Past Perfect by Danielle Steel - book review: A bewitching story, filled with history, ghosts and friendship

Danielle Steel, one of the world's best-selling authors, turns her hand to fairy tales in this spellbinding story of two families sharing a beautiful friendship'¦ one hundred years apart.

Wednesday, 12th December 2018, 4:40 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th December 2018, 8:15 pm
Past Perfect by Danielle Steel

As the families come together in time at a historic mansion, past and present collide in the most entertaining way.

Sybil and Blake Gregory have established a predictable, well-ordered Manhattan life, she as a cutting-edge design authority and museum consultant, and he in high-tech investments, but all the while raising their teenagers Andrew and Caroline and six-year-old Charlie.

But everything changes when Blake is offered a dream job he can’t resist as boss of a start-up in San Francisco. He accepts it without consulting his wife and buys a magnificent, irresistibly under-priced historic Pacific Heights mansion as their new home.

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The past and present suddenly collide for them in the elegant mansion, filled with tender memories and haunting portraits, during an earthquake on the night they arrive… the original inhabitants appear for a few brief minutes.

In the ensuing days, the Gregorys meet the large and lively family who lived there a century ago… distinguished Bertrand Butterfield and his gracious wife Gwyneth, their sons Josiah and little Magnus, daughters Bettina and Lucy, formidable Scottish matriarch Augusta and her eccentric brother Angus.

The two families are delighted to share elegant dinners and warm friendship. They have much to teach each other as the Gregorys watch the past unfold while living their own modern day lives.

Gradually the Gregorys realise they have been given a perfect gift… beloved friends and the wisdom to shape their own future with lessons from a fascinating past.

Past Perfect is a bewitching story, filled with history, ghosts and friendship, and a magical read to set in motion the season of love and giving.

(Pan, paperback, £7.99)