Neighbors: A Novel - book cover
  • Publisher : Dell
  • Published : 30 Nov 2021
  • Pages : 368
  • ISBN-10 : 1984821393
  • ISBN-13 : 9781984821393
  • Language : English

Neighbors: A Novel

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In Danielle Steel's gripping new novel, a reclusive woman opens up her home to her neighbors in the wake of a devastating earthquake, setting off events that reveal secrets, break relationships apart, and bring strangers together to forge powerful new bonds.

Meredith White was one of Hollywood's most recognizable faces. But a personal tragedy cut her acting career short and alienated her from her family. For the last fifteen years, Meredith has been living alone in San Francisco with two trusted caretakers. Then, on a muggy late summer day, a massive earthquake strikes Northern California, plunging the Bay Area into chaos. Without a moment's hesitation, Meredith invites her stunned and shaken neighbors into her mostly undamaged home as the recovery begins.

These people did not even realize that movie star Meredith White was living on their street. Now, they are sharing her mansion, as well as their most closely kept secrets. Without the walls and privacy of their own homes, one by one, new relationships are forged. For every neighbor there is a story, from the doctor whose wife and children fear him, to the beautiful young woman dating a dishonorable man, to the aspiring writer caring for a famous blind musician.

In the heart of the crisis, Meredith finds herself venturing back into the world. And thanks to the suspicions and the dogged detective work of a disaster relief volunteer, a former military officer named Charles, a shocking truth about her own world is exposed. Suddenly Meredith sees her isolation, her estranged family, and even her acting career in a whole new light.

Filled with powerful human dramas, Neighbors is a penetrating look at how our world can be upended in a moment. In a novel of unforgettable characters and stunning twists, acts of love and courage become the most powerful forces of all.

Readers Top Reviews

mommamac.Gill Marsei
This has all of the elements of a great read. It gets all of your emotions going and all of the characters were all well developed.
From the beginning of this book to the end, it was captivating! There are parts that are so true to life and keeps you reading further and further!
In Neighbors by Danielle she takes us to San Francisco. Meredith White was a world renowned actress when a personal tragedy sent her into seclusion. It has been fourteen years and she is still a recluse. She relies on Debbie and Jack who she hired to take care of the house and cook for her. When there was an 8.2 earthquake it caused much damage in her neighborhood. Meredith's house is a large house made of stone and she had minimal damage. She opened her house to her neighbors whose houses suffered much damage. This was life changing not only for Meredith but also for her neighbors. Debbie and Jack were not pleased with this. They had liked having Meredith to themselves. Arthur was one of the neighbors. He is a world renowned blind pianist. He came with his assistant Peter. Joel and Ava came. He is making his money in the tech industry. Then there was Andrew and his wife Tyla and their two children Daphne and Will. Andrew is a prominent surgeon . In the span of a few short months all of their lives would be changed. For some there are triggers in this story. There is the death of a child and an abusive relationship. They are handled with care. I loved every minute of this book and didn't want it to end.
Not a usual romance book that you would expect from Steel, this book is more women’s fiction. Enjoyable read, great cast of characters, you will be drawn in from page 1. I found this a nice break from some of my darker reads. But it brought up Abuse...handled realistically, honestly. I hate to add triggers because they are often spoilers but at the same time, sometimes hard issues are dealt with in realistic ways in novels.. Triggers: domestic abuse, death of a child all in all, a really good read!
Lynn B
4 1/2 STARS! Danielle Steel is the queen of wrapping a group of characters around your heart and not letting go! With her latest release NEIGHBOR, Steel quickly delves into the past of an aging Hollywood recluse showcasing the personal tragedy that led her to close herself off from the world and into her elaborate mansion with only her trusted caretakers. Meredith White may have been living life out of the spotlight for a decade and a half, but when an earthquake endangers her San Francisco neighborhood, she's quick to offer up her home as a sanctuary to several displaced neighbors. We're quickly thrust into a fast paced telling of recovery, healing and moving into the next stage of livelihood as turmoil thrives and forever friendships are forged. The characters are enchanting, the drama is spot on and the happily ever afters are well-deserved. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys an interwoven story of friendship and life lessons with light romantic elements.

