Prodigal Son – Danielle Steel

Prodigal Son - Danielle Steel front cover

About the Author

Danielle Steel, in full Danielle Fernande Schuelein-Steel, (born August 14, 1947, New York City, New York, U.S.), American writer best known for her numerous best-selling romance novels.

Steel was an only child. After her parents divorced, she was reared by relatives and family employees in Paris and New York City. By age 15 she had graduated from the Lycée Français, and in 1963 she enrolled in the Parsons School of Design in New York. Illness prevented her from finishing her studies, but, when she recovered, she married a wealthy French banker. In 1968 she was hired as a vice president of public relations for the advertising agency Supergirls, Ltd., in New York City. When the firm closed in 1971, Steel turned to writing novels and poetry.

Her first novel, Going Home, was published in 1973 but sold only moderately well. Steel also began writing copy for the Grey Advertising Agency in San Francisco. After divorcing and remarrying and while raising her children, Steel continued to write but did not achieve much success until the publication of her fourth novel, The Promise (1978), an instant best seller that was followed by a series of popular paperbacks. Her fictional romance novels typically centred on strong yet glamorous women overcoming major obstacles or ordeals to secure a career, love, and a family. Although most critics gave tepid reviews to what they called formulaic novels, the books became fixtures on The New York Times best-seller list. Steel’s 75th novel, One Day at a Time, was published in 2009, at which time she had more than 500 million books in print. Several of her works also became popular television movies, including Kaleidoscope (1990), Jewels (1992), Mixed Blessings (1995), and Safe Harbour (2007). Her later novels included The Apartment (2016), Beauchamp Hall (2018), and Lost and Found (2019).

My Thoughts

The Audiobook has been a great experience for me and its been amazing so far. Prodigal Son is my second fictional book novel review from Audible and I would even recommend by readers to try Audible. Danielle Steel has manage to capture our imagination again. Some part of novel relate to the sibling war which will surely take you down the memory lane of your own childhood. I’m sure when you read or listen to Prodigal Son you will remember your own childhood wars and battles with your siblings.

Sibling Wars and Battles

Prodigal Son - Danielle Steel sibling wars

The story of twin brothers Peter and Michael is not much different than yours and mine. We all grew up fighting with our brothers and sisters, keeping our parents as a judge in between our battles. We try to seek justice for the hardship that we incur from our siblings and then we drive our parents crazy. I’m sure my parents were furious behind my elder sister and me. My eldest sister (elder than my sister) is a saint but we still successfully manage to drive her mad at this age too. All three of us still fight, cry and laugh together. There are days that our fights climb the Mount Everest and we stop talking to each others for days, by the end we fight again for not talking to each other and we continue where we left off.

This is life and I love it. I know this wont last forever but these memories will always live forever no matter how old we are and these legacy will will continued by our kids. I would like to enjoy those moments till it last. Though we get busy in our own professional and social life, work on our new responsibilities we should remove time and make new memories, you ever know what might change in next few moments because somewhere down the lane we wish to live those memories again.

Understanding your Children

Being a parent is not an easy task, its the most difficult job in the world.There are days when your kids can bring out the worst in you. You start thinking that hell would be better than this. Then there are days when the kids feel so low, that too makes you loose your mind and you try everything to cheer them up.

 Prodigal Son - Danielle Steel parent struggle

As a kid I always thought that my parents loved and favored by elder sisters a lot than me now as I have grown up and stepping into their shoe. I love all three of my nieces a lot and it becomes very difficult for you judge anyone (which they don’t make it easy me either) of them during their cold war.

Sometime as a parent we do misjudge our kids, we consider them to be so naughty and stubborn, we ignore the real time issue that our children go through daily. I request all the parents to listen to you kids. Understand what they are actually going through, problems (no matter emotional or physical) that they going through.

Only being a good parent is not enough anymore, providing good educations, school fee or putting them in coaching classes is worthless if you cant give them you time and support.

Children suffering from Dyslexia

After completing my novel I decided to talk to few of my friends and colleagues about their views regarding Dyslexia. On ask the question “Can you share your thoughts regarding Dyslexia?” they all gave a blank expression and they didn’t even had a clue regarding this disorder, unless i remind them about the movie “Taare Zarmeen Par” (a bollywood movie).

Prodigal Son - Danielle Steel Taare Zarmeen Par movie on dyslexia

For a common person, they consider Dyslexia to be a physical disablity which is completely wrong perception. There should be an awareness related to such kind of disorders, and parents should be aware of such kind of disorders. Even the educational system should help in educating parent with such kind of disorders related to children.

There is one more point that i would like my readers to understand that dyslexic kids are not handicap, instead there are extremely genius, only we need someone who is expert in this area who know how to handle and even mold such children according to their abilities.

What Is Dyslexia?

Medically Reviewed by Amita Shroff, MD on March 22, 2021
IN THIS ARTICLE

What Causes Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a learning disorder that affects your ability to read, spell, write, and speak. Kids who have it are often smart and hardworking, but they have trouble connecting the letters they see to the sounds those letters make.

About 5% to 10% of Americans have some symptoms of dyslexia, such as slow reading, trouble spelling, or mixing up words. Adults can have this learning disorder, as well. Some people are diagnosed early in life. Others don’t realize they have dyslexia until they get older.

Kids with dyslexia often have normal vision and are just as smart as their peers. But they struggle more in school because it takes them longer to read. Trouble processing words can also make it hard to spell, write, and speak clearly.

What Causes Dyslexia?

