The Sins of the Mother

The Sins of the Mother

by Danielle Steel

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Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Every woman makes choices. And no one has made more difficult choices than Olivia Grayson. The enormously successful businesswoman missed out on much of her children’s lives while she built her legendary home-furnishings empire. In Danielle Steel’s character-rich new novel, Olivia faces the past, tries to balance the present, and makes amends where due, while still running her vastly successful business.
 
THE SINS OF THE MOTHER
 
As a way of making up to them for time lost, Olivia spends months every year planning a lavish holiday that everyone in her family will enjoy. This summer she has arranged a dream trip in the Mediterranean on a luxurious yacht, which she hopes will be the most memorable vacation of all. Her lavish gesture every year expresses her love for them, and regret at all the important times she missed during her children’s younger years. Her younger daughter, Cassie, a hip London music producer, refuses the invitation altogether, as she does every year. Her older daughter, Liz, lives in her mother’s shadow, with a terror of failure as she tries to recapture her dream of being a writer. And her sons, John and Phillip, work for Olivia, for better or worse, with wives who wish they didn’t. In the splendor of the Riviera, this should be a summer to remember, with Olivia’s children, grandchildren, and daughters-in-law on board. But as with any family gathering, there are always surprises, and no matter how glamorous the setting things don’t always turn out as ones hopes.
 
Family dynamics are complicated, old disappointments die hard, and as forgiveness and surprising revelations enter into it, new bonds are formed, and the future takes on a brighter hue. And one by one, with life’s irony, Olivia’s children find themselves committing the same “sins” for which they blamed their mother for so many years. It is a summer of compassion, important lessons, and truth.
 
The Sins of the Mother captures the many sides of family love: complex, challenging, funny, passionate, and hopefully enduring. Along the way, we are enthralled by an unforgettable heroine, a mother strong enough to take more than her fair share of the blame, wise enough to respect her children for who they really are, and forgiving enough to love them unconditionally.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440245230
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/24/2013
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 210,118
Product dimensions: 4.32(w) x 6.90(h) x 1.19(d)

About the Author

Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world’s most popular authors, with over 650 million copies of her novels sold. Her many international bestsellers include Country, Prodigal Son, Pegasus, A Perfect Life, Power Play, Winners, First Sight, Until the End of Time, The Sins of the Mother, and other highly acclaimed novels. She is also the author of His Bright Light, the story of her son Nick Traina’s life and death; A Gift of Hope, a memoir of her work with the homeless; Pure Joy, about the dogs she and her family have loved; and the children’s book Pretty Minnie in Paris.

Hometown:

San Francisco, California

Date of Birth:

August 14, 1947

Place of Birth:

New York, New York

Education:

Educated in France. Also attended Parsons School of Design, 1963, and New York University, 1963-67

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Olivia Grayson sat in the chairman’s seat at the board meeting, listening intently to the presentations, her intense blue eyes taking in each member of the board. Her eyes were quick and sharp. She was totally still, wearing a well-cut navy blue pantsuit, and a string of pearls around her neck. Her hair was a sleek bob, cut to the level of her jawbone just below her ears. It was the same snow-white color it had been since her early thirties. She was one of those striking women you would notice in any room. She was timeless, ageless, with high cheekbones and an angular face, and elegant hands as she held a pen poised above her notepad. She always took notes at the meetings, and had a flawless memory of what went on, in what order, and everything that was said. Her keen mind and sharp business sense had won her the reputation for being brilliant, but more than anything she was practical and had an innate, unfailing sense of what was right for her company. She had turned the profitable hardware store her mother had inherited years before into a model for international operations on a mammoth scale.

The Factory, as they had renamed it when it moved from its original storefront in a suburban locale outside Boston to an old empty factory building, was an astounding success, and Olivia Grayson along with it. She was the image of power as she presided over the board meeting. She was strong, innovative, and creative, and had started working at The Factory after school when she was twelve.

