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Magic

Cover of Magic

Magic

A Novel
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
It starts on a summer evening, with the kind of magic found only in Paris. Once a year in the City of Light, a lavish dinner takes place outside a spectacular landmark—the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame . . . a new setting each time. Selected by secret invitation, the guests arrive dressed in white, with tables and chairs, white linens, flowers, fine china, sparkling crystal, and an elegant dinner. As the sun sets, thousands of candles are lit. And when the night is over, hundreds of white paper lanterns, each with a flame within, bearing everyone's fervent wishes, are released into the sky. Amid this wondrous White Dinner, a group of close friends stands at the cusp of change.

Jean-Philippe and Valerie Dumas are devoted to each other and their young children. He is a rising star in the financial world, she, an editor at French Vogue. But a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in China may lead to separation—and temptation.

The epitome of a stylish power couple from Milan, Benedetta and Gregorio Mariani run a venerable Italian clothing empire. Gregorio projects strength, but has a weakness that will ignite a crisis in their company and their marriage.

Chantal Giverny, an award-winning screenwriter, and Dharam Singh, one of India's most successful tech entrepreneurs, are singles paired for the evening. They arrive as friends, but their paths will be set on dramatically different courses before the White Dinner ends.

Spanning the globe, this breathtaking novel follows these indelible characters through a transformative year of successes and heartbreaks until the next White Dinner. From the world's most beloved writer, here is a tale told with extraordinary tenderness and passion, as Danielle Steel explores what it really means to have magic in our lives.
From the Hardcover edition.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
It starts on a summer evening, with the kind of magic found only in Paris. Once a year in the City of Light, a lavish dinner takes place outside a spectacular landmark—the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame . . . a new setting each time. Selected by secret invitation, the guests arrive dressed in white, with tables and chairs, white linens, flowers, fine china, sparkling crystal, and an elegant dinner. As the sun sets, thousands of candles are lit. And when the night is over, hundreds of white paper lanterns, each with a flame within, bearing everyone's fervent wishes, are released into the sky. Amid this wondrous White Dinner, a group of close friends stands at the cusp of change.

Jean-Philippe and Valerie Dumas are devoted to each other and their young children. He is a rising star in the financial world, she, an editor at French Vogue. But a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in China may lead to separation—and temptation.

The epitome of a stylish power couple from Milan, Benedetta and Gregorio Mariani run a venerable Italian clothing empire. Gregorio projects strength, but has a weakness that will ignite a crisis in their company and their marriage.

Chantal Giverny, an award-winning screenwriter, and Dharam Singh, one of India's most successful tech entrepreneurs, are singles paired for the evening. They arrive as friends, but their paths will be set on dramatically different courses before the White Dinner ends.

Spanning the globe, this breathtaking novel follows these indelible characters through a transformative year of successes and heartbreaks until the next White Dinner. From the world's most beloved writer, here is a tale told with extraordinary tenderness and passion, as Danielle Steel explores what it really means to have magic in our lives.
From the Hardcover edition.
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  • From the book Chapter 1

    The White Dinner is a love poem to friendship, joy, elegance, and the beautiful monuments of Paris. And each year it is an unforgettable night. Other cities have attempted to emulate it around the world, with little success. There is only one Paris, and the event is so revered and respected and perfectly executed that it is hard to imagine it in any other city.

    It began some thirty years ago when a naval officer and his wife decided to celebrate their anniversary with their friends in a creative, unusual way, in front of one of their favorite monuments in Paris. They organized about twenty of their friends, everyone dressed in white. They arrived with folding tables and chairs, linens for the table, silver, crystal, china, maybe flowers, brought an elegant meal with them, set everything out, and shared a glorious celebration with their guests. The magic began on that night.

    It was such a success that they did it again the following year, in a different but equally remarkable location. And each year ever since, the White Dinner has been a tradition, and more and more and more people attend, to celebrate the evening in the same way, entirely dressed in white, on a night in June.

    The event remains by invitation only, which is respected by all, and over the years it has become one of the most cherished secret occasions held in Paris. The all-­white dress code is still mandatory, including shoes, and everyone makes a real effort to dress elegantly and follow the established traditions. Each year the White Dinner is held in front of a different Parisian monument, and the possibilities are vast in Paris. In front of Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, at the feet of the Eiffel Tower at the Trocadero, in the Place de la Concorde, between the pyramids in front of the Louvre, in the Place Vendôme. By now the White Dinner has been held in a myriad of locations, each one more beautiful than the last.

    Over the years, the White Dinner has grown so large that it is held now in two locations, with the total number of invited guests approaching fifteen thousand. It's hard to imagine that many people behaving properly, arriving looking elegant, and following all the rules, but miraculously they do. "White food" and meals are encouraged, but above all a proper meal must be served (no hot dogs, hamburgers, or sandwiches). A real dinner is meant to be brought along, set out on a table on a white linen tablecloth, eaten with silver utensils, with real crystal and china, just as in a restaurant, or a home where honored guests are being entertained. Everything one brings must fit in a rolling caddy, and at the end of the evening, every scrap of garbage or debris must be put in white garbage bags and removed, down to the last cigarette butt. No sign of the revelers must remain in the beautiful locations chosen that year for the White Dinner. People must appear and disappear as gracefully as they arrive.

    The police turn a blind eye to it, although no permits are taken out for the event, despite the vast number of participants (taking out permits would spoil the surprise), and remarkably, there are no crashers. An invitation to the White Dinner is much coveted and celebrated when received, but those who are not on the guest list never show up and try to claim they are. There have been no bad incidents or hostilities at the event. It is an evening of pure joy, reinforced by respect for fellow guests and love for the city.

    Half the fun is not knowing where it will take place that year. It is a formal secret kept religiously by the six organizers. And wherever it will happen, people are invited in couples, and each couple must bring their...
About the Author-
  • Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world's most popular authors, with over 650 million copies of her novels sold. Her many international bestsellers include The Apartment, Property of a Noblewoman, Blue, Precious Gifts, Undercover, Country, Prodigal Son, Pegasus, and other highly acclaimed novels. She is also the author of His Bright Light, the story of her son Nick Traina's life and death; A Gift of Hope, a memoir of her work with the homeless; Pure Joy, about the dogs she and her family have loved; and the children's books Pretty Minnie in Paris and Pretty Minnie in Hollywood.
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    Random House Publishing Group
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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