A Letter from Danielle for May ’22

Hi Everyone,

I love the month of May!!! The weather is usually lovely by then, and it feels like spring. May 1, May Day, is Labor Day in France, and everyone gives others sprigs of lily of the valley for good luck: I love its delicate scent. And there are stands which sell it on every street corner in Paris on May 1. It gets the month off to a pretty start. It’s also a day which means a lot to me personally, as it is my son Nick’s birthday.

The month of May has a happy ending too (and hopefully good weather in between) with the Memorial Day holiday, which is the unofficial start of the summer, and a long weekend.

And I have two very good books coming your way. In May the paperback of Complications, which is about a very chic small hotel in France, with some very interesting guests who check in. A very successful American businesswoman, recovering from a nasty divorce, in Paris to give herself a treat with a brief stay there; a young American couple celebrating their engagement (the fiance has a shocking medical emergency, and another guest saves him); and an English physician returned to his favorite hotel in his final stages of terminal cancer. He saves the young man’s life and meets with a doctor in Paris as his last hope. And to add to the excitement, a bomb threat, and a very high-up French government official who is being blackmailed meets his secret male lover in a suite of the hotel, and a mysterious death occurs. Lots of things happening in that book!!

And a few weeks ago, my new hardcover book came out, Beautiful. It’s a very powerful book about a real-life terrorist event: the bombing of the Brussels Airport. In the book, a very beautiful young French superstar model is at that airport with her mother and boyfriend, leaving on a vacation. The bombs go off, and half of her face is ravaged, the other half untouched. After months of surgery, the damage is better but can’t be fully repaired, and she must live with the scars of a terrible event. It leads to the question of what is beauty? Is she still a beautiful woman with half a damaged face? Or is all one sees of her the ugly damage, and not the beautiful woman she is, inside and out. She can no longer work as a model, and the accident redefines how she sees herself, and how others see her. And where does she go from there? Through doctors in New York, she takes a trip to Africa between surgeries, and falls in love with the children of Angola, who live with still active mine fields there and frequently suffer injuries like hers. It’s a book about what defines us, as people, what makes us beautiful, or ugly, and who does one become after a shocking experience like that? The book means a lot to me because a close member of my family was in that attack in Brussels, and suffered incredible damage, though different injuries than in the book. And with incredible courage, at 17, my young relative redefined and redirected her life, met the challenge, and has turned it into a great success. The book is not only about beauty, it is about courage, and the incredible strength of the human spirit, and turning tragedy into a gift. I hope you love it!!

I hope you enjoy the books. Have a great month of May.


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