Camille Lammenais has grown up in the beauty of the Napa Valley surrounded by acres of her family’s vineyards. Her parents, Christophe and Joy, still deeply in love after two decades marriage, have built a renowned winery and a chateau modelled after Christophe’s ancient family estate in his native Bordeaux. Camille has had a perfect childhood, safe in her parents’ love. After graduating from Stanford, she returns to help in Chateau Joy, but their fairytale ends suddenly when her mother dies.
Six months after loosing his wife, the devastated Christophe, is easy prey for a mysterious, charming Frenchwoman visiting the valley. Camille, still grieving for her mother, is shocked by the news that her father is intends to remarry. Then she begins to see past the alluring looks, designer clothes and elegant manners of the Countess, while her innocent father is caught in her web..
I used to read a lot Danielle Steel’s novels when I had my daughter twenty-four years ago, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. I have no idea why I stopped reading them, so when I was sent Fairytale by Pan Macmillan I had a touch of nostalgia mixed with excitement. As soon as I picked up this book I was drawn in by the writing and plot, it felt a comfortable read. The plot line and the title may give it away that this book is loosely based on the story of Cinderella, a rich young lady treated badly by her stepmother. It may sound a bit kitsch and sweet, but this book really works well and is so much more than just a retelling of a fairytale.
Camille as the central character is really endearing. She may come from a rich family but she is very down to earth, hard working and puts her family first. The Countess, Maxine, is obviously the wicked step-mother, she is beautiful, sexy, seductive and very shallow and conniving. She is a character to really hate, she is horrible to her mother and spoils her two sons and is a gold digger. Rather than the wicked step-sisters there are the step-brothers, Gabreil and Alexandre, indulged and spoilt by their mother, and just as awful in character. My favourite character had to be Simone, Maxine’s badly treated mother. She is a wonderful character, in her eighties she has bright red hair and wears floral dresses with converse trainers; her personality is as flamboyant as her style. Her relationship with Camille is lovely, she takes her under her wing and try to protect her from her horrible daughter and grandsons, she is like the grandmother Camille never had.
I really enjoyed Fairytale, it is a heartwarming tale, with a great plot line and wonderful characters. It is an engaging read, perfect for this time of year, or any time you want a feel good read. I will now be looking up more of Danielle Steel’s books.