‘Malice,’ had jolted me to an avalanche of feelings years back when I read it and remained as a source of inspirational memory to me. It exposed me to the aspect of incest in close quarters, leaving me shocked while bringing me a heightened sense of social awareness. Danielle Steel writes about the dark secrets and inhumanness that exist inside families and one could actually feel the brutal terror and excruciating pain of this barbaric vice that ruins one for life.
The protagonist, Grace Adams, had completely moved me and left me emotional as she fought all her battles in life completely alone right from the time she was a child. Can one imagine how life can be when you have no one to call your own while having the whole town and legal system against you in spite of being pure and innocent throughout? I am still amazed at the range of experience and emotions that Danielle Steel exposes her readers through this book. I think this is one of Steel’s best books as she has touched a wide range of human and socials aspects such as crime, manslaughter, the legal system, prison life, incest, politics, the modelling world, social work, child abuse, and domestic violence. It is a story of heroism and courage in spite of all the odds in life. The story starts with how she survives a dark secret that ruins her childhood and teen years to again find herself in the squalor and brutality of prison life as soon as she turns eighteen. But this story shows us that in spite of the selfishness and malice around, there will be one or two heroes, nowhere connected to you through blood, who will stand by you and believe in you no matter what. These are examples that make you want to pay back to society without hoping for anything in return. It makes you want to make your life meaningful and stand up for a cause. Even after she leaves her painful past behind, Grace’s life is an inspiration where she uses her pain and experiences to help others and transform it into social work of a huge magnitude. She fights through every ugly sphere in life to have a beautiful family and become one of the most respected and exemplary citizens of her state. Years later her dream life is again threatened when the bloodthirsty paparazzi bares all the ugliness of her past life in the tabloids. The story ends with a beautiful underlying message that the cycle of karma works as per the law of justice and all ends well. That’s what life is where happiness and sorrow go hand in hand like a wave in an ocean. If you have faced a lot of pain then good times are not very far behind since happiness and sorrow are two sides of a coin. All we need to do is be committed to our passions while trying to remain patient during the bad times and again being appreciative for the good times. The writing is brilliant and I loved the way she has explained the gory details in an unadulterated and meaningful way. But that’s where most books come short these days, which is the depth and the richness of language, while conveniently replacing it by crudeness and lack of finesse to capture the audience’s interest. It is truly worth the time to plough into this kind of literature while catching the essence of moral courage as well as taking a message of deep human value and inspiration from it.