After the devastating tragedy of her oldest son’s suicide, author Danielle Steel was stuck in a pit of grief. In A Gift of Hope, her latest book, she writes that she prayed for a sign, a reason to keep living, something that would give her life meaning and purpose again. And the answer she received was simple: That she should do whatever she could to help the homeless.
In this rare nonfiction book from Steel, we see a different side of the mega-selling, notoriously private author. The prolific romance writer who fills novels with interesting characters, the intimate details of their lives, and usually happy endings, is candid and honest about her own private life in a way we’ve never seen before.
Moved to action, Steel embarked on what she thought would be a one-time experience providing food and other much-needed supplies to homeless citizens of San Francisco. But once she’d participated in the service, she was touched by the people she met, many of whom she writes long, moving stories about in A Gift of Hope. She ended up doing similar work on a monthly basis for over a decade, assembling a group of people who were just as dedicated to the cause as she was. They became known as the “Yo! Angels” because “Yo!” was how they would greet each other and the people they helped on the street.
Though Steel remained anonymous throughout her 11 years of service, she felt that now was the perfect time to go public and give the people she’s helped, as well as homeless individuals everywhere, a platform that they rarely have.
Kirkus Reviews calls it “A simple but moving call to action,” and I couldn’t agree more.