By: Danielle Steel
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: July 2007
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: September 2008
The perfect wife, the perfect husband, three perfect children, a perfect house, a perfect life. So starts Bungalow 2, one of a myriad of novels authored by Danielle Steel, the queen of romance. Tanya Harris, our heroine, is a freelance writer, producing articles for numerous magazines as well as scripts for the occasional soap opera. Her husband Peter, a successful attorney, is handsome and devoted to her. Tanya has everything she’s always wanted, both materially and emotionally, with the exception of working on a screenplay for a movie.
One day her agent calls with great news – she’s been offered a screenplay. To top it off, it’s not just any movie, but one produced by Douglas Wayne, a top Hollywood producer whose work is practically guaranteed an Academy Award. The only glitch? Tanya would have to leave her suburban home to live in Los Angeles while the movie is being filmed. Will she take the job? If she does, how will her family survive without her for nine months? Will she return to her perfect life or will the glitter of Hollywood lure her away?
The premise of Bungalow 2 is an interesting one and could easily entice readers bored with their own suburban lives. What would it be like to work with a famous Hollywood producer? To interact daily with A-list actors? Be treated like royalty by staff and live in a gorgeous apartment at the Beverly Hills Hotel? While these are all fun daydreams, the problem with this novel quickly becomes apparent within the first few pages. The first 20 pages of the book describe Tanya’s perfect life, over, and over, and over again. The whole book reads like a first draft with so much text that has yet to be re-worked or deleted. Not just ideas, but whole phrases, are repeatedly used within the span of a few pages. For example, when talking about Megan, Tanya’s spoiled daughter who hates her mom for leaving, Peter explains how Megan will forgive Tanya “…when you come home” (pg. 145). Then, on the next page, “When you come home…” followed on the next page by “I think it will get better when you come home.” Of course, Peter is also going on and on for several pages about the same thing – when Tanya comes home, all will be well. It could have been said in one page. There are probably 50 pages of text that are redundant and should have been removed. Where was the editor when this book was being produced?
Many of the characters in Bungalow 2 were rather one-dimensional and it was hard to understand how anybody could like them, particularly Tanya Harris, a woman of deep moral convictions. Of course, few people read Steel’s books for their complex character development. The Hollywood life is an interesting backdrop and for that, it can be a fun read.
Quill says: If you can skip over all the repetitive text, Bungalow 2 is an entertaining, fluffy, beach read.