Short Excerpt Teaser

Chapter 1

The massive stone mansion was hot even in the basement, as Debbie Speck bustled around the large, efficient kitchen, putting away the groceries that her husband, Jack, had just brought in. He was perspiring profusely. He was forty-four years old, somewhat overweight, with balding dark hair, and always reeked of aftershave that covered the faintly boozy smell of the cheap scotch he kept in his room and drank at night. It came through his pores the next day, when he exerted himself. Debbie usually joined him with a drink or two at night. She preferred gin and tonic or vodka she kept in the freezer in the basement apartment where their employer, Meredith White, never ventured. She respected their privacy, which was ideal for them. Debbie was also heavy and dyed her hair blond herself.

They had been employed as property managers and live-in housekeeping couple by the famously reclusive, now retired movie star, for the past fifteen years. Meredith had still been working when she hired them. She was going from one movie to the next, frequently on location, and her husband, Scott Price, actor and producer, did the same. Sometimes they were apart for months, working on separate movies.

It was the perfect job for Jack and Debbie, working for often absentee employers in an immense, luxurious home, where at least one of their employers was away most of the time, and busy when they were home. They didn't have time to supervise Jack and Debbie too closely and trusted them. They'd been young then, just twenty-nine, but already knew the hidden benefits of that kind of job. The perks felt like plucking ripe fruit from the trees. The stores and workmen they patronized for whatever their employers needed kicked back handsome commissions to them or provided services which were free to them, but unknowingly paid for by their employer, when bills were padded by dishonest suppliers. And there were plenty of those, as Jack and Debbie knew well. They had set up a whole network of profitable relationships within months of starting the job. It was common practice and Jack and Debbie had no qualms about ripping off their employers. They had done it before. They selected their employers by how profitable they would be, and how busy, distracted, or absent they were.

Meredith had been one of the most highly paid actresses in the business when Jack and Debbie took the job, and she was generous with them. In the beginning, they occasionally had to drive her thirteen-year-old son, Justin, somewhere, but there were tutors to keep an eye on him and a young graduate student who stayed at the house and drove Justin to school when both his parents were away. His parents took care of him themselves when either one of them was at home. Their daughter, Kendall, had gone to college in New York seven years before and never came back to live in San Francisco. She was twenty-five years old when Debbie and Jack took the job, and she only came home for Christmas. She was married and had Julia, a little girl of her own, by then. Meredith and Scott were away so much it was hard to find a good time to see them when they weren't busy.

It was a perfect situation for Jack and Debbie. The mother-in-law apartment they were given had a separate entrance and was attractively furnished. The house was in Pacific Heights, the best residential neighborhood in San Francisco, and it was the biggest house in town. Working for two big movie stars was prestigious, and profitable for them. Meredith and Scott had moved to San Francisco when their son was born, and their daughter was twelve years old. They didn't want to bring up another child in L.A., Meredith had told them. San Francisco was a smaller, conservative, wholesome city, with great schools for Justin and Kendall, good weather year-round, and the house and grounds gave them space and privacy, behind the tall hedge they had planted when they bought the house.

Over the years, Debbie and Jack had taken full advantage of all the benefits of their job. They had an impressive nest egg saved up from the many years of commissions. A few treasures had also found their way into their apartment, particularly two very valuable small French paintings, which had disappeared from the main part of the house, and had hung in their bedroom for a dozen years now. Meredith had never noticed their disappearance. Debbie liked them so she "relocated" them to their quarters. In addition, Meredith had a bank account dedicated to paying household expenses. Debbie had volunteered years before to pay those bills and relieved Meredith of the tediousness of it. Debbie deposited small amounts to her own. The amounts were so minor that even Meredith's accountant hadn't questioned them. Debbie and Jack were clever thieves.