Turning Point: A Novel

Turning Point: A Novel

by Danielle Steel

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399179365
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/08/2019
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 390
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world’s most popular authors, with almost a billion copies of her novels sold. Her many international bestsellers include Beauchamp Hall, In His Father’s Footsteps, The Good Fight, The Cast, Accidental Heroes, Fall From Grace, 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 books Pretty Minnie in Paris and Pretty Minnie in Hollywood.

Hometown:

San Francisco, California

Date of Birth:

August 14, 1947

Place of Birth:

New York, New York

Education:

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

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Bill Browning had been on duty in the emergency room at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center for five hours and had just finished surgery on his third gunshot wound of the day. This one was going to make it, the first one had too, but the second patient had died, a sixteen-­year-­old victim of gang wars in San Francisco, and the drug trade the gangs engaged in. It was Christmas Day and business as usual at San Francisco General. They got the roughest cases in the city, brought in by ambulance, by the police, by paramedics, or by helicopter from highway accidents or any major disaster in the area. They were set up for multi-­casualty incidents, in the jargon of the trade. San Francisco General was the best hospital in the area for severe trauma cases. It was a public institution with the benefit of private funding, in partnership with the Department of Public Health and the medical school at the University of California, San Francisco. All the physicians who practiced there were UCSF faculty as well, which kept the standards high. It was a teaching hospital, and private donations had provided a new building that doubled the capacity of the trauma unit and the patients they could treat to three hundred. The old facility was still in use.

The original building was notoriously grim. Almost every door in the hospital was locked with electronic access codes, and it wasn’t unheard of for injured victims from rival gangs to shoot each other in the emergency room once they were brought in, or pull guns on members of the staff and threaten them. There were metal detectors, but in spite of that, occasionally visitors were able to sneak weapons in. It was an added element at General that the medical personnel had to deal with, along with some of the worst emergencies and traumas in the city.

The care of trauma victims was their strong suit, and Bill Browning was the head of the trauma unit. He signed up for duty in the ER for most major holidays, since he had nothing else to do. It was his gift to his colleagues, allowing others to be home with their families. Holidays meant nothing to him when he didn’t have his children with him. Now thirty-­nine, Bill had specialized in trauma for his entire medical career. He was the senior doctor on staff on Christmas Day, and would be again on New Year’s Eve. He only got to have his daughters for Christmas every other year, and this was the off year.

The nurses had decorated the emergency room and the visitors’ waiting room in the old facility with tinsel and assorted holiday decorations, which no one seemed to notice. Their patients were usually too severely injured, and their families too distressed, to care about the slightly forlorn evidence of the holiday scattered around the unit. Patients with the flu, food poisoning, bronchitis, or a sprained ankle ordinarily went to other hospitals. Only the most severe injuries, and a steady flow of the homeless population who were injured or ill and brought in by the police, went to SF General. The work was challenging for the medical staff, and a valuable learning experience for UCSF students. Bill Browning had seen just about everything that humans could inflict on themselves and each other during his career as an ER and trauma doctor. Nothing shocked him anymore. But it still saddened him to see the victims of the gangs. Their deaths were so senseless, such a waste, and evidence of young lives gone wrong. He had signed the death certificate of a sixteen-­year-­old boy only two hours earlier.

He hadn’t stopped moving or sat down in the five hours he had been on duty, since ten that morning. It was a hell of a way to spend Christmas, but his two little girls, Philippa, called Pip, and Alexandra, Alex, were in London, where they lived with their mother. They were nine and seven years old. Their mother, Athena, was British. She had left San Francisco when Alex was three weeks old, the earliest date their pediatrician would allow her to travel so far with a newborn. Athena couldn’t wait to leave. The marriage had been dead long before that, although Bill had tried valiantly to hang on and convince her to keep trying, but their union had been doomed from the first.

Since the divorce, he had plunged himself into his work more than ever, and didn’t see his girls nearly enough. He had them for a month in the summer, Christmas in alternate years, and whatever other time he could manage to fly to London for a few days. His ex-­wife didn’t like sending the girls to San Francisco to see him. They’d been divorced for six years, she had remarried a British lord a year later, and now had two-­year-­old twin boys. Her second husband, Rupert, was exactly who she should have married in the first place. Her family referred to Bill as “The American,” and considered him her “youthful mistake.”

Athena had been twenty-­three when they met in New York. He’d been visiting his parents for a week during his residency. After medical school at Columbia, he’d done his internship and residency at Stanford, and stayed on in San Francisco afterward when he was offered a job at SF General. It wasn’t cushy or glorious, but it was the right place for the trauma work he wanted to do. He had no desire to return to New York. He enjoyed the weather and the outdoor sports he could pursue in San Francisco in his time off, hiking, windsurfing, sailing year round. And he particularly liked the hospital where he worked, and the kind of patients they treated.

