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Olympia Crawford Rubinstein has a busy legal career, a solid marriage, and a way of managing her thriving family with grace, humor, and boundless energy. With twin daughters finishing high school, a son at Dartmouth, and a kindergartner from her second marriage, there seems to be no challenge to which Olympia cannot rise. Until one sunny day in May, when she opens an invitation for her daughters to attend the most exclusive coming-out ball in New York–and chaos erupts all around her. One twin’s excitement is balanced by the other’s outrage; her previous husband’s profound snobbism is in sharp contrast to her current husband’s flat refusal to attend.
For Olympia’s husband, Harry, whose parents survived the Holocaust, the idea of a blue-blood debutante ball is abhorrent. Her daughter Veronica, a natural-born rebel, agrees– while Veronica’s identical twin, Virginia, is already shopping for the perfect dress. Then there’s Olympia’s ex, an insufferable snob, who sees the ball as the perfect opportunity for a family feud. And amid all the hubbub, Olympia’s college-age son, Charlie, is facing a turning point in his life–and may need his mother more than ever. But despite it all, Olympia is determined to steer her family through the event until, just days before the cotillion, things begin to unravel with alarming speed.
From a son’s crisis to a daughter’s heartbreak, from a case of the chicken pox to a political debate raging in her household, Olympia is on the verge of surrender. And that is when, in a series of startling choices and changes of heart, family, friends, and even a blue-haired teenager all find a way to turn a night of calamity into an evening of magic. As old wounds are healed, barriers are shattered and new traditions are born, and a debutante ball becomes a catalyst for change, revelation, acceptance, and love.
In a novel that is by turns profound, poignant, moving, and warmly funny, Danielle Steel tells the story of an extraordinary family–finding new ways of letting go, stepping up, and coming out...in the ways that matter most.
From the Hardcover edition.
wanted to come out, Veronica had objected to it, and she said somewhat unhappily that she thought there was a possibility that Veronica would not give in. There had been another explosion over it at breakfast that morning, before they left for school. Veronica was threatening to move in with her stepgrandmother if her mother didn’t agree to let her off the hook, and Harry had seconded the idea. He added fuel to the fire by saying that he didn’t think either girl should come out, and Ginny had
has three heads, and a bone through his nose. Yeah, he looks normal, most of the time. He knows the drill. He’ll look fine that night.” “What does he look like the rest of the time?” Olympia asked gingerly. “Sort of punk, but nothing too outrageous. He spikes his hair, but he said he didn’t for his sister’s debut. He’ll be fine, Mom. Don’t worry.” “I hope so,” Olympia said with a sigh. She was beginning to feel stressed about the event, and she wouldn’t have Harry to lean on. She, Frieda,
cases in the office, and Margaret had taken the week off. And she hated leaving Max with a sitter when he was sick, if she was even going to be well enough to go to work herself. She called the pediatrician, who told her to soak Max in the tub with a powder he recommended, use lots of calamine, and keep him in bed. There was nothing else they could do. Luckily, her own fever abated on Sunday night. She still felt terrible, but at least hers was only the flu, or a bad cold, and hopefully would be
afterward, or even on the phone? It seemed like a nasty stunt to her, and a devastating one to Ginny. There was little she could say to console her. “I’m sorry, sweetheart.… I’m so sorry…it was a rotten thing to do.…” It didn’t seem fair to tell her she’d forget about him and there would be another thousand men in her life, after him. Right now it felt like a mortal blow, and a cruel trick. “I’m not going tomorrow…,” Ginny said in muffled tones into the mattress. “I can’t.… I don’t care
polish black. Not exactly a natural color, and it was easy to see it had been dyed. It looked very punk rock, but the committee had decided to ignore it. Olympia was grateful for small mercies. Jeff glanced at her with a look of supercilious amusement, and she had a powerful urge to slap him. He was arrogance personified, although admittedly a handsome kid, but the kind of boy who thought he was smarter than everyone, especially anyone’s parents. She couldn’t help wondering if Veronica had