In England, Queen Elizabeth has stopped their annual debutant ball because it is a tradition that no longer has significant meaning. So, in the summer of 1959, France holds the first debutant ball at Versailles. Invitations are sent out to certain debutants in America. Amelia, Felicity, Caroline and Samantha receive invitations. They do not know each other, but at the ball they bond and become friends. Each has their own struggles related to growing up and works through them over the year. This debutant ball is supposed to bring fortune in finding a husband. Will it be the escort they are assigned?
This is a delightful tale of society and the costs of being in that elite group. It's also a story of finding the path to maturity.
An interesting look into the world of debutantes in 1959. Four young American women have been invited to participate in a deb ball in France. None of them really want to go, but their parents convinced them to go and participate. The don't know each other prior to the ball, but meet at a party before the ball and quickly become friends. One night transforms all four of their lives and makes them better women. Danielle Steel writes in a way that allows you to imagine what is happening in the story and what these women were experiencing. Loved the story!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This review is based on an ARC from NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher.
The Ball at Versailles is a story from a bygone era where social status was a way of life. In the summer of 1959, 40 debutantes are invited to attend a ball at the Palace of Versailles. Four American debutantes who receive invitations, where they will be presented to international society and royalty with the possibility that it might change their lives.
Amelia Alexander wants to attend law school after college. Her mother Jane sees this as an opportunity to meet someone with the means to take care of her daughter. Eventually Amelia agrees but is not as excited about the event as her mother would like.
Felicity Smith, although already comes from the Dallas social scene, but prefers to be anywhere her older, thin and beautiful sister is not. Just being in her sister's presence is enough to start the cruel barbs in her direction. Felicity is not thin and doesn't seem to care which only adds unwanted attention from her sister. Her mother gently pleads with her to consider going and doing something nice for herself. After thinking it over, she agrees to go which infuriates her jealous sister who did not get invited.
Caroline Taylor is the daughter of Hollywood royalty. After being rudely dumped by her actor boyfriend, it's an opportunity to get away to heal.
Samantha Walker is an art history major and has had a hard life after her mother and younger brother were killed in a car accident that left her in a coma for 3 months. After recovering she is left with a slight limp, a weakness in one of her arms, and falls on occasion. Her father is overprotective, has mixed emotions about the invitation. Glad for the opportunity but fearful it might change their lives that he has created for just the two of them.
This one event will bring these four young women together and become lifelong friends as they grow into mature young women and find love.
This was a wonderful tale of four women given a unique opportunity and changes their lives going forward. I really enjoyed the story as it went from the United States to France, and England. The story weaves the lives of these families seamlessly together for a beautiful tale. Each young woman is relatable and very likeable. Following their paths through this was enjoyable and worth the rewarding ending.
Danielle Steel is a master storyteller. She skillfully weaves a story the enfolds the reader until she is finished. We are richly rewarded with a wonderful story from a special time in history.
Reading this book sends you back in time, in good ways and in bad, and shows you how much and how little things have changed.
The stories of these four young women, all of them with their own problems and their own things that make them spectacular, all seem so real, the path that brought them to each other seemingly written in the stars.
If you're looking to step back in time, with friends who become family, and concepts like destiny and meant to fill the pages, this is the book for you.
I have to say the only negative for me was the constant talk about wealth, who had it, who was losing it, and what they had to do to get or keep it, by the end of the book, it just seemed like it was a bit much.
Thank you to Random House Publishing House and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this E-Book, I have voluntarily read and reviewed it and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
This is a Women's Fiction. I had a hard time with this book, and I ended up DNFing this book around 40%. The characters were ok, and I never got pulled into this book. I just wanted more from this book and the characters. I received an ARC of this book. This review is my own honest opinion about the book like all my reviews are.
At first glance the title of this book may make us think it is all about glamour and wealth which would be far from the truth. This story gives us four young women who are invited to Versailles to come out into society. These young women come from a variety of backgrounds but all have real life issues they are dealing with. We can easily relate to their characters.
I think a strong message in this book is education. Set in the late 1950s there is a strong push for these young women to finish college. There is plenty of romance for the young women and they grow friendships from their time at the ball. Overall I think this book has a lot of substance and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
Historical fiction that takes you back to the late 1950’s and the age of Debutantes. Four American women are invited to come out at the Ball. Different background, but same wealthy status.
