Book Review: The Kiss by Danielle Steel

 "Sometimes, the heart sees what is invisible to the eye."

--H. Jackson Brown Jr.

A single life-altering event is examined in Danielle Steel's 53rd and current number-one bestseller. The Kiss is both an inspiring reminder of how fleeting life is also a magnificent tale of how love can free, transform, and restore damaged spirits. Danielle Steel tells a tale of bravery in the face of unfathomable grief in a book that is both captivating and kind. She examines the courage needed to face our biggest anxieties with the elegance of a master storyteller, illuminating how the most difficult decisions may result in the most surprising rewards. And how even the most difficult, meandering roads may begin with a single kiss.

Synopsis from Goodreads...

Isabelle Forrester is the exquisite wife of a prominent Parisian banker who has long since shut her out of his heart. For lonely years, Isabelle has lived a life of isolation, pouring her passions into caring for her desperately ill son, Teddy, and into making their Paris home as happy as possible for her teenage daughter, Sophie. Isabelle allows herself one secret pleasure: a long-distance friendship by telephone with an American man, a Washington power broker who travels in the highest circles of politics and who, like Isabelle, is trapped in an empty marriage. To Bill Robinson, Isabelle is a godsend, a woman of extraordinary beauty and intellectual curiosity—a kindred spirit who touches him across the miles with her warmth and gentle empathy. Their relationship is a gift, a lifeline that sustains them both through the heartache of marriages they cannot leave and will not betray. Agreeing to meet for a few precious, innocent days in London, Isabelle and Bill find their friendship changing. Then, amidst the sudden crash of steel against steel, they are thrust onto a new path, a path fraught with pain but also with possibility.

Now, inside the cool, sterile wards of a London hospital, Isabelle and Bill cling to life, their bodies shattered almost beyond repair. In the days and weeks that follow, they slowly, painfully traverse a road to recovery littered with challenges of the body, spirit, and heart. Together, they must find the strength not only to embrace life again but to face what they have left behind. For Isabell, a loveless marriage turns into a brutal power struggle. For Bill, a time of healing exposes wounds that cut deeper than steel and realities that will test him to his core. For both, a tangle of changing relationships and the tragedy of another loss conspire to separate them once again. And this time they could lose each other forever.

My reaction to this novel...

I was long ago given this book's recommendation by a friend. This one, according to her, is one of her favorites. I didn't own a copy of this book at the time, so I opted to get one after finding it at a bookshop. Because of my friend's recommendation and the fact that we both prefer thriller genres and read less romance books than most people, I had high expectations for this book. I couldn't wait to start reading it right away.

The novel got off to a good start. The author utilized basic terms, making it straightforward to read. Since I was a teenager, I have known that she is the popular one when it comes to romance novels; yet, because I don't particularly enjoy reading romance novels, it has only just occurred to me to read any of her works. I was captivated to Isabelle's personality and had a lot of sympathy for her. After a while, I began to realize how repetitive it was, to the point that I had to go back and double-check the pages to make sure I wasn't reading the same chapters again. The author's constant emphasis on the same issue gave the impression that she had entered into an agreement necessitating a large number of words in order to comply with it. The number of words in the book may have been cut in half. I want someone to halt what feels like a merry-go-round, but the motors want it to keep going, leaving me both frustrated and dizzy at the same time.

The majority of the plot is quite uninteresting, which leaves me feeling a little let down by the book.  Additionally, it's too predictable. Furthermore, rather of just uttering certain phrases and repeating them again, character attributes may have been better communicated through circumstances. I had to skip through significant portions of the book because of the author's writing errors. The length of the phrases and paragraphs makes me question who edited the book. There are so many repeats in the book's 435 pages that I got the impression that Ms. Steel was addressing the reader like a simple-minded fool. Even when characters aren't meant to know anything, she repeats it in their minds. Everything about it was illogical.

The remainder of the book is drenched in melodrama more appropriate for soap operas than for the pleasure of reading. There was nothing substantive in this book. It's a little bit of a waste of time. I'm not going to recommend it to everyone who has not yet gotten their hands on it. It is utterly disappointing. I can't get over how dissatisfied I am with this one.

My Overall Rating: ⭐✨(1.5/5)


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