Thursday, October 7, 2021

The Butler by Danielle Steel

 The Butler

 Book Summary

Two different worlds and two very different lives collide in Paris in this captivating novel by Danielle Steel.

Joachim von Hartmann was born and raised in Buenos Aires by his loving German mother, inseparable from his identical twin. When Joachim moves to Paris with his mother in his late teens, his twin stays behind and enters a dark world. Meanwhile, Joachim begins training to be a butler, fascinated by the precision and intense demands, and goes on to work in some of the grandest homes in England. His brother never reappears.

Olivia White has given ten years of her life to her magazine, which failed, taking all her dreams with it. A bequest from her mother allows her a year in Paris to reinvent herself. She needs help setting up a home in a charming Parisian apartment. It is then that her path and Joachim’s cross.

Joachim takes a job working for Olivia as a lark and enjoys the whimsy of a different life for a few weeks, which turn to months as the unlikely employer and employee learn they enjoy working side by side. At the same time, Joachim discovers the family history he never knew: a criminal grandfather who died in prison, the wealthy father who abandoned him, and the dangerous criminal his twin has become. While Olivia struggles to put her life back together, Joachim’s comes apart.

Stripped of their old roles, they strive to discover the truth about each other and themselves, first as employer and employee, then as friends. Their paths no longer sure, they are a man and woman who reach a place where the past doesn’t matter and only what they are living now is true.

 My Thoughts

The Butler by Danielle Steel takes us from Argentina to Paris and New York.  This is a unique story for this author with a male protagonist as the main character.  Joachim von Hartmann is a modern-day butler in a world where butlers are no longer needed.  Olivia White is a woman at a crossroads.  She is not sure what she wants to do or where she wants to it.  The characters are developed and interesting.  I particularly liked Joachim’s mother, Liese.  She has a rich, diverse history.  I especially enjoyed the work Liese was doing helping to return stolen art from World War II to its rightful owners. Personally, I felt that Liese’s story would have made a more compelling story.  Joachim’s life is complicated by his identical twin brother, Javier who joined a drug cartel in Columbia.  This provides complications for Joachim.  Olivia and Joachim end up working together.  They have a companionable relationship. They each get a chance to find their path.  While some aspects of The Butler were interesting, others were lackluster.  There is quite a bit of repetition and there is mild foul language.  The way Olivia was introduced was abrupt.  There needed to be a smoother entrance, or it should have been done earlier in the story.  She came out of left field.  We get to see Joachim discover that a butler’s role is changing and, in many cases, is no longer needed.  Olivia must discover where she belongs and what she should do with her skills.   The ending felt rushed though it was satisfying.  The Butler felt disjointed with repetitive details.   This is not my favorite book by Danielle Steel, though, it will not keep me from checking out her future books.

The Butler is available from Amazon* as well as other major retailers.  Danielle Steel has Flying Angels publishing November 23 and Invisible releases on January 4, 2022.  You can find Danielle Steel's other novels here.  Thank you for stopping by today.  Next time I am featuring The Cure for What Ales You by Ellie Alexander.  It is the 5th A Sloan Krause Mystery.  I hope that you have a carefree day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!  


The Avid Reader 

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