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The Houseby Danielle Steel
Synopses & Reviews
Sarah Anderson left her office at nine-thirty on a Tuesday morning in June for her ten o'clock appointment with Stanley Perlman. She hurried out of the building at One Market Plaza, stepped off the curb, and hailed a cab. It occurred to her, as it always did, that one of these days when she met with him, it would really be for the last time. He always said it was. She had begun to expect him to live forever, despite his protests, and in spite of the realities of time. Her law firm had handled his affairs for more than half a century. She had been his estate and tax attorney for the past three years. At thirty-eight, Sarah had been a partner of the firm for the past two years, and had inherited Stanley as a client when his previous attorney died.
Stanley had outlived them all. He was ninety-eight years old. It was hard to believe sometimes. His mind was as sharp as it had ever been, he read voraciously, and he was well aware of every nuance and change in the current tax laws. He was a challenging and entertaining client. Stanley Perlman had been a genius in business all his life. The only thing that had changed over the years was that his body had betrayed him, but never once his mind. He was bedridden now, and had been for nearly seven years. Five nurses attended to him, three regularly in eight-hour shifts, two as relief. He was comfortable, most of the time, and hadn't left his house in years. Sarah had always liked and admired him, although others thought he was irascible and cantankerous. She thought he was a remarkable man. She gave the cabdriver Stanley's Scott Street address. They made their way through the downtown traffic in San Francisco's financial district, and headed west uptown, toward Pacific Heights, where he had lived in the same house for seventy-six years.
The sun was shining brightly as they climbed Nob Hill up California Street, and she knew it might be otherwise when they got uptown. The fog often sat heavily on the residential part of the city, even when it was warm and sunny downtown. Tourists were happily hanging off the cable car, smiling as they looked around. Sarah was bringing Stanley some papers to sign, nothing extraordinary. He was always making minor additions and adjustments to his will. He had been prepared to die for all the years she had known him, and long before. But in spite of that, whenever he seemed to take a turn for the worse, or suffered from a brief illness, he always rallied and hung on, much to his chagrin. He had told her only that morning, when she called to confirm her appointment with him, that he had been feeling poorly for the last few weeks, and it wouldn't be long.
Stop threatening me, Stanley, she had said, putting the last of the papers for him in her briefcase. You're going to outlive us all.
She was sad for him at times, although there was nothing depressing about him, and he rarely felt sorry for himself. He still barked orders at his nurses, read The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal daily, as well as the local papers, loved pastrami sandwiches and hamburgers, and spoke with fascinating accuracy and historical detail about his years growing up on the Lower East Side of New York. He had come to San Francisco at sixteen, in 1924. He had been remarkably clever at finding jobs, making deals, working for the right people, seizing opportunities, a
A workaholic attorney, Sarah Anderson finds her life transformed by an unexpected inheritance from an elderly client and by a magnificent mansion, built in the 1920s by a wealthy Frenchman for the woman he loved, a legacy that leads Sarah to a history she had never known and to architect Jeff Parker, who shares her passion for restoring the old house. Reprint.
The restoration of a majestic old home provides the exhilarating backdrop for Danielle Steel's 66th bestselling novel, the story of a young woman's dream, an old man's gift, and the surprises that await us behind every closed door.
Perched on a hill overlooking San Francisco, the house was magnificent, built in 1923 by a wealthy man for the woman he adored. For her and for this house, he would spare no expense and overlook no detail, from the endless marble floors to the glittering chandeliers. Almost a century later, with the once-grand house now in disrepair, a young woman walks through its empty rooms. Sarah Anderson, a perfectly sensible estate lawyer, is about to do something utterly out of character. An elderly client has died and left her two gifts. One is a generous inheritance. The other, a
About the Author
Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world’s most popular authors, with over 570 million copies of her novels sold. Her many international bestsellers include Amazing Grace, Bungalow 2, Sisters, H.R.H., Coming Out, The House, and other highly acclaimed novels. She is also the author of His Bright Light, the story of her son Nick Traina’s life and death.
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