With so much darkness in our current world, I chose a lighter read mainly due to the cover art. I devoured Ms. Steel’s books at a younger age and have enjoyed a few of her recent books. They are good for an escape. This storyline was predictable from the beginning: invitation, issues with parents, rich girls wanting to break out of their routine but never really succeeding. I enjoyed the backstory of each girl and appreciated what they wanted to do with their life, but in typical Steel style, love, marriage and money trump all. I found the story on the slower side and could not connect with the characters. Not as descriptive as I had hoped for. This would be a nice read for an older reader who enjoys being transported to a romantic place and time.
Thanks to Random House/Ballantine and NetGalley for this ARC. Opinion is mine alone.
THE BALL AT VERSAILLES
BY: DANIELLE STEEL
About 3.50 Stars!
After reading a heavy thriller & mystery book I needed something lighter. This was an easy, quick change of pace. I did find that I was disappointed a little by the wealthy beyond imagination of each of the families depicted here, except Amelia. Her single mother was just fired from her publishing job that was supposed to be her promotion of CEO to the company that was promised to Jane. Instead she is told that the sisters who own the company are too conservative to give the CEO job to a woman. Jane wants a better life for her daughter Amelia who doesn't have any idea how hard her mother has struggled to make a comfortable life for her. She still pressures Amelia into attending the Ball in Paris. Amelia thinks the whole idea is archaic. She is attending Barnard College which is affiliated to Columbia University. Amelia plans on going to law school after she completes her undergraduate degree. Amelia's mother will go through the hardest five months of her life finding a new job. Still I thought them quite wealthy to own an apartment on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
Four young women from privileged families in the U.S. receive an invitation to attend a Debutante Ball at the Palace of Versailles. Two of these girls don't want to attend it, but reluctantly agree to attend this Ball in 1959, after much pressure from their mothers'.
Felicity is from Dallas Texas, and is a student at the prestigious MIT also known as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Felicity has a very mean older sister who both her mother and father don't do anything about the cruel treatment of Felicity from her sister. I wasn't comfortable with the fat shaming of both her sister and her mother towards Felicity who is kind and already uncomfortable by her natural brilliance of attending such a top school of the world in her study of engineering. She is told that she is 45 pounds overweight and by putting pressure on herself which her mother and sister do make Felicity uncomfortable and wanting to eat more due to stress.
Samantha has lost both her artist mother and younger brother in an accident. Samantha lives with her overprotective father who is a venture capitalist who is also very rich. Samantha goes to NYU, but because he worries about her because of her injuries sustained in the accident has left her with a balance problem, a limp and one side weaker than the other, she is preoccupied with stumbling or falling. Her father won't let her live on campus which leads to Samantha not making many friends. She worries that she will lose her balance and trip as she is escorted down the staircase at the Ball with her escort. She is studying Art History at her University.
Caroline has been living in Los Angeles, CA with skipping many classes to visit her older boyfriend at his residence for the past year. She has a famous movie star as a mother and her father is also in the movie business. Caroline's parents seem to have a stable and happy marriage, but they're often gone for months traveling to different locations to make movies. She is heartbroken by the way her boyfriend has just dumped her. She was blindsided by the breakup which was done in the most horrible and humiliating way.
These four young women attend the ball and meet each other and form close friendships. Some of their escorts at the ball are not true gentlemen, yet three out of the four women meet nice young men.
Samantha and Amelia grow close because they find out they live close by each other. Felicity and Caroline keep in touch although Caroline has to leave the ball early with a life threatening medical problem. Predictably this concludes with a HEA. Amelia's mother getting together with Samantha's father was very predictable. I do enjoy this author's novels, this one seemed to be way easier for me to guess the outcomes than some of her other work.
I did enjoy the descriptions of the gowns and what the girls wore to the various functions before the Ball. I liked the friendships that these girls formed. I liked the travels that took place in the sightseeing after the ball in France. I liked the way Caroline's parents are supportive of her after her medical scare. Most parents might not have been.
Publication Date: November 21, 2023! Available Now!
