The Ranch

cowboy on a bucking horse represents the dude ranchThe Ranch is a Danielle Steel novel that twists her usual romance formula to toward realism in a way that won’t disappoint her fans but will surprise her detractors.

The story is about three beautiful, sexy, and successful women who were college roommates 20 years before.

Now a celebrity music star, Tanya Thomas invites Zoe Phillips, a doctor at an AIDS clinic, and Mary Stuart Walker, wife, mother, and volunteer organizer for charitable organizations, to join her for a vacation at a Wyoming dude ranch.

Tanya’s third marriage is falling apart.

Zoe has just learned she has AIDS.

And Mary Stuart is seriously considering leaving the husband who has virtually ignored her for the year since their son committed suicide.

The three women quickly return to the honest, supportive familiarity of their Berkeley years.

The Ranch has some terrifying moments of physical danger for the women as well as Steel’s more typical tear-jerk moments.

Of course, each woman finds the right man for her, but those men are not Steel’s typical sexy, white knights with fortunes.

And instead of sweeping the heroines off on white chargers to live happily ever after in glittering castles, the men take them by the hand along potholed streets uphill toward unforeseeable challenges.

The Ranch by Danielle Steel
Delacorte. ©1997. 421 p
1997 bestseller #4; my grade: A-

©2020 Linda G. Aragoni