His parents were part of an elitist, snobbish social world that had always made him uncomfortable. He avoided it at all cost. While visiting them, under pressure he reluctantly agreed to join them at the party where he had met Athena. He was twenty-­nine years old and dazzled by her. She was spectacularly beautiful, a little eccentric, outrageous, and a rebel. She had grown up in a sophisticated, glamorous, international jet-­set world, and was visiting friends in New York.

Bill had fallen head over heels in love with her, and she had come to San Francisco a month later, to pursue their torrid affair. She stayed. He was working long shifts in his residency, and whenever he wasn’t working, they spent most of their time in bed, or doing the sports he enjoyed and introduced to her. She thought their romance exciting and exotic. Bill was different from any man she’d ever known. He was straightforward, honest, hardworking, and modest. She was wild, sexy, and a rare bird for him. She’d gotten pregnant with Pip six months later, and they flew to London over a long weekend to explain the situation to her parents. Bill proposed, which he wanted to do eventually anyway. It was just sooner than he’d planned. They were married in a discreet ceremony, and neither family was thrilled with their decision. Her family thought him too dull. His family thought her too racy.

Pip was born six months later, and Bill bought a Victorian house in Noe Valley, where they could become a family and begin their life together. Her parents sent over a nanny from London so Athena didn’t have to be tied down, and she went home to England frequently to see her sisters, parents, and friends, and then returned to Bill, their baby, and their San Francisco life, a little less enthusiastically each time. She felt like a fish out of water in sleepy San Francisco.

It had taken Athena all of five minutes to fall in love with Bill the night they met, and about a year to realize what she’d done, and how different they were. He was more of a detour than a destination in her life, and at the end of a year with him, she had begun to have serious doubts about the marriage. She was six months pregnant with Pip by then, and the baby brought them closer for a while. The life they shared was exactly what Bill wanted, a wife he loved and an adorable baby in a cozy little Victorian house in a family neighborhood. Athena was like an exotic bird trapped in a cage in a foreign land. It had taken her less than a year after Pip was born to fall out of love with him completely, and she got pregnant with Alex by accident after they got drunk at a party when Pip was fifteen months old. She spent most of the pregnancy commuting to London to see her old friends, and got increasingly depressed whenever she came back to Bill in San Francisco. His parents had never liked her, and were dismayed by what he’d gotten himself into, but he was still insisting that Athena would settle down and get used to married life. He had a long talk with her father, who suggested that Bill give up his career in medicine, move to England, and join him in the family shipping business if he wanted the marriage to work. Athena was never going to be a “California girl.” The only one who refused to see it was Bill. Three weeks after Alex was born, Athena took the two girls to England and spent the summer in the south of France with her sisters and friends at her parents’ summer home there. At the end of the summer she called to tell Bill she wasn’t coming back and wanted a divorce. He was devastated and tried to talk her out of it, but she was already seeing Rupert by then, and Bill didn’t have a chance. She and Rupert had had a summer fling in the South of France.

She and Rupert had grown up together. He was one of her own, and a British lord like her father. Rupert was as much a libertine and free spirit as she was, and her three years in California were over. She never came back. Bill lived in the house in Noe Valley until the divorce she filed was final, hoping she would change her mind. She didn’t. Eventually he sold the pretty little house and moved to a small apartment on the Embarcadero, with a view of the bay and the Bay Bridge and a second bedroom for his girls when they would come to visit. The apartment was stark and barely furnished, and he was still living there five years later. He had never bothered to decorate it, except for the bare essentials from IKEA, including a pink bedroom set for the girls. The rest of the apartment looked as barren and empty as he felt.

When his daughters visited him now in the summer, they traveled most of the time. He took them to Lake Tahoe, camping in Yosemite, they went on road trips, he took them to Disneyland, and did all the things divorced fathers do, trying desperately to establish a bond with his children in too little time. They were as British as their mother and stepfather, and loved their little half brothers. Bill tried to plant the seed of their going to college in the States one day, which Pip was mildly interested in, but it was still nine years away. In the meantime, he had his month with them in the summer, an occasional weekend when he could fly to London to see them, and Christmas every other year. The rest of the time he had his work. He firmly believed that he didn’t need more than that. There hadn’t been an important woman in his life since Athena, and he was beginning to see now how unsuited they had been for each other. He told himself it no longer mattered, and insisted he wasn’t bitter about the divorce. He hadn’t been in love with her for several years. She had broken his heart when she left with their daughters. The loves of his life now were Pip and Alex. He readily admitted he was a workaholic, and saw no harm in that.

