By People Staff
August 02, 1999 12:00 PM

by Danielle Steel

Beach book of the week

Cranking out two to three books a year doesn’t leave Danielle Steel a lot of time for research. Which is probably why her latest book—set in czarist Russia—so often feels as if it could as easily be taking place in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Fortunately for Steel, readers come to her for romance, not realism. On that, she delivers. The book is framed by an unnamed narrator reflecting on her recently deceased grandmother, a woman she adored but knew only as a cookie-baking old woman. Then a box of her Granny Dan’s mementos leads her to discover the drama-filled life of Danina Petroskova, a beautiful prima ballerina who finds passion and tragedy when she falls in love with the Czar’s family doctor on the eve of the Russian Revolution.

As the assassination of the Czar and his family nears, Steel pulls out all the emotional stops. And if Granny Dan is no Dr. Zhivago, you’d have to be as cold as a snow-covered Omar Sharif not to be moved. (Delacorte, $19.95)

Bottom Line: Even Lenin would be touched