Her mother had been the daughter of a genteel family of Boston bankers who had lost everything during the Depression. Maribelle Whitman went to work as a secretary in a law firm, and married a young insurance salesman, who got drafted into the army after Pearl Harbor, and was sent to England in the summer of 1942, four weeks after their daughter, Olivia, was born. He was killed in a bombing raid when she was a year old. As a young widow, Maribelle moved to a modest suburb of Boston, and went to work for Ansel Morris at the hardware store, to support her daughter. For fourteen years, she helped him grow his business, had a discreet and loving affair with him, expected nothing from him, and brought up her daughter on the salary she made. And when she unexpectedly inherited his fortune, Maribelle wanted nothing more than to send Olivia to college, but Olivia had a thirst for business and no interest in college and academic pursuits. She had a passion and a love for commerce that drove her to take risks and make bold moves, and each decision she made catapulted the business forward to unexpected places and dizzying heights. Despite her youth, she made few mistakes, and had an instinct that proved her right every time. She had had the respect and admiration of her colleagues and competitors for years. Olivia was an icon in the business world.

And when Olivia went to work at The Factory full time, at eighteen, straight out of high school, three years after Ansel died, her visions had transformed the local hardware business into something her mother, and surely he, had never dreamed of. Her mother was running it then, Ansel was gone. And Olivia convinced her mother to add low-cost furniture with simple modern designs, not just the basic, ordinary items The Factory had sold until then. Olivia had added a fresh look and the excitement of youth. She brought a new design aspect, at low prices, to their merchandise. They bought bathroom fixtures from foreign suppliers, modern kitchen cabinetry and appliances. Within a short time they were as well known for their innovative international designs as the reliability of their products, at astoundingly reasonable rates. Olivia used volume to their advantage, and kept their prices lower than anyone else’s. Her mother had been worried about it at first, but time had proven Olivia right. Her instincts had been flawless.

Fifty-one years later, at sixty-nine, Olivia Grayson had created an empire that had reached around the world, and an industry that no one could compete with, although many tried. By the time she was twenty-five, Olivia had become a legend, and The Factory along with her, with its reputation for creative designs for anything for the home, from tools to kitchens and furniture, at rock-bottom cost. There was nothing for the home you couldn’t buy at The Factory, and she traveled constantly to find new suppliers, products, and designs. Her empire was still growing, and her reputation along with it.

Remarkably, there was nothing harsh in her face as she sat in the familiar chair at the board meeting, flanked by her sons on either side. Both had joined the business, fresh out of business school in Phillip’s case, and after getting a master of fine arts and graphic design in John’s.

Olivia’s mother had long since retired. The Factory was a product of Olivia’s genius, and the enormous fortune she had made from it was her legacy to her children. She had worked a lifetime for what she’d built. Olivia was the embodiment of the American dream.

Although she wielded enormous power and her eyes were sharp, there was something gentle about her face. She was a woman everyone took seriously, yet she was quick to laugh. A discreet woman, she knew when to speak. And she listened carefully to fresh ideas, which then spurred her on to new creations, and even now she was always seeking to stretch The Factory into additional places and to greater heights than it had ever been before. She didn’t rest on her laurels, and her passion and main interest was continuing to make her business grow. She still had the same excitement about it she’d had in her youth.

There were six members of the board, in addition to Olivia and her two sons, Phillip and John. She was the chairman and CEO, and Phillip was the CFO. He had his father’s steady head for finance and had come to the company from Harvard Business School after he earned his MBA with honors. He was a quiet person, more like his father than his mother. Each of her sons had inherited a facet of her abilities, but neither combined them as a whole. John, her third-born child, was head of creative and design. John was an artist and had studied fine arts at Yale. Painting was his first love, but devotion to his mother had driven him into the business at an early age. Olivia had always known that with his artistic sense and training in design, he had much to offer them. He was more gregarious than his older brother and resembled his mother in many ways, although the money side of the business was a mystery to him. He lived for aesthetics, and the beauty he saw in the world. And he still spent all his free time painting on weekends. He was an artist above all.

At forty-six, Phillip was as serious and solid as his father had been. Phillip’s father, Joe, had been an accountant and had helped Olivia run the business, quietly from behind the scenes. Phillip had inherited his financial accuracy and reliability, and none of his mother’s creative spirit and fire.

