Confusing Signals: Palomino






The Synopsis reads

Every time Samantha went back to her flat, John’s words rang through her head-“I can’t live with you any more-I’ve got to get out’. He’d been seeing another woman, and now she was promising him one thing Sam couldn’t give: a child. The man she had shared her life with, her love and laughter had lied to her

When the agency gave her four months on a ranch she thought they were crazy. Did they think a holiday would change her? She knew she was wild and untameable, a lone free Palomino- until she met the man who could break any horse on the range, and entered a world of endless and enduring love……

Palomino tells the story of one woman’s extraordinary journey to find happiness, and the strength, courage and love she discovers on the way

The story intrigued me at the start. A successful New Yorker finds herself broken when her husband of 7 years leaves her for a plainer woman. A woman with whom he was expecting his first child. Worried about her health, her friends and boss at the office send her on a vacation to Lord Ranch in California

You can feel her life change as she adapts to the life of a ranch. She rides horses, helps out ranch hands and lives a tough life. Even though she vowed to not fall for anyone, she finds the ranch assistant foreman, Tate Jordan attractive. They share intimate moments and Sam finds herself happiness after long. She’s over John and ready to take the next step.

But that’s when the story goes predictable. Tate feels he’s not good for a swank New Yorker and takes away. Sam is heartbroken. She tries hard to locate him across several ranches.

Sam returns to work and has an ad shoot with a ranch background. While shooting for one of the scenes, she decides to ride a wild horse and instead nearly dies when the horse throws her over a ravine. Her life takes a turn when she discovers she is quadriplegic.

How does she spend her life as a person with no control over her limbs? Does she stay in New York? As the new owner of Lord Ranch, how does her life change? The book seeks to answer all these questions.

 My Rating: 2.5/5

I’ve not read much of Danielle Steel, but i love her descriptions. The graph for this book rises when Sam is at Lord Ranch but falls towards the end. Steel has given the woman so much of hardship that when Tate comes back into her life, its stupid to have Sam succumb and believe his apologies. A mere 10 pages devoted to having the love of her life come back and apologise makes me believe, this portion was completed in a hurry.

The book twists with your emotions and gives you highs and lows. But it’s not the best of books. At some point, the narrative is boring and you wonder how much more before the story ends.

Point after point, incident after incident going against Sam, although show the strength of character, there is very little on how she recovers from those blows.

Having said that, I can’t take away from Steel that the book makes you want to hope and believe in a Happy Ending. You rejoice when Sam laughs and soar when she feels free, riding even after being a quadriplegic. You find a tear in your eye when she fails to adopt an abused child due to a court’s decision. This is the quality of Steel I admire. Making people feel emotions when you write. I believe that’s a mark of a polished writer, who can take you on a journey along with her character.

I do deduct points for the slow and rather boring narrative and the wave-like graph oscillating between extreme happiness and extreme sadness in Sam’s life. Also Steel hasn’t addressed more basic issues. Sam sets her own ranch but miraculously, everything she wants comes together without any detail. What happens to Sam’s former employer? Sam was in running to become the Creative Director but once she leaves that post for the ranch, there are no ties to her former life. Its an abrupt cut off. Also when Tate walks back into her life, her acceptance and her arguments are very poorly described. Considering for most of the book, the protagonist is an exceptionally strong woman, this is a poor ending.

A good read though not the best ones. Grab it for Steel’s wonderful descriptions and the emotional joyride.


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