Danielle Steel is a name that continuously graces bestsellers list and even at the age of seventy, still appears. Generations of women have read her books and continue to read them to this day. In total, as of 2018, Steel has written a total of one-hundred-thirty-seven books. She has written seventeen children’s books, one book of poems, three non-fiction books, and a staggering one-hundred-sixteen stand-alone novels (Book Series in Order). Of her stand-alone novels, Mirror Image, published in 1998, was her forty-fifth novel released and one of the four books Steel released that year. Along with Mirror Image, Steel published The Long Road Home and the Klone and I over the course of 1998. More importantly though, Steel released in 1998 what she believes to be her most meaningful book, a nonfiction book about her late son Nick, titled His Bright Light. During an interview, Steel is quoted saying, “the most personally meaningful is the one I wrote about my son Nick, His Bright Light, who died at 19. He was bipolar all his life and committed suicide. I wrote the book to honor him, and help parents of similar children” (NY Times). However, in 1998, after completing Mirror Image, Mirror Image was Steel’s favorite book: “The favorite [book] I’ve written is always the one I’m currently writing or just finished” (NY Times). However, her now favorite book would be her most recent release, Country.
Danielle Steel’s Mirror Image is one of her many historical novels and is based during the World War I era. The book centers around two women, twenty–one years of age, who are identical twin sisters— barely to be told apart. Olivia is the picture perfect, early twentieth century, domestic woman while Victoria is free-spirited and only grounded by the cause of women’s suffrage. When Victoria gets caught up in a scandal that threatens to shame the Henderson family name, as well as her own, both girl’s life are turned upside down. As one twin winds up in the French trenches of war and the other is thrust into a marriage, Danielle Steel provides another one of her signature tear jerking novels weaving heartbreak, twists, birthing, war, and death into a novel only Steel could imagine up.
Danielle Steel is a woman who shies away from the limelight despite her fame: “Given her status as a published wunderkind, Danielle has somehow managed to remain a shadow to her work, rarely stepping out to reveal herself” (Bane and Benet 2). Through analysis of her four marriages and the family she mothered, there is little connection between Mirror Image to her own life. There is a connection to Steel’s life as she spent a significant amount of her education at Parson’s School of Design in France, consequently, it could be argued that her choice of a setting in France was inspired by her education years though it is more plausible that she chose France for the historical accuracy. However, the character of Olivia, a woman who is domestic in every sense of the word and has no qualms with being so, does slightly resemble Steel herself: “The image she prefers is that of a wife and mother whose days revolve around her husband, her children, and then her writing” (Bane and Benet, 2) Like Olivia, Steel’s life revolves around her family and being the woman they need her to be and then her writing comes second.