is admitted, the two rent a house together, much to Jean’s horror.

Harry and Tana remain only friends.  Harry marries and Tana acts as godmother to Harry’s children.

Tana becomes a prosecutor, then a judge.

All her life Tana fights against her mother’s definition of what a woman needs to be fulfilled.

Danielle Steel’s story is intriguing but it never feels like more than a movie script: It needs some real people to show the emotional turmoil Steel’s stage directions require.

Full Circle by Danielle Steel
Delacorte Press. ©1984. 324 p.
1984 bestseller #8. My Grade: B-

©2019 Linda G. Aragoni

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Linda G. Aragoni

I make big ideas simple for learners. In eight sentences, 34 words, I taught teens and adults to write competently. Now I'm writing guides to turn willing volunteers into great nursing home visitors.

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