Thank you to Net Galley, Danielle Steel and Random House Publishing Group--Ballantine. Delacorte Press for generously providing me with my eARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.
#TheBallatVersailles #DanielleSteel #RandomHousePublishingGroupBallantineDelacortePress #NetGalley
I enjoyed reading Danielle Steele novels in the past but stop reading her because after a while they all read the same . I decided to give this novel a chance and was not disappointed. . This novel centers around four women who reluctantly agree to attend the first ball at the Palace of Versailles. each woman is struggling to find her way in the world . Ms.Steele is able to create characters that make the readers cheer for and want to succeed. Had me hooked from page one .
I just reviewed The Ball at Versailles by Danielle Steel. #TheBallatVersailles #NetGalley
I loved this book! Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the arc. The world of the old debutant balls is such a fascinating one, everyone seemed to have different reasons for participating. Loved the ending too! Definitely recommend.
Four American woman reluctantly agree to make a debut at the Palace of Versailles. Even though it is 1959, these woman have more on their minds than a marriage match. Attending with their families, they find that their lives are forever changed as a result. I received an ARC from NetGalley and Delacorte Press for my honest review.
This captivating tale centers around four American debutantes invited to an exclusive ball at the historic Palace of Versailles. As they navigate tradition, societal expectations, and personal aspirations, the novel beautifully captures the essence of a transformative night that shapes their destinies. Steel's storytelling brilliance shines through as she weaves together the individual journeys of Amelia, Felicity, Caroline, and Samantha, each facing unique challenges against the backdrop of a changing era. The rich historical setting adds depth to the narrative, making the novel a compelling blend of romance, self-discovery, and the clash between tradition and progress. This book is a mesmerizing read that transports readers to a bygone era, offering a poignant exploration of love, heartbreak, and the pursuit of dreams amidst the glamour of Versailles.
Enchanting. I loved each character’s story and the beguiling blend of tradition, independence, and coming of age.
Many thanks to Random House and to Netgalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Book Name: The Ball at Versailles
Author: Danielle Steel
Thank you to Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, Delacorte Press, and NetGalley for an ARC of Danielle Steel’s A Ball at Versailles
Fast Paced (EXTREMELY)
Historical Drama with Romance Elements
- Second Wave Feminism
- Tradition Vs Modernity
- Mothers and Daughters
- Deb Ball
- “Love” at First Sight
- First Danielle Steel Book - mildly impressed
- FAST read
- Read in One Night
- Great Story Arc’s
- Mildly Predictable
- Highly Enjoyable
- Great Historical Palate Cleansers After a Major Slump
The year is 1958 and the Palace of Versailles will be hosting an event that will definitely make history in the summer of 1959. A very select group of Debutantes both French and American will be presented to international society and royalty. Of the 40 Americans invited, four women are given the chance of a lifetime. But not all of them want to go.
Amelia Alexander, is the daughter of a widowed mother who has given her everything, not knowing the price her mother has paid in exchange. Amelia attends Barnard College and wants to go to law school afterwards. She's not looking to get married at just 19 years old. She already debuted in NY a year ago, but agreed for the sake of her mom, Jane, to go.
Samantha Walker, daughter of a wealthy widower, Robert, who lost his young wife and son in a near fatal car accident 14 years ago. Sam was in a coma when she was only 5 years old, she was left with a limp and some balance issues as a result from the accident. Now she just wants to spread her wings, but her overprotective father is too afraid to let her out of his sight. She attends NYU but lives at home with her father; his decision. Robert thinks this would help Sam by attending the ball. She never debuted in NY, she didn't want to. But going to this ball might be just what she needs.
Felicity Smith, goes to MIT, her family is from Dallas, Texas but she has never fit in. Her family is extremely wealthy but none of that means anything to her. Being invited to the ball is her worst nightmare. She's overweight and her only concerns is studying. She makes a deal with her mother to go only to please her.
Caroline Taylor, is the daughter of two Hollywood legends, she can't wait to go. But right before she leaves her older, actor boyfriend dumps her making her miserable and leaving her with a parting gift in return.
Immediately all 4 girls bond and become friends. But no one expected to fall in love. Jane and Robert also find themselves falling in love as well.
A beautiful story.
