There's less of Danielle Steel in her new novel, and for readers who prefer their books more literary and their plots less predictable, that's the best news since Jacqueline Susann's last work.
"The Gift" (Delacorte, $15), published in a thinner, downsized format (about the size of "The Bridges of Madison County"), is the 224-page story of how two families cope with the death of a child. Says Steel: "It takes place in the 1950s and is about two teenagers and their families in the Midwest, and what happens when they pass through each other's lives . . . and the gift they bring to each other."What Steel lacks in writing skill she more than makes up for in productivity. The author of more than 40 books, she has had at least one of her novels on the New York Times Bestseller List for 390 consecutive weeks.
- Don O'Briant