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(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Audrey Driscoll is a young woman who has spent her life looking after others. Her younger sister, Annabelle, and her wealthy aged grandfather have always depended on her. But, after the marriage of Annabelle to a rich, handsome young man, Audrey finds herself, at the age of twenty-six, looking only towards a life of servitude to others. She finds herself stricken with the same wanderlust that drove her father to travel the world.

After a teary farewell to her grandfather, and a promise to be back in a couple of months, she heads for Europe. She meets a titled English couple while stopping in New York, and this is where her life really begins. They introduce her to dashing Charles Parker-Scott, a well-known travel writer. From there, Audrey’s life takes her through Europe to China, Egypt, and other remote locales. She becomes drawn into the events of World War II and finds her personal life becoming increasingly complicated.

This is typical Danielle Steel fare. A noble, but unconventional heroine in a story that, at times, sounds more like a historical travelogue. Steel has thrown in bits of murder, Nazism, illegitimacy, social nonconformity, and historical figures, along with the requisite happy ending. Though WANDERLUST seems to be an attempt at realism, this novel is highly unrealistic. After four or five chapters of Audrey and Charles making love until the sun rises, one wonders when these people sleep. WANDERLUST, however, like other Steel novels, is steeped in romance and passion and will undoubtedly please her diehard fans.