I knew this was going to be shallow just based on the blurb, but wow, I had no idea how shallow. I get that this book was set during an era where things were far different than they are now. But wow, this was brutal to read. Things also didn't match up for me - some characters were clearly from the late 50's, while others seemed much more modern and living in today's world. I liked all the characters, but I just can't get past the archaic storyline and mismatched writing. I typically give this author a lot of slack, but I just can't do it here.
The Ball at Versailles by Danielle Steel is vintage Steel and a wonderful read, despite the fact, as in most romance, the reader knew the outcome very early in the book. In this case there were four outcomes. For some reason, someone in France had determined that there would be a debutante ball held at Versailles for the first time ever. Also, they had determined to include twenty-five American girls, apparently chosen at random from lists of recent debutantes. Included were four who became friends: Amelia from New York who was in college and intended to go to law school; Felicity, from Dallas, who was a science nerd who attended MIT and was less than debutante material; Caroline, the daughter of a famous actress and successful director and hailed from Los Angeles; and Samantha, who was the daughter of a single father, a successful, overprotective man, also from New York. This is the story of the several days celebrations that were part of the ball and some of the aftermath. Their stories are, at once, heart-wrenching and inspiring. And, they became fast friends. As did the single parents of Amelia and Sam, who themselves fell in love.
A friend once told me she stopped reading Danielle Steel because all her books were the same. In essence, that is true, but it is also exactly why I read them. There are few surprises, although there are twists and turns. They are heart-warming and always have a good end. They explore the human condition in a way no other author quite does. It is a good read. It made me feel good while I was reading it and when I finished it. Is there a higher recommendation for a book?
I was invited to read a free e-ARC of The Ball at Versailles by Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine, through Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine. #Netgalley #RandomHousePublishingGroupBallantine #DanielleSteel #TheBallAtVersailles
Is the Ball At Versailles a love story? There is more than one love story. Is this a romance novel? Not precisely. This is a coming-of-age story about 4 very different young women. Their journey from being on separate journeys to going to the ball at Versailles to the events that follow is chronicled. Will they find their happily ever after stories?
Based on the name of the story, I thought the young women would be spending a lot of time at the ball but most of the story is about the before and the after. I enjoyed how the author showed each of the young women developing and growing. Caroline is living a secret life, and she is forced to face the consequences. Felicity loves going to MIT, but she has some personal issues to overcome. Samantha is protected by her father after she almost died when she was younger, but she longs to be treated like she’s strong and capable. Amelia has had a good life being raised by her mother after her father died. Amelia’s mother, Jane, gets her own story. The journey was sweet and I loved how each of them found happiness at the end.
The book flowed as each of the young women discovered who they are and what they want for their futures. The love stories are all fast and furious but they all make sense. If you are looking for a book that is set around 1960 that focuses on a group of women coming of age and finding love for themselves.
I really enjoyed this book and I am not surprised because Danielle Steel never disappoints. This story puts an interesting twist on the experiences, expectations, excitement, and outcomes of the decisions for four debutants during their presentation to society.
It’s the summer of 1959 and four American debutantes have been honored with the opportunity to travel to Paris and make their debuts at a renowned cotillion being held at the Palace of Versailles. This is an event that will make history and ultimately change the lives of the selected debutants - will they be good or bad changes?
I found this story to be thought provoking and a story that led to a lot of emotional turmoil on my part. Overall I highly recommend this book for both seasoned lovers of Steel’s work or a beginner book for those just finding her!
5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
📚Disclosure: I received a review copy of this #book from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, Delacorte Press via #Netgalley. All thoughts, opinions, comments, and interpretations of the story are my own and bias free. I did not receive any money in exchange for this review. Thank you to the publisher/author for allowing me the opportunity to review. Reviews are usually cross-posted to social media, goodreads, bookbub, and blog. 🦄
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to review this book.
I tried, but I just can't read this. I got one chapter in before I decided to DNF. The writing and story are stale and boring. I think she did a similar version of this book a few years ago.. I forget the name of that one, but I think it was called Coming Out or something to that effect. I truly think it's time for Ms. Steel to step away from the keyboard and retire, and I say that as a loyal reader who has read nearly every book she's written.