Irresistible Forces

Irresistible Forces

by Danielle Steel

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Danielle Steel's forty-seventh bestselling novel is very much about the tides of our times, changes and responsibilities in the workplace pull two people in different directions, sweeping them into new lives and changed worlds——.

Irresistible Forces

For fourteen years, Steve and Meredith Whitman have sustained a marriage of passion and friendship - despite the demands of two all-consuming careers.  Meredith, an investment banker, has achieved partnership in one of Wall Street's top firms.  Steve A gifted physician, chose an urban trauma ward over the big money he could have earned elsewhere.  The only thing missing in their lives is children.  Steve longs for them.  But Meredith keeps putting off motherhood, saying she isn't ready and doesn't have time.  Not yet.  Especially now that she has been offered an extraordinary opportunity, a chance to reach for the brass ring - in San Francisco, three thousand miles away.  Meredith is thrilled and surprised when Steve urges her to accept a top position at an exciting young high-tech company.  Traditionally, men's careers forces families to move to new cities, compelling their wives to abandon friends, home, and lives to follow.  But Steve is more than willing to uproot himself. Saying he'll join her as he can find a new job himself, they can begin their family at last.

Neither Steve nor Meredith had reckoned on the frustrations of a bi-coastal marriage, as Steve's job keeps him in New York for months longer than planned.  Weekends together, their lifeline, fall prey to their hectic schedules.  Alone in San Francisco, Meredith is spending long hours at the office with her boss, charismatic entrepreneur Callan Dow.  Steve working late shifts at the hospital, grabbing an occasional dinner with a new colleague, a doctor raising a daughter on her own.  Almost unnoticed, Steve and Meredith have begun living separate lives in increasingly separate worlds.  And despite the best of intentions, irresistible forces begin to tear their lives and hearts apart.

With unerring insight, Danielle Steel explores what happens when lives that fit together like delicately balanced puzzles are shifted, changed, and drift apart.  Only time can tell who and what they will become as life sweeps them onward and deposits them on new, sometimes frightening, and often exciting shores.  Who survives, is at the core of Irresistible Forces.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440224860
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/31/2000
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 55,131
Product dimensions: 6.84(w) x 4.10(h) x 1.07(d)

About the Author

Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world’s most popular authors, with over 650 million copies of her novels sold. Her many international bestsellers include Country, Prodigal Son, Pegasus, A Perfect Life, Power Play, Winners, First Sight, Until the End of Time, The Sins of the Mother, 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; A Gift of Hope, a memoir of her work with the homeless; Pure Joy, about the dogs she and her family have loved; and the children’s book Pretty Minnie in Paris.


San Francisco, California

Date of Birth:

August 14, 1947

Place of Birth:

New York, New York


Educated in France. Also attended Parsons School of Design, 1963, and New York University, 1963-67

Read an Excerpt

It was a brilliantly sunny day in New York, and the temperature  had soared over the hundred mark long before noon. You could have fried an egg  on the sidewalk. Kids were screaming, people were sitting on stoops and in  doorways, and leaning against walls beneath tattered awnings. Both hydrants on  the corner of 125th Street and Second Avenue had been opened, and water was  cascading from them, as squealing children ran through it. There was an  ankle-deep river running through the gutter. At four in the afternoon, it  seemed as though half the neighborhood was standing around in the heat, talking  and watching the kids.

And suddenly, at four ten, shots rang out in the noise of the talk and laughter  and the sound of rushing water. They weren't an unfamiliar sound in that part  of town, and everyone stopped as they heard them. People seemed to pause  motionless for a moment, waiting for what would come next. They pulled back  into doorways, shrank against walls, and two mothers ran forward into the  geyser of water from one of the hydrants and grabbed their children. But before  they could regain the safety of the doorway, another burst of shots rang out,  this time louder and closer, and three young men ran into the midst of the  crowdstanding near the hydrant. They knocked over kids as they ran, and hit a young woman so hard she fell sprawling in the water, and suddenly there were screams as two cops appeared, running around the corner, in hot pursuit of the young men, guns drawn, bullets flying into the crowd.

