Cover Image: The Ball at Versailles

The Ball at Versailles

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Member Reviews

Absolutely loved this novel. The initial pages and chapters felt a bit repetitive and dry but as the ball approached and the internal struggles of the characters were revealed, I bonded and adored them. I loved that every character had a happy ending that they deserved. Jane in particular was my favorite character. Initially she seemed vane and vapid, but as her sacrifices and motivation came to be known, she quickly became a beloved character. I wish Caroline had been given a larger presence in the book. Although her storyline was interesting, it almost seemed like an afterthought. Overall, I loved the novel and couldn't put it down despite a slow start.

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I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley.

The year is 1959 and France is hosting a special debutante ball at the Palace of Versailles. This is a time for young women to be presented to high society and, for many of them, to find a rich husband.

We follow 4 young woman from America and their families who are invited to the ball. The girls come from different backgrounds and have different issues growing up. Some are wealthy and others have faced tragedies - both personal and financial.

Although each of the girls believes that the idea of being presented is old fashioned and passe, their families strongly encourage them to attend.

I enjoyed this historical fiction book which presents a look at high society in the late 50s when women of this class were expected to marry rich and raise families. Working was for poor people. The descriptions of the gowns and the ball itself were fascinating. I wish there could have been illustrations of the dresses.

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It's been years since I read a Danielle Steel novel. I really enjoyed this one!

It's set around the debutante ball in mid 1950's Versailles. It's a little slow in the beginning, learning the backgrounds of the characters. Four debutants are chosen from the US to attend. The story follows their lives prior to their trip to France and while there. It's entertaining to see how this one event effected their lives.

Thank you to NetGalley, the author and publisher for a temporary, digital ARC in return for my review.

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Another great feel-good book from Danielle set in 1958 about four young women coming of age and being Debutants amongst love, family and friendships, with a few trials and tribulations along the way. A really nice read.
Thank you to Netgalley, Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, Delacorte Press and the Author Danielle Steel for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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What a lovely story! Big thanks to Delacorte Press for granting my wish for new Danielle Steel!

As a Danielle myself, while learning to love reading with my Nana back in the day, I read a LOT of Danielle Steel. I remember liking the stories (although it has been 800 years so maybe I have a foggy memory LOL). This didn't disappoint!
I think this is about a 3.5 stars for me, rounding up because it has all the feel-good vibes and that made me happy to read.

The girls meeting each other and getting along off the bat was so sweet, their love interests were swoony, and even the family members relationships were lovely.

If I have a negative aspect it was the POV. I suppose third person is necessary when there are so many characters but it felt like more telling rather than showing.

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Danielle Steel is one of the world's most prolific published writers. I have read most if not all of what she publishes and she continues to amaze me. I know when I start the book likely how it will turn out but her writing style is so good that I keep reading. The characters in "The Ball at Versailles" have incomes and lifestyles way beyond anyone that I know. They travel and live a life of luxury but somehow Ms. Steele makes them relatable. Their tragedies and triumphs are much like our own. In this book, there are four young women from the United States invited to an exclusive coming-out event in France. The book is set in post-World War II fifties and sixties, and women are struggling to come into their own and with tradition that has defined their female ancestors. Somehow all emerge from this time friends and in spite of the issues of their generation women that will define their generation. I enjoyed the book and will continue to read Ms. Steele's entertaining and often inspirational work. Thanks to #NetGalley#TheBallatVersailles for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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I enjoyed this one from Danielle Steel. This is historical fiction set in 1958, mostly in France during the first "Le Bal des Debutantés," a ball for American and French debutantes held in Versailles. We follow four girls from America who are invited to France as part of this ball. Caroline has little interest because she's already in love, but her movie star parents think it will be fun. Brilliant Felicity is constantly battling her weight and her verbally abusive sister, so a night in the spotlight is not appealing to her at all. Amelia and her mother Jane once had money, but are now in dire financial straits. How can they afford to go? Samantha has problems with her balance due to an accident years ago, and she is a bit worried about falling during the ball. Her very protective father has the same concerns.

This is set in a time when women had fewer rights and some families still thought that their daughter's best "career" would be finding a rich husband. The financial struggles of Amelia's mother Jane are very real, as her late husband came back from the war a different person and had left her with little money when he died. Her career struggles are very true to the time period, as women were passed over for promotions and paid much less than men. In some of Ms. Steel's previous books, someone with money might come in and rescue her, but I was pleased to see that did not happen in this one.

I loved the setting in Versailles, the decadence of the ball, and the descriptions of France. Steel has a tendency to "tell" instead of "show," but she's sold a billion books that way, so who am I to judge? Sometimes her style works for me and sometimes it doesn't. This time it worked. The character Felicity was my favorite. Despite the fact that she is a brilliant student at MIT, all her mother and sister can see is her weight. That's very true even today, and I loved that one of the characters did not have a "perfect figure." So few of us do.

I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys books set in France and in the 1950s.

I received a free copy of this book from Random House via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and the opinions expressed are my own.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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2.5 Stars

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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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