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Turning Point 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Anonymous 6 months ago
This was a hard book to put down because of all the new and interesting complex relationships plus the events that occurred in this exchange of US and French physicians.
Anonymous 18 days ago
Love Danielle Steel novels always thought provoking and I hope make me a better person.
Anonymous 24 days ago
Loved+this+story+and+all+of+the+characters.+
Anonymous 24 days ago
I+loved+the+twists+and+turns+of+the+character+lives.++I+liked+it+detailed+each+of+the+physicians+hospital+positions+and+why+they+did+their+specific+job.++It+held+my+attention+the+entire+book.
Anonymous 3 months ago
This+was+a+great+book%21%21++I+would+recommend+it+to+anyone.+I+loved+each+of+the+characters+an+that+they+each+had+something+going+on.+Great+ending+also.+I%27m+never+disappointed+with+her+books%21%21%21%21%21%21%21
lovestoread17 3 months ago
Four of San Francisco's brightest trauma doctors are chosen to go to Paris and meet with four of there special doctors from trauma units and compare ideas and strategies. The group from San Francisco does not really know each other and will learn about their private lives and how to deal with emergency situations while in Paris. Once they arrive they will meet with four Paris doctors and together the group of eight will train for a month in Paris and then will return after a two-week break and visit the San Francisco area. When a horrible event occurs in Paris it has all of the doctors thinking and realizing just how precious life is. Romance and friendships will become emotional and also have people rethink if they are living the way they really want to. This book could be taken right out of the pages of today's newspapers. It warns us how precious life is with all the crazy people around. Not just natural disasters like earthquakes but bombings and shootings. Each of the eight doctors is personally involved in some life changes that they had realized were out there. A great read.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Excellent+read.+it+was+a+well+developed+story.+i+enjoyed+tne+journey+with+tne+characters.+%0A
Anonymous 4 months ago
You+know+when+you+pick+up+a+novel+by+this+author+tgat+you+will+have+a+goid+read.+Turning+Point+went+far+beyond+any+expectations+i+had.+A+story+thatbrings+you+into+lives+that+touch+ours+during+these+uncertain+times+of+viaolence+and+disasters.++it+lets+you+into+tge+lives+of+people+that+are+there+to+help+those+hurt+and+injured+but+that+we+often+dont+seem+to+think+of.+tge+caregivers+that+have+lives+that+need+consideration+too.++this+book+will+quickly+steal+a+few+hours.+A+story+you+dont+want+to+see+end%2C+but+one+that+whrn+it+ends%2C+makes+you+feel+the+good+that+weneed+to+remember+is+in+our+lives.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Good but wish it was longer.
Anonymous 4 months ago
I read the book in one day. It was hard to put down.
Barca6 5 months ago
Not one of her better books. I felt like I was reading the same descriptions over and over again. I found myself skimming pages and pages of nothing but filler. Not much of a story line either. Definitely not worth my time or money. Disappointing
Anonymous 5 months ago
Awesome read, page Turner
KrisAnderson_TAR 5 months ago
Turning Point is a realistic story that lets us see tragic events from the point of trauma doctors and emergency services. I thought Turning Point was well-written with a steady flow. I found Turning Point to be a compelling novel. I was drawn into the story wanting to see what choices the doctors would make. Going to Paris is a wonderful opportunity for each doctor, but two of them must make a sacrifice. Stephanie is leaving behind an angry husband and two distraught children. However, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and it is an honor to be picked to participate. Wendy is giving up her Wednesday nights with her lover. She has made great sacrifices to be with him, but she is beginning to wonder if he feels the same way about her. I will admit that her whining did grate on me after a while. I could have done with less of Wendy waxing on about Jeffrey and their relationship. Tom is looking forward to the Paris nightlife while Bill will be able to see his girls every weekend. Tom is a charmer and his character provided levity to the book. Tragedy has a way of making people evaluate their lives as we see in Turning Point. It was interesting to learn more about the roll of trauma doctors and how emergency services operates in another country. I did find some of the medical information presented to be intricate and I would find myself skimming through that paragraph. Other medical knowledge imparted was straightforward and easy to understand. There is, of course, romance in the story but it is light. I liked the Parisian medical professionals and how their stories mixed with the doctors from San Francisco. It is amazing how chaos can bring about change. I am giving Turning Point 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). Those readers who are addicted to Grey’s Anatomy will enjoy reading Turning Point. I look forward to Ms. Steel’s next book which is Silent Night.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Turning Point by Steel was an outstanding book that was well written. Character development was great, however I would have liked to have a little more about the essential characters from Paris. The telling of the story of the doctors from America and France was intricately woven together to tell a wonderful story. I enjoyed the building of the relationships between the eight characters. This book by Danielle Steel did not disappoint.
