The Dark Side, Danielle Steel, psychological thriller, book review, Random House Publishing, #TheDarkSide

The Dark Side by Danielle Steel

The Dark Side Cover
In her new novel, Danielle Steel tells a riveting story of the dark side of motherhood. Zoe Morgan's childhood was marked by her younger sister's tragic illness, watching as her parents dedicated themselves completely to her final days and then divorced. As a young woman driven by these painful memories, Zoe sets the bar high for herself, studying hard and pursuing a career in the nonprofit world, where her deep compassion for disadvantaged children finds…

The Dark Side written by Danielle Steel is a really great psychological suspense book, and very different than what I normally read from her. This is an exciting departure from a book with romance and a happy ending. This book takes what Danielle Steel does best, incredible character development, and well planned story telling and shows us what is going on in the plot with just enough information to keep the reader guessing. Then she comes out with another big reveal that has you reading faster and faster to get to the exciting conclusion.

The Dark Side Background

This story begins with introducing us to 2 sisters. Zoe Morgan is a child with straight, dark hair and beautiful features that aren't normally seen on a little girl. Her sister Rose was born with white-blonde curls and a cherub face that was always smiling. Zoe was shy and Rose was fearless, they were a great contrast for sisters. Zoe was 3 years old when Rose was born. Zoe was age 6 when Rose was diagnosed with leukemia. It was a rare form of leukemia and the family had to strategically make plans to keep things going as normal as they could. Their father took care of Zoe at home, and their mother lived at the hospital for long stretches of time when Rose was undergoing treatments.

Things changed for the family and when Rose became even sicker. The feeling in the family turned to stress and often their parents looked terrified. When Rose knew what was going to happen, she told her mom that Pinkie, the pink teddy bear that she had slept with all her life wanted to sleep with Zoe now. When Beth, their mother, came home and gave Pinkie to Zoe, she knew what that meant too. Zoe was just 10 years old when her sister died and things changed a lot in her family life.

Zoe as an Adult

Zoe went to Yale as a pre-med student. She graduated with honors but she hadn't enjoyed her time in college. She then went to Duke for medical school and excelled academically for 2 years when she finally decided that she didn't want to spend the next 7 years in medical school, so she took a leave of absence from school and went to work at a non-profit shelter for abused children. She thrived in this job and quickly worked her ways up through the positions. At 28 Zoe was the assistant administrator of this non-profit in New York. That was when she met Austin Roberts, a well-known child advocacy attorney and they started a relationship. Zoe marveled as his family, and she told him about her childhood and Rose's illness and how her family had reacted during these times. Austin was so impressed by how warm and kind she was with all of his nephews and saw first hand how she was not only great with the kids in her job but also other family members.

After being married for a year, and trying to get pregnant they saw a fertility specialist and they went through 4 attempts at in vitro fertilization. When they finally were pregnant they were both over the moon with joy. Jamie Rose Roberts was born and Zoe and Austin realized how daunting it was a to a new parent. No matter how much reading they did on the subject, they experienced a lot of issues that they needed to get help with. Both Austin and Zoe became very close with their pediatrician, Cathy Clark. Jamie had her fair share of incidents for her young age and Cathy helped them through things.

As the Plot Thickens

That's all I am going to say about The Dark Side because it's the journey that you go on, learning about the characters and what they think and believe, that make this thriller a read that will keep  you guessing and trying to come to terms with the potential realities. If you are a current Danielle Steel fan, you have to read this book to see how she deals with some serious issues by taking you on a ride with Zoe, Austin, Cathy and Jamie (and some other important characters along the way!) If you are new to Danielle Steel's book, this is a great place to start and add her to your list of favorite authors. 5 stars for The Dark Side!
Disclosure:  Thank you to Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for providing me with a complimentary copy of this e-book for review purposes.  No other compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.

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