Picks and Pans Review: Family Album

updated 04/29/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/29/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Danielle Steel

Not everyone will consider this cause for wild celebration, but it's time already for Danielle's 18th novel—and she hasn't become Tolstoy or Eudora Welty since No. 17. Her heroine, Faye Price, is a sexy singer with a voice like "molten lava" who entertains WW II troops overseas. Ward Thayer is her assigned escort during a Guadalcanal show. He looks her up in Hollywood two years later. He's as rich as she is famous, and they marry, have children and live the Beverly Hills high life. Then, crash, the money runs out. Ward drinks too much. And the kids...Lionel, the eldest, is gay. He loves John, the football teammate of his younger brother, Greg. Greg hates him for it. There are twin girls—one sexy, one sedate. Another daughter, Anne, lives in a sexually experimental commune—this is the '60s—in Haight-Ashbury. She is 15. She falls in love with her best friend's father. He is 49. All this is a bit of a strain on Faye, but she is, remember, a galvanized, chrome-plated, stainless Steel heroine. Devastation gives her strength. If you've read Steel before, this is a new combination plate from the same old restaurant—standard ingredients, slightly altered presentation. (Delacorte, $16.95)

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