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Past Perfect
Cover of Past Perfect
Past Perfect
A Novel
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
  • The latest from Danielle Steel, Past Perfect is a spellbinding story of two families living a hundred years apart who come together in time in a startling moment, opening the door to rare friendship and major events in early-twentieth-century history.
    Sybil and Blake Gregory have established a predictable, well-ordered Manhattan life—she as a cutting-edge design authority and museum consultant, he in high-tech investments—raising their teenagers Andrew and Caroline and six-year-old Charlie. But everything changes when Blake is offered a dream job he can't resist as CEO of a start-up in San Francisco. He accepts it without consulting his wife and buys a magnificent, irresistibly underpriced historic Pacific Heights mansion as their new home.
    The past and present suddenly collide for them in the elegant mansion filled with tender memories and haunting portraits when an earthquake shocks them the night they arrive. The original inhabitants appear for a few brief minutes. In the ensuing days, the Gregorys meet the large and lively family who lived there a century ago: distinguished Bertrand Butterfield and his gracious wife Gwyneth, their sons Josiah and little Magnus, daughters Bettina and Lucy, formidable Scottish matriarch Augusta and her eccentric brother Angus.
    All long since dead. All very much alive in spirit—and visible to the Gregorys and no one else. The two families are delighted to share elegant dinners and warm friendship. They have much to teach each other, as the Gregorys watch the past unfold while living their own modern-day lives. Within these enchanted rooms, it is at once 1917 and a century later, where the Gregorys gratefully realize they have been given a perfect gift—beloved friends and the wisdom to shape their own future with grace from a fascinating past.
    Past Perfect is Danielle Steel at her bewitching best, a novel for the ages.
  • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
  • The latest from Danielle Steel, Past Perfect is a spellbinding story of two families living a hundred years apart who come together in time in a startling moment, opening the door to rare friendship and major events in early-twentieth-century history.
    Sybil and Blake Gregory have established a predictable, well-ordered Manhattan life—she as a cutting-edge design authority and museum consultant, he in high-tech investments—raising their teenagers Andrew and Caroline and six-year-old Charlie. But everything changes when Blake is offered a dream job he can't resist as CEO of a start-up in San Francisco. He accepts it without consulting his wife and buys a magnificent, irresistibly underpriced historic Pacific Heights mansion as their new home.
    The past and present suddenly collide for them in the elegant mansion filled with tender memories and haunting portraits when an earthquake shocks them the night they arrive. The original inhabitants appear for a few brief minutes. In the ensuing days, the Gregorys meet the large and lively family who lived there a century ago: distinguished Bertrand Butterfield and his gracious wife Gwyneth, their sons Josiah and little Magnus, daughters Bettina and Lucy, formidable Scottish matriarch Augusta and her eccentric brother Angus.
    All long since dead. All very much alive in spirit—and visible to the Gregorys and no one else. The two families are delighted to share elegant dinners and warm friendship. They have much to teach each other, as the Gregorys watch the past unfold while living their own modern-day lives. Within these enchanted rooms, it is at once 1917 and a century later, where the Gregorys gratefully realize they have been given a perfect gift—beloved friends and the wisdom to shape their own future with grace from a fascinating past.
    Past Perfect is Danielle Steel at her bewitching best, a novel for the ages.
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    Excerpts-
    • From the book Chapter 1

      Blake Gregory sat looking out his office window in New York, pondering the offer he had just been made to be the CEO of a new high-­tech social media start-­up in San Francisco. He'd had other offers before, in Boston and other cities, though none as enticing as this one, and he'd turned them down without hesitation. But this was different, it had several exciting twists. The company's founders were two young men with golden track records who had made vast fortunes with their earlier ventures. As a result they had plenty of money to invest in their new start-­up. Their previous companies had been based on simple concepts, and so was this one, combining the principles of a search engine with social media, and the potential growth rate was astronomical.

      Blake was in high-­tech venture capital, with an established, extremely respected firm. But the idea they had outlined made sense to him, and even made him want to join their team, although he had done well where he was, and a new company was never certain to succeed. But if it worked, he could see it making billions. There were possible pitfalls involved, but he thought they could be overcome in the developmental stage. The offer had come out of the blue, based on some business contacts he had and his professional reputation as a smart, forward-­thinking analyst of new ventures, highly adept at assessing risk and how to get around it to create a successful business. They were offering him twice what he was making at the firm where he worked in New York. His future was secure where he was now, and he had been there for ten years and liked his co-­workers. Everything was unknown about the situation at the start-­up in San Francisco, including how he'd like the people he'd be working for. He knew they were gutsy, brilliant, and ruthless, and they always made big money. It was so damn tempting, although he wasn't usually a risk taker. But the money was appealing, and so was the stock he'd own in the company when they went public, which was their goal.

      It made him feel young again, thinking about doing something new and different. At forty-­six, he had been on a safe, predictable path for a long time. Married, with three kids, he wasn't one to throw caution to the wind. He couldn't even imagine what his wife, Sybil, would say if he told her. They were both inveterate New Yorkers, loved the city, and had grown up there, as their kids had. Blake had never considered taking a job in another city, but he was now. If the start-­up succeeded, he could make a fortune. It was going to be hard to turn down.

      Sybil was thirty-­nine years old, and had had a diversified career. She had been an art history major at Columbia, which was where she had met Blake, while he was at business school getting his MBA. She had been passionate about Frank Lloyd Wright, I. M. Pei, Frank Gehry, and all the avant-­garde architects of modern times. She had gone back to Columbia to study architecture, after she married Blake and had kids, and then changed direction to pursue interior design, and had become a consultant to high-­end furniture design firms, and she had created several pieces herself that had become iconic. She was a regular consultant to both MoMA and the Brooklyn Museum, advising them about their acquisitions of important pieces for their permanent collections, and curating shows for them. Everything she touched had a sleek, streamlined look to it, and in her nonexistent spare time, she was working on a book about the best of twentieth-­century interior design, and her publisher was clamoring for it.

      Blake was certain her book would be a success. She...
    About the Author-
    • Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world's most popular authors, with over 650 million copies of her novels sold. Her many international bestsellers include The Mistress, The Award, Rushing Waters, Magic, The Apartment, Property of a Noblewoman, Blue, Precious Gifts, and other highly acclaimed novels. She is also the author of His Bright Light, the story of her son Nick Traina's life and death; A Gift of Hope, a memoir of her work with the homeless; Pure Joy, about the dogs she and her family have loved; and the children's books Pretty Minnie in Paris and Pretty Minnie in Hollywood.
    Reviews-
    • Library Journal

      June 15, 2017

      What's so perfect about the past for Sybil and Blake Gregory, a successful Manhattan couple with three children who land in San Francisco when Blake impulsively accepts the job of a lifetime as CEO of a start-up? The family move into a grand, surprisingly affordable Pacific Heights mansion and soon meet the affable Butterfields, who lived there a century ago. Of course, the Butterfields are ghosts, and only the Gregorys can see them, but that doesn't keep the two families from leading a charmed life together.

      Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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      Random House Publishing Group
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    A Novel
    Danielle Steel
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