Teri1957 6 months ago
Received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Fabulous book! Well written with a great plot and interesting characters. Danielle Steel at her best. This story has something for every reader to get their teeth into. Enjoy!
LynnB888 6 months ago
Realistic characters, gritty settings and compelling drama! It's rare not to be drawn into a Danielle Steel novel within a few paragraphs of the first chapter and her latest release is no exception! With well-crafted words, we're transported quickly into the minds of four doctors, all working in trauma departments at different hospitals around San Francisco. Descriptive settings take us into a day in the life of each doctor without portraying it in a gruesome fashion that might detract from your enjoyment of the book. They are all drawn together to be part of a dual-city mass injury training venture with four doctors in Paris. The romance is light since there are multiple characters to center around, but the drama is spot on to carry you throughout the book. Really enjoyed it! Bill Browning heads up the trauma unit at San Francisco's most volatile emergency room. With his ex-wife raising his daughters in London, he throws himself into working around the clock and dreams of those moments when he gets to visit with his girls. This trip will bring him to their side of the world for a few weeks and he's beside himself with happiness about that. Stephanie Lawrence is on the fast track as a trauma doc at Mission Bay. She has two young sons and a work-from-home husband who grows more frustrated with the time she spends at the hospital every day. All she's ever dreamed of is so close she can taste it, she just needs to stay on track to lead it all one day. This training trip is going to be a sore point for her family. Wendy Jones is a leading trauma doctor at Stanford but her personal life is in a rut that she doesn't seem to be able to overcome. She's boxed herself into a corner as the mistress to a cardiac surgeon who seems to have gotten comfortable having his lady on the side while having his wife at home instead of following through on all that he promised her in the beginning. Tom Wylie is a love 'em and leave 'em player of a doc at Alta Bates, but he's the type of guy that everyone loves. Upbeat and always smiling, Tom is the life of the party. He has no plans to settle down and isn't ashamed of the parade of women he has marching through his bed. These four doctors are chosen as the top of the city to travel to Paris to train with a team of their counter-parts in mass-casualty situations. It's fashioned to be a huge learning experience for both cities, and along the way they learn more about themselves and each other. When a severe attack happens, they find themselves thrust full force into the terror they are training for, making decisions that will change lives!
sbart84 6 months ago
This story pulled me in from the very first page.. Being that I'm in the medical field, I'm always intrigued on medical stories and this one did not disappoint me. Four Emergency/Trauma doctors from San Francisco travel to Paris to gain knowledge are faced with much violence. This story also delves into their personal lives and what a true commitment that they have with their careers. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters, they were all very likeable other than Stephanie. She put her career first over her family, but I was happy with her decisions. Loved Bill, such a good dad to his daughters. Poor Wendy, always the other woman. Then you have Tom, the playboy. What a cast of characters!! It has been a few years a few years since I have a book from Danielle Steel but this one stole my heart and I could not put it down. I highly recommend this story.
Michelle_V 6 months ago
Turning Point is about four American Trauma Surgeons who are chosen to go to Paris for four weeks to learn how they deal with mass casualties. Then they return with their four counterparts to train in San Francisco. Turning Point took on a subject that although a horrible reason to have to get training in this world at this time it is so necessary. The writing is excellent, the characters believable and well developed and the story was interesting. I must say I've been reading Danielle Steel books for years and I've loved them all. Turning Point is her latest book and it is another great one. I look forward to reading more of her books in the future.
DJTP 6 months ago
Turning Point by Danielle Steel. I've always enjoyed this author's books and Turning Point didn't disappoint me. I enjoyed the settings and storyline. I pulled me in from the beginning and kept me going back for more.
Anonymous 3 months ago
this+was+boring+and+predictable++
Anonymous 5 months ago
I+ALWAYS+BUY+MS+STEELS+BOOKS.++BUT+THIS+ONE+WAS+A+NO+GO+FOR+ME.+THERE+WERE+SO+MANY+CHARACTERS+IN+THIS+BOOK.++JUST+DIDN%27T+LIKE+IT+AT+ALL%2C+NOT+COMPARED+TO+HER+OTHER+BOOKS.++SORRY%2C+JUST+MY+OPINION.+
Anonymous 6 months ago
The best yet!
Anonymous 6 months ago
Great story!