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The Award
Cover of The Award
The Award
A Novel
Capturing historical events, terrifying moments of danger, tragedy, the price of war, and the invincible spirit of a woman of honor, The Award is a monumental tale from one of our most gifted storytellers—Danielle Steel's finest, most emotionally resonant novel yet.

Gaëlle de Barbet is sixteen years old in 1940 when the German army occupies France and frightening changes begin to occur. She is shocked and powerless when French gendarmes take away her closest friend, Rebekah Feldmann, and her family for deportation to an unknown, ominous fate.

The local German military commandant makes Gaëlle's family estate outside Lyon his headquarters. Her father and brother are killed by the Germans; her mother fades away into madness. Trusted friends and employees become traitors. And Gaëlle begins a perilous journey with the French Resistance, hoping to save lives to make up for the beloved friend she could do nothing to help.

Taking terrifying risks, Gaëlle becomes a valuable member of the Resistance, fearlessly delivering Jewish children to safety under the eyes of the Gestapo and their French collaborators. Then she is suddenly approached by the German commandant with an astonishing, dangerous plan to save part of France's artistic heritage. Conducted in secret and flawlessly carried out, her missions will mark her for years, when she is falsely accused of collaboration at the end of the war. Orphaned and alone, she begins a new life in Paris, with the ghosts of the past always close at hand.

Gaëlle's life will take her from Paris to New York, from a career as a Dior model to marriage and motherhood, unbearable loss, and mature, lasting love. She returns to Paris to run a small museum, honoring victims of the Holocaust. But her label as a collaborator remains, until her granddaughter, a respected political journalist, ensures that her grandmother's brave acts are recognized. Now a grateful nation will finally absolve this remarkable woman and honor her as the war hero she was.
From the Hardcover edition.
Capturing historical events, terrifying moments of danger, tragedy, the price of war, and the invincible spirit of a woman of honor, The Award is a monumental tale from one of our most gifted storytellers—Danielle Steel's finest, most emotionally resonant novel yet.

Gaëlle de Barbet is sixteen years old in 1940 when the German army occupies France and frightening changes begin to occur. She is shocked and powerless when French gendarmes take away her closest friend, Rebekah Feldmann, and her family for deportation to an unknown, ominous fate.

The local German military commandant makes Gaëlle's family estate outside Lyon his headquarters. Her father and brother are killed by the Germans; her mother fades away into madness. Trusted friends and employees become traitors. And Gaëlle begins a perilous journey with the French Resistance, hoping to save lives to make up for the beloved friend she could do nothing to help.

Taking terrifying risks, Gaëlle becomes a valuable member of the Resistance, fearlessly delivering Jewish children to safety under the eyes of the Gestapo and their French collaborators. Then she is suddenly approached by the German commandant with an astonishing, dangerous plan to save part of France's artistic heritage. Conducted in secret and flawlessly carried out, her missions will mark her for years, when she is falsely accused of collaboration at the end of the war. Orphaned and alone, she begins a new life in Paris, with the ghosts of the past always close at hand.

Gaëlle's life will take her from Paris to New York, from a career as a Dior model to marriage and motherhood, unbearable loss, and mature, lasting love. She returns to Paris to run a small museum, honoring victims of the Holocaust. But her label as a collaborator remains, until her granddaughter, a respected political journalist, ensures that her grandmother's brave acts are recognized. Now a grateful nation will finally absolve this remarkable woman and honor her as the war hero she was.
From the Hardcover edition.
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  • From the book Chapter 1

    Delphine Lambert, a dark-­haired, serious young woman, was reading Le Figaro intently in her apartment on the rue du Cherche-­Midi on the Left Bank in Paris, on New Year's Day. She was reading a list carefully, as she did every year on that day, and had for several years. At twenty-­nine, a political journalist and historian, she had two books to her credit that had done well, and frequently published articles in the press. Her long straight hair concealed part of her face as she pored over the newspaper, as Georges Poitier, the man she lived with, watched her and smiled. He had already guessed what she was reading. She had been chasing a dream since she was seventeen years old.

    "What are you looking for?" he asked her gently. The list was published twice a year, on New Year's Day, and the fourteenth of July.

    "You know . . . my grandmother," she answered without looking up, not wanting to lose her place. There were five hundred names on the list, and she feared that the name she hoped to see wouldn't be on it yet again. It hadn't been so far, despite all of Delphine's efforts for the past dozen years, and she had worked tirelessly on the project. "How long are they going to wait?" she muttered, fearing disappointment again. Her grandmother, Gaëlle de Barbet Pasquier, was ninety-­five years old, and she was far less concerned about it than her granddaughter, to whom it had become a sacred cause. The list was of the upcoming recipients of the Légion d'Honneur, the most distinguished award in France.

    Gaëlle had never expected to be decorated, and had none of the aspirations Delphine had for her, and thought it entirely unnecessary. Delphine insisted it was only right. The entire family knew how hard Delphine had worked to get her grandmother exonerated and recognized. Gaëlle was at peace about her life. The events she would have been acknowledged for were all so long ago, during the war. They were chapters of her life that were a distant memory now. Gaëlle rarely thought about it, except when Delphine questioned her, which she seldom did anymore. She knew the whole story, and her grandmother's bravery had been a powerful motivating force in her life, and an inspiration to her. Her grandmother was a shining example of everything Delphine thought a human being should be. And whether the government came to its senses, righted the wrongs of the past, and honored her or not, she was a hero in Delphine's eyes, and had been to countless others during the Occupation of France seventy-­nine years before.

    And then, as she read, Delphine sat still for an instant, and her eyes flew open wide. She read it again, to be sure she had seen it correctly, and she looked at Georges across the breakfast table with amazement.

    "Oh my God . . . it's there . . . she's on it!" It had finally happened. All her letters and years of careful research, and haranguing every member of the chancellery she could lay hands on, had finally done it. Her grandmother was being decorated with the distinguished Legion of Honor Medal, as a knight.

    There were tears in Delphine's eyes as she looked at Georges, and her hand was shaking as she showed him the newspaper. Gaëlle de Barbet Pasquier. She read it over and over to be sure there was no mistake. It was there at last. He smiled broadly at her, and leaned over to kiss her, knowing how hard she had worked for that. And her grandmother knew it too, and had always said it was a futile project. And now it had finally happened, thanks to Delphine.

    "Bravo! Good work," he said, proud of her. There was no question that her...
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 Rushing Waters, Magic, The Apartment, Property of a Noblewoman, Blue, Precious Gifts, Undercover, 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, 2016
    Named a recipient of the Legion of Honor Medal, thanks to her granddaughter's efforts, the elderly Gaelle de Barbet has much to recall: Germany's 1940 invasion of France when she was 16; losing family and friends, including her father, who was in the Resistance; and working to save both Jewish children in France and some of the country's greatest art. Steel's sixth original novel in 2016.

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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