It has been a while since I last read a book by Danielle Steel. Silent Night was available as an audiobook from my library, so I gave it a try, and it didn’t disappoint.
Paige Watts is the ultimate stage mother. The daughter of Hollywood royalty, Paige channels her acting dreams into making her own daughter, Emma, a star. By the age of nine, Emma is playing a central role in a hit TV show. Then everything is shattered by unforeseeable tragedy.
A car accident changes Emma’s world. Her mum is no longer there, and in her place is her aunt Whitney. Unlike Paige, Whitney was always the studious older sister, hating the cult of celebrity that enveloped their childhood. Instead, she is a psychiatrist who lives for her work and enjoys a no-strings-attached love affair with a wealthy venture capitalist. But at a moment’s notice, Whitney drops everything to help her niece.
Once famous, outgoing, and charismatic, Emma is now a shadow of her former self–without speech, without memory, lost and terrified. But with her aunt Whitney’s help, along with a team of caregivers and doctors, Emma begins to find her way, starting her young life all over again–and changing the lives of everyone around her.
The synopsis immediately caught my attention, because I love drama. And the scenario is so heartbreaking, that I knew this book would give me all the feels. And it did.
I loved Emma. She was such an amazing character, and a wonderful fighter as well. She goes through a very big trauma, and never stops trying. What I truly loved is the relationship that she develops with her auntie Paige, who gives up her old life to look after Emma. Because there is no one else she has in this world now…
The strength that Whitney carries within her is to be admired.
She is so selfless and caring, not afraid to give Emma all the love in the world, despite the challenges. And especially at the beginning, it’s so hard. It was really hard for me to see Whitney go through rejection, the anger from Emma, not knowing how to process everything that is happening. She had to stay strong, for her and her niece’s sake. To be strong for both of them.
Danielle Steel did a magnificent job trying to show us the reality about people suffering with mental issues and trauma. How hard and frustrating it can be for them, when they can’t express themselves and are not understood. And how hard it is for their loved ones, to come to terms with the “new normal” and adjust, and to provide all the love and support. Recovery is a very slow and painful process, and there are good and bad days. Sometimes you make one step forwards and three steps back, and other times, recovery is not an option at all. And in Silent Night, Danielle Steel perfectly captured these experiences and emotions.
The bond between the niece and auntie is unbreakable, even though it took a long time to build. I loved the slow progress we could see in their relationship, and how they were both slowly healing as time went on. It was also very lovely to see how they both would also speak about Paige and work on healing and forgiving her as well.
I enjoyed the romance that Whitney experiences, and I also loved the fact that she was able to say “no” to a person who couldn’t accept her niece as part of the “deal”. Even though, I also respect his side, and how open he was about expressing his opinion. He was a very selfish person, true, but at least he was honest with her. This actually allowed Whitney to realise he wasn’t the right match for her and she was able to open up her heart to someone more deserving of her.
A very interesting part of this book is Emma’s acting career.
She started off young and her mum organised everything and planned her life. After all, it was her childhood dream that she now re-lived with her daughter. But when the aunt takes care of Emma, she has a completely different mindset, but is also under a lot of pressure from the media and the TV show director. I have to admit, I loved how Whitney handled this part, and ultimately lets Emma make the decision on what she wants to do once she is older.
In conclusion, Silent Night is a very emotional, but beautiful book. I am so glad I read it, and I’m looking forward to reading more books from Danielle Steel in the future.