It all happened so fast, no one had time to clear a path for them, or to warn  each other, and in the distance there were already sirens. And over the distant  wail of police cars approaching the scene, there was another round of gunshots,  and this time one of the young men fell to the ground, bleeding from his shoulder, at the same time one of his companions wheeled and shot a police  officer cleanly through the head, and suddenly a little girl screamed and fell  to the ground in the fierce spray from the hydrant, and everyone nearby was  shouting and running in all directions, as her mother ran to her from the  doorway where she'd been watching in horror, as the child fell.

And an instant later, the chase was over. Two of the young men were lying  facedown on the ground being handcuffed by a flock of policemen, an officer lay  dead, and the third suspect was being tended to by paramedics. But only a few  feet away, a child lay dying from the bullet that had hit her. It had passed

cleanly through her chest, and she was bleeding profusely, as her mother knelt  next to her, soaked by the continuing spray from the fire hydrant, and sobbing  hysterically as she held her unconscious child in her arms, and the paramedics  wrested the five-year-old girl from her. Within less than a minute, she was in an ambulance, and they pulled her mother in with her, still crying and dazed. It  was a scene all of them had seen dozens of times before, if not hundreds, but  one that only meant something when you knew the people at the core of the  drama, the perpetrators, or the victims. The ones who got arrested, or those

who got injured or killed.

There was a vast tangle of cars at the corner of 125th, as the ambulance tried  to disengage from them, with siren screaming and lights flashing. And people

stood on the street looking stunned by what had happened. A second ambulance

took the injured suspect from the scene, and blue and white cars seemed to come  from everywhere as they heard on the radio that an officer was down. People in  the neighborhood knew what it would mean for them once word got out that he had  been killed. Tempers would flare, and smoldering resentments would burst into  flame. Worse yet, in the deadly heat, anything could happen. This was Harlem,  it was August, life was tough, and a cop had been murdered.

And in the ambulance, as it sped downtown, Henrietta Washington clung to her

child's hand, and watched in silent terror as the paramedics fought for her  life. But for the moment, it didn't look like they were winning. The little  girl was gray and still and her blood was everywhere, the floor, the sheets,

her arms, the gurney, her mother's face and dress and hands. It looked like a  slaughter. And for what? She was another casualty in the endless war between the cops and the bad guys, gang members, drug dealers, and narcs. She was a pawn in a game she knew nothing about, a tiny sacrifice among warriors whose goal was to destroy each other. Dinella Washington meant nothing to them, only to her friends and neighbors, her sisters, and her mother. She was the oldest of four children her mother had had between sixteen and twenty, but no matter how poor they were, nor how tough life was for them, or the neighborhood in which they fought to survive, her mother loved her.

"Is she gonna die?" Henrietta asked in a strangled voice, her huge eyes  looking into those of a paramedic, and he didn't answer. He didn't know.

"We're doing what we can, ma'am." Henrietta Washington was twenty-one years  old. She was a stereotype, a number, a statistic, but she was so much more than  that. She was a woman, a girl, a mother. She wanted more than this for her  kids. She wanted a job, wanted to work, wanted to be married to a good man one  day, who loved and took care of her and her children. But she had never met a  man like that. Her kids were all she had for the moment, and she had nothing to  give them but her love.

She had a boyfriend who took her to dinner once in a while, with three kids of  his own to support. He hadn't been able to find a job in six months, and drank  too much when he took her out. There were no easy solutions for either of them,  just welfare, an odd job from time to time, and a hand-to-mouth existence.  Neither of them had finished high school, and they lived in a war zone. And the life they led, and where they lived it, was a death sentence for their children.

The ambulance screeched to a stop outside the hospital, and the paramedics  raced out with Dinella on the gurney. She had an IV in her arm, an oxygen mask  over her face, and all Henrietta knew was that she was still breathing, but  barely. She ran into the emergency room after her, in her bloodstained dress,  and she couldn't even get near her little girl. A dozen nurses and residents

had closed around the child and were running down the hall with her to the  trauma unit, as Henrietta followed, wanting to ask someone what was happening,  what they were going to do. She wanted to know if Dinella would be all right. A  thousand questions raced through her head as someone stuck a clipboard and pen  in front of her face.

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