Danielle Steel is an undeniable legend. She is the bestselling author alive and the fourth-bestselling fiction author of all time, with more than 800 million copies sold. Over the course of 45 years, she's written 190 books and is a frequent feature of many a bestseller list.
If you love stories of multi-generational family drama, historical detail, epic romance, and hidden secrets, then Steel's work is for you. It can be daunting jumping into the world of an author who has so many books under her belt, so to make things easier for you, we've chosen 11 of her best novels that make for a perfect entry point into her vast world of stories.
In the Summer of 1915, the Wittgenstein family were the cream of the crop, even as the threat of the First World War moved ever closer. The peace of Lake Geneva allows Beata, the family's eldest daughter, the space to fall in love for the first time, to a young French officer. She chooses love over duty, knowing that her parents would never accept her marriage to a Catholic.
Amadea, her daughter, is later forced into hiding as a new war rages on and Hitler's terror threatens her family. She takes the vows of a Carmelite nun and hides in a convent, but her journey of survival is far from over. She'll find herself behind enemy lines and fighting with the French Resistance, with British secret agent Rupert Montgomery by her side.
Isabelle Forrester is the wife of a prominent Parisian banker who has long lived without love and passion. She's spent many years in isolation, caring for her desperately ill son and her teenage daughter. She allows herself one secret pleasure: a long-distance friendship with a Washington power broker named Bill Robinson.
Like her, Bill's stuck in a loveless marriage and is desperate for something meaningful to latch onto. They agree to meet for a few innocent days in London, but that leads to tragedy and soon Isabelle and Bill cling to life in hospital. Together, they must find the strength to heal in mind, body, and spirit, and embrace life once more. If they don't, they could lose one another forever.
At the tender age of eleven, Pip Mackenzie is already painfully familiar with tragedy. Nine months before, a terrible accident plunged her mother Ophelie into inconsolable grief. Now all she wants to do is make things better for her widow mom. On a wind-swept July afternoon in San Francisco, Pip meets Matt Bowles, an artist who senses something special in this young girl and her beautiful, lonely mother.
At first, Ophelie is thrown off-balance by her daughter's new companion, but soon the three of them find joy that they all thought was gone forever. Perhaps together they can find something that will bring happiness back to their lives.
Four sisters reunite to live together in a Manhattan brownstone and support their father after a series of tough times. Candy has blazed her way to the top of the modeling world. Tammy is a hit TV producer in Hollywood. Sabrina is an ambitious lawyer, and Annie is an artist who loves to be alone with her work.
After being separate for so long to pursue their careers, they've come together for a year. Now, they're sharing their good times and bad, and finding out once more what it means to be a family.
Zoya is a young cousin to the Tsar of Russia, but now's not a good time to be connected to the Imperial family. As the revolution rolls on and World War I breaks out, Zoya flees St. Petersburg to Paris to find safety.
She faces good times and bad, joining the Ballet Russe and navigating the perils of a turbulent time that includes the Great Depression. The novel follows the decades of Zoya's life, from Russia to France to America, and the family she forms through it all.
Ginny Carter was once a rising star in TV news, married to a top anchor man, with a three-year-old son and a full and happy life in Beverly Hills. It was perfect in every single way, but she lost it all in an instant in a car crash on the freeway. Now, she must try to piece her life together once more.
Ginny turns to humanitarian work to find meaning in her life and to salve her trauma. On the anniversary of the accident, she meets Blue Williams, a teenage boy living on the streets who was abandoned by his family. He's weary of her at first but soon allows Ginny to grow close to him. Like her, he's carrying many scars, and it’ll take a lot of work for them to find something like the love they were once capable of.
It's the Summer of 1943. World War II rages on, causing untold chaos to everyone's lives. To protect their youngest daughter, the King and Queen choose to send her to live with a trusted noble family in the countryside. Princess Charlotte longs for a normal life, away from the pressures of being third in line to the throne and having everyone obsess over her fragile health.
While in Yorkshire, she uses an alias and finds a new kind of peace in being an anonymous young woman. But when she falls in love with her protector's son, a tragic turn of events leaves a baby girl orphaned. No one knows of her royal lineage until a stack of secret letters are discovered and the truth comes out.
Fiona Carson is a wildly successful businesswoman in a man's world. She's the CEO of a multibillion-dollar high-tech company, a devoted single mother, world-class strategist, and tough negotiator. But balancing all of these things is a difficult task, especially alone.
Meanwhile, Marshall Weston also seems to have it all, in part thanks to his wife Liz, who sacrificed her own career to raise their three children. Both he and Fiona have dark secrets that, if revealed, could destroy their lives and everything they've worked so hard to maintain. But how high a price are they willing to pay to keep the truth at bay?
There's an old saying that authors should write what they know, and Steel leans into her own experience to bring to life Sabrina Brooks, a wildly successful bestselling author of gripping thrillers. Sabrina enjoys a quiet existence in the Berkshires until a mysterious letter informs her that she has just inherited an estate outside of London.
Exploring the manor, Sabrina finds herself wondering what her life might be like as "Lady Brooks." The handsome estate attorney who acts as her tour guide doesn't hurt, either. But is she willing to leave the safety of her old life and choose a different path?
Micheal Hillyard's mother doesn't approve of artist Nancy McAllister or their plans to be married. When a terrifying accident separate Micheal and Nancy on the eve of their wedding, they each choose to pursue a new life.
But how long can deception keep apart two lovers who swore never to say goodbye for good?
Natasha Leonova knows her place. She keeps Russian billionaire Vladimir Stanislas happy, and in turn, he shows her only kindness. Her world collides with Theo Luca, the son of a brilliant artist, and two obsessions form.
Theo can't get Natasha out of his mind, and Vladimir desires the paintings that Theo's father left behind. Trapped between two strong-willed men, Natasha can't help but long for a life of freedom and passion—a life she knows she can never have.