Review by Darcie Czajkowski
Timmie O’Neill is on top of the world. At least she is when it comes to her world-renowned clothing empire, Timmie O. When it comes to her personal life, Timmie has experienced what it means to be at rock bottom. After being orphaned at the tender age of five, Timmie is terrified of being abandoned, so when she is left behind, time and time again, she never fully heals. First, it was her son, Mark, who passed away at the age of four from a brain tumor. Then, a year later, by her husband, who left with a hefty chunk of her clothing business after revealing to Timmie that he had found love elsewhere – with another man.
After so much devastation, Timmie resigned herself to a lifetime of solitude, now interested in superficial relations. Her current beau, Zack, is an actor and model, or at least he is trying to be. While Timmie is cognizant of Zack’s interest in using her fame and industry connections to get ahead in his career, she enjoys spending time with him and is willing to overlook his shortcomings in order to stave off the loneliness she would otherwise feel.
But when Timmie goes to Europe for the October ready-to-wear shows, she leaves Zack behind, much to his annoyance. Timmie doesn’t indulge him, though, and goes about her business, delighting the fashion world more and more with every show. Her final show in Paris is about to commence when she is hit with such pain that she calls Jean-Charles Vernier, a French doctor recommended to her. While he insists that she go to the hospital, as he fears she needs an appendectomy, Timmie refuses to miss her Paris show. Eschewing his advice, Timmie survives the show, but barely, and is overcome with incredible pain, sending her once again into Jean-Charles’ arms.
At the hospital, Timmie is terrified, as memories of being abandoned when her parents died in a car crash flood her mind. But with the kindness, comfort, and soothing confidence of Jean-Charles, Timmie survives the surgery and is on the mend, with Jean-Charles by her side. During several days of convalesce, Timmie bares her soul to Jean-Charles about her horrific life as an orphan, her child’s untimely death, and her husband’s swift departure from their marriage. Jean-Charles is impressed by everything that Timmie has accomplished after so much devastation in her life, and finds himself drawn to her, despite the fact that he is married. Still, once she is well enough to return to California, they part ways, thinking they will never see each other again.
Months pass and Timmie ends her relationship with Zack, after a stunning revelation of his true motives. The February ready-to wear shows bring her back to Paris and a feeling inside of her moves her to invite Jean-Charles to a business dinner party. While she doesn’t have the chance to speak with him that night, Jean-Charles, now on the verge of divorcing his wife, asks her to meet him for a drink the following night. Just as they are saying good-bye, a spark explodes between them and they both agree that it is something powerful, possibly as life-changing as love at first sight.
Will it be a happy ending for them, or will they find that love at first sight is only an illusion?
Danielle Steel delivers another powerful, moving story with First Sight. While one may balk at the unreality of Timmie’s perfect world, a closer inspection reveals a lonely woman, who is consumed by her work because she has nothing else to live for. She is broken and throws herself into her business in order to feel in control and some semblance of peace. While the story becomes repetitive at times, I still found myself cheering Timmie, wanting her to find love and happiness. Despite the predictability of some of the struggles that Timmie and Jean-Charles encounter, the ending gives one hope that love is possible, no matter one’s past, and elicits the reader to believe that love can prevail in the end, no matter the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that stand in the way.
Danielle Steel has sold 600 million copies of her books internationally, and every one of her books is a bestseller. She is published in 69 countries and 43 languages.
Steel’s latest novel, Until the End of Time debuted at #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list, and other recent best sellers include The Sins of the Mother, Friends Forever, Hotel Vendome, Happy Birthday, 44 Charles Street, Legacy, Family Ties, Big Girl, Southern Lights, One Day at a Time, A Good Woman, Rogue, Honor Thyself, Amazing Grace, Bungalow 2, Sisters, H.R.H., Coming Out, The House, and Ransom, all of which have leapt to the top of the Best Seller list, the Wall Street Journal list, and comparable best seller lists around the world.
Steel has written 128 books, including sixteen children’s books and four works of nonfiction – such as His Bright Light: The Story of Nick Traina, A Gift of Hope: Helping the Homeless, and Pure Joy: The Dogs We Love (in fall 2013) — and a book of poetry. She also founded and runs two foundations, one named in honor of her late son, The Nick Traina Foundation, which finances organizations involved in mental illness and child abuse, and the second established to assist the homeless. In 2002 Steel was decorated by the French government as an “Officier” of the distinguished Order of Arts and Letters, and she has written the lyrics for two albums currently being recorded in France. She is the mother of nine children.
Steel lives in San Francisco and Paris, which inspired many of the scenes in PRETTY MINNIE IN PARIS.
For more information about Danielle and her books, visit