John had inherited Olivia’s innate artistic sense for design, and at forty-one, as an artist, he constantly brought new life visually into what they offered the world. He had enormous talent that he had funneled into The Factory, while dreaming of painting full time. Both men were essential to the business, but its life force was still their mother, even at sixty-nine. The Factory was still a family-held business, although they had had frequent opportunities to sell it and go public over the years. Olivia wouldn’t think of it, although Phillip had been sorely tempted by some of the offers they’d had in recent years. Olivia insisted that The Factory was theirs, with its many stores around the world, and she intended to keep it that way.

Their enterprise was booming and continuing to grow exponentially. And as long as she was alive, she intended to see to it that there were Graysons at its helm. Her two daughters had no interest in the business, but she knew that her two sons would run it one day, and she had prepared them well. Together, she felt certain, they would be able to maintain the empire she had built, and she was nowhere near ready to retire or step down. Olivia Grayson was still in full swing, running The Factory and traveling around the world, just as she had done for almost fifty-two years. She showed no sign of slowing down, her ideas were as astounding and innovative as ever, and she looked ten years younger than her age. She was a naturally beautiful woman, with a passion for life, and ten times the energy of people half her age.



 

Customer Reviews

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The Sins of the Mother: A Novel 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 125 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sure its a good book although after buying come to find out it is not available for the nook yet. Buyer beware unless u have an extra 15.00 to buy something you cant access. Very pissed off and disappointes customer BAARNES AND NOBLE OR WHOMEVER RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I do enjoy Ms. Steel's books however I find she repeats some things quite often. Otherwise I enjoy her stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Her books are all the same now. I predicted every single event in this book. After reading almost all of ds's books, i can see the samd topics, descriptions, even characters in all her latest novels.....simply boring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
great read,love the characters, Danielle never dissapoints mlg
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't pay this much for an E-book. Purchase responsibly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the book & u can get it on your nook,,,,,,,,,
MISS_FRAN More than 1 year ago
DANIELLE STEEL HIT ANOTHER HOME RUN. I LOVED THE STORY. I'VE READ 95% OF ALL THE BOOKS WRITTEN BY THIS AUTHOR AND I HAVE NOT BEEN DISAPPOINTED YET. CAN'T WAIT TO READ HER NEXT BOOK.
11bee More than 1 year ago
I HAVE READ ALMOST ALL OF HER BOOKS BUT FOUND THIS ONE TO BE VERY BORING.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't get into the story. It was quite boring. After reading 20% of the book I had to quit. If I am going to spend my precious time reading it has to be worth it.
LynDenise More than 1 year ago
A very hard book to put down as I will finish it before the evening is over!! Another fantastic book written by Danielle Steel!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We should all have a chance to spend time with the family... Very good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
never read a book from her I did not Like and this one is no exception.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wish i could get my money back
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An enjoyable and easy read with no complicated storylines. I finished it in 2 days.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
EXCELLENT READ. I fell in love with these characters. Especially, Maribelle, loved how she stepped in to help olivia, who was a hard worker. In the end this was a family that stayed together and found happiness.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Save your money. Very slow and hard to get into. I kept waiting for it to get exciting. It didn't.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be an easy read and as a mother could associate with some of the sacrifices the mother had to make for her family. The characters all have different personalities, but in the end mesh into a very caring and loving family. If you like Danielle Steel you will find that she has written another very good book.
MWM More than 1 year ago
I have read every Danielle Steel novel published, and look forward to each new book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Usually i cant put down her books but it took reading to about halfway thru this one to get into it. Still a good read but not one of her best
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of her best!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i loved the book i couldnt put it down anybody that enjoys danielle steele would love this i have read quite a few of her books
cynthiaellen More than 1 year ago
Have read all of her books usually in one night. Sorry to say this was a disappointment. Just couldn't get into the characters and there was too much description of them. Pre-ordered it for my Nook so I do not know what the complaint was about the person not getting it on the Nook. This person does need to check their spelling and often.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
a book that help you face your own mistakesbut specially understand people and forgive them....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Creativity is done for her. She has written so many novels; now they're all the same
CSittig More than 1 year ago
I am a Danielle Steel fan. As with all her books, I thoroughly enjoyed The Sins of the Mother. I just wish she could put out books as fast as I read them.