Fine Things is a Danielle Steel novel that takes readers inside the lives of the rich and famous to the depth of about two centimeters to show that they, too, suffer.
In Fine Things the sufferer is Bernie Fine. An only child, Bernie suffers from a Scarsdale upbringing, a stereotypical Jewish mother, and being denied the opportunity to teach Russian literature in a New England prep school.
Bernie accidentally discovers a gift for retailing, rising to be VP of an upscale department store chain at age 31.
Sent to San Francisco to open a new store, Bernie longs for New York.
An accidental meeting with a precocious five-year-old who wandered from her mother in the store leads Bernie to the altar. He falls in love first with Jane and then with her divorced, middle-class mother, who teaches second grade.
In less than three years from first their meeting, Liz is dead from cancer, Bernie has their son and her daughter to raise, and he’s still working 10 hours a day, six days a week at Wolff’s ‘Frisco store.
As recompense for his suffering, Steel gives Bernie a Mary-Poppins-lookalike nanny and a gorgeous, wealthy, child-loving second wife, and even enables him to enjoy California.
Fine Things by Danielle Steel
Delacorte Press. ©1987. 397 p.
1987 bestseller #8; my grade: C-
©2019 Linda G. Aragoni