Title: Turning Point
Author: Danielle Steel
Published: January 8th 2018
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 3 stars
Four high-flying trauma surgeons from San Francisco are all at the top of their game professionally – but at what cost? They live for their hours in the fast-paced environment of the hospital, but outside work their lives are falling apart . . .
When they’re approached about a secondment in Paris, none of them can turn down the opportunity. They meet their French counterparts and before long, friendships – and relationships – form.
But when disaster strikes – a disaster they’ve long-prepared for – each of their lives is changed forever. And suddenly, the priorities that once seemed so crucial, don’t seem to mean so much after all.
Turning Point is a highly-charged, emotional tale about how suddenly life can change for all of us, and that we might find what we’re looking for in the most unlikely of places . . .
Turning Point is the first release of 2019 from the world’s most popular author, Danielle Steel. This novel is currently sitting high up on the Australian top ten fiction bestseller list. This comes as no surprise, Steel has fans across Australia and the world, notching up nearly a billion copies of her novels sold. Turning Point sees Steel take on the medical world as she constructs an engaging story around four top trauma surgeons, who face their biggest challenge – to date.
Turning Point begins in San Francisco and it enters the trauma wards of some of the most important hospitals in this area of the US. We meet Bill Browning, who is in charge of the trauma unit at his San Francisco based hospital. Although Bill is at the top of his game in the trauma care world, he leaves behind a trail of heartbreak. Bill’s ex-wife and daughter now reside in London. Bill is dedicated to his career and many would label him the ultimate workaholic. Next in line is Stephanie, another top level doctor, who struggles to balance her dedication to her job, with her two sons and husband. On the other hand, Wendy Jones is in a relationship that is going nowhere, but her skills as a doctor are second to none. Finally, rounding off the cast of Danielle Steel’s latest is Tom Wylie, a ladies man, who is unable to settle on a mate for life. His skills as a doctor match his ability to charm any woman he meets! Together, this foursome travel to the other side of the world, to Paris, where they receive top level training in the area of dealing with mass casualty emergencies. In a world defined by increasing terrorism attacks and mass shootings, this training is essential, it is life saving work. All four will be changed by their experiences in Paris in ways they never could have imagined.
There is a real world feel to Turning Point. Danielle Steel situates her first novel of the year in the here and now. With our news channels continually assaulted by instances across the globe of violent and large scale attacks, Steel chooses to examine the world of the everyday heroes, who are saving the lives of the victims of these attacks.
‘Incredible acts of heroism were described. There were videos from the cell phones of people who has been there, and sobbing interviews with the survivors. It was heartbreaking to see the effects of tragedy again, and impossible to understand. Listening to the stories, seeing the damage and the loss of life, and hearing how many had died from gunfire or detonated bombs, the only conclusion a sane person could come to was that the world had gone mad.’
If you appreciate medical dramas, Turning Point will definitely draw plenty of appeal. In the early stages of this novel I was reminded by two medical based television shows that I enjoyed in the 1990s, ER and Chicago Hope. Both these popular and long running television shows aimed to show the viewer how emergency response officials and surgeons must negotiate the careful balance between their highly stressful careers and their personal lives. Each of the characters in Turning Point are not without their personal issues. Husbands, children and relationships have all suffered in the wake of these doctors working tirelessly to save the lives of their patients every day.
Steel has a natural connection to both the locales featured in Turning Point. The book begins in San Francisco, and although I have not been able to see this area of the US for myself, I was easily able to root myself in this locale thanks to Steel’s descriptions. Steel has set a few of her books in France, so her Paris based sequences, where the bulk of the novel is set, was nicely portrayed.
‘They drove through the city, and the driver took them down the Champs-Elysees so they could see it. There were barricades where the bombs had gone off, and the riot police in combat gear and soldiers with machine guns patrolling the street. They crossed the Pont Alexandre III onto the Left Bank with the Seine beneath them, and the Bateaux Mouches tied up at the dock, which reminded Bill that he wanted to take his daughters for a ride on one of them to see the sight. They drove down the Boulevard St. Germain to the rue du Cherche Midi, to the address they had been given.’
Romance is always a given feature in Danielle Steel’s books, so this one does not stray too far from the norm. I appreciated the realness of the issues faced by each of the characters and their failings in the love department. The Paris trip for each of these four characters is like an awakening. The experience delivers the fresh start each needs to begin or end their relationship woes. In typical Steel style, there is a happy ever at the close of the novel for her character set.
‘And at the end of the day, they would have whatever they created together. They had met in the midst of chaos, and something good and worthwhile had come of it for all of them.’
Turning Point is no walk in the park, there are some hard hitting and current themes examined within the context of medical trauma response. I appreciated the insight into a world that I knew little about until this novel, especially the differences highlighted in emergency medical response tactics in the US compared to Europe. Offset by a touch of predictability, romance and melodrama, Turning Point is an easy weekend – or one sitting style read.
Turning Point by Danielle Steel was published on January 8th 2018 by Pan Macmillan. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of Turning Point, Danielle Steel, visit here.
*I wish to thank the publisher, Pan Macmillan for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.