Prodigal Son - Danielle Steel  reading difficulties

It’s linked to genes, which is why the condition often runs in families. You’re more likely to have dyslexia if your parents, siblings, or other family members have it.

The condition stems from differences in parts of the brain that process language. Imaging scans in people with dyslexia show that areas of the brain that should be active when a person reads don’t work properly.

When children learn to read, they first figure out what sound each letter makes. For example, “B” makes a “buh” sound. “M” makes an “em” sound. Then, they learn how to put those sounds in order to form words (“C-A-T” spells “cat”). Finally, they have to figure out what words mean (“Cat” is a furry animal that meows).

For kids who have dyslexia, the brain has a hard time connecting letters to the sounds they make, and then blending those sounds into words. So to someone with dyslexia, the word “cat” might read as “tac.” Because of these mix-ups, reading can be a slow and difficult process.

Dyslexia is different for everyone. Some people have a mild form that they eventually learn how to manage. Others have a little more trouble overcoming it. Even if children aren’t able to fully outgrow dyslexia, they can still go to college and succeed in life.

Overview

Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words (decoding). Also called reading disability, dyslexia affects areas of the brain that process language.

Prodigal Son - Danielle Steel  Dyslexic kid

People with dyslexia have normal intelligence and usually have normal vision. Most children with dyslexia can succeed in school with tutoring or a specialized education program. Emotional support also plays an important role.

Though there’s no cure for dyslexia, early assessment and intervention result in the best outcome. Sometimes dyslexia goes undiagnosed for years and isn’t recognized until adulthood, but it’s never too late to seek help.

Symptoms

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Book: Mayo Clinic Guide to Raising a Healthy Child

Signs of dyslexia can be difficult to recognize before your child enters school, but some early clues may indicate a problem. Once your child reaches school age, your child’s teacher may be the first to notice a problem. Severity varies, but the condition often becomes apparent as a child starts learning to read.

Prodigal Son - Danielle Steel  complexity

Before school

Signs that a young child may be at risk of dyslexia include:

*Late talking.
*Learning new words slowly.
*Problems forming words correctly, such as reversing sounds in words or confusing words that sound alike.
*Problems remembering or naming letters, numbers and colors.
*Difficulty learning nursery rhymes or playing rhyming games.
*School age

Once your child is in school, dyslexia signs and symptoms may become more apparent, including:

*Reading well below the expected level for age
*Problems processing and understanding what he or she hears
*Difficulty finding the right word or forming answers to questions
*Problems remembering the sequence of things
*Difficulty seeing (and occasionally hearing) similarities and differences in letters and words
*Inability to sound out the pronunciation of an unfamiliar word
*Difficulty spelling
*Spending an unusually long time completing tasks that involve reading or writing
*Avoiding activities that involve reading

Teens and adults

Dyslexia signs in teens and adults are similar to those in children. Some common dyslexia signs and symptoms in teens and adults include:

*Difficulty reading, including reading aloud
*Slow and labor-intensive reading and writing
*Problems spelling
*Avoiding activities that involve reading
*Mispronouncing names or words, or problems retrieving words
*Trouble understanding jokes or expressions that have a meaning not easily understood from the specific words (idioms), such as “piece of cake” meaning “easy”
*Spending an unusually long time completing tasks that involve reading or writing
*Difficulty summarizing a story
*Trouble learning a foreign language
*Difficulty memorizing
*Difficulty doing math problems

When to see a doctor

Though most children are ready to learn reading by kindergarten or first grade, children with dyslexia often can’t grasp the basics of reading by that time. Talk with your doctor if your child’s reading level is below what’s expected for his or her age or if you notice other signs of dyslexia.

When dyslexia goes undiagnosed and untreated, childhood reading difficulties continue into adulthood.

Causes

Dyslexia tends to run in families. It appears to be linked to certain genes that affect how the brain processes reading and language, as well as risk factors in the environment.

Risk factors

A family history of dyslexia or other learning disabilities
Premature birth or low birth weight
Exposure during pregnancy to nicotine, drugs, alcohol or infection that may alter brain development in the fetus
Individual differences in the parts of the brain that enable reading

Complications

Dyslexia risk factors include:

Dyslexia can lead to a number of problems, including:

Trouble learning. Because reading is a skill basic to most other school subjects, a child with dyslexia is at a disadvantage in most classes and may have trouble keeping up with peers.
Social problems. Left untreated, dyslexia may lead to low self-esteem, behavior problems, anxiety, aggression, and withdrawal from friends, parents and teachers.
Problems as adults. The inability to read and comprehend can prevent a child from reaching his or her potential as the child grows up. This can have long-term educational, social and economic consequences.

Children who have dyslexia are at increased risk of having attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and vice versa. ADHD can cause difficulty sustaining attention as well as hyperactivity and impulsive behavior, which can make dyslexia harder to treat.

About the Characters in the Novel

Peter and Michael

The famous twin brother of May, one is the Devil and the other is an Angel. Peter and Michael being a twin are totally opposite from each other. As Peter struggled with his academic studies and was always involve in some problems. On the other hand everyone loved and praised Michael’s innocence and caring nature.

Peter was a Dyslexic which his parent and Michael were unaware of, and no one is seem to understand what he was going through. His rage, arrogance, anger was always pointed out by everyone. No one actually understood his emotional breakdown.

Michael was his parent golden boy, everyone appreciated his kind nature and everyone praise him for everything.People wanted him around more than Peter. Even their parent are more proud of Michael than Peter.

While listening/ reading the novel you create an image for Peter and Michael and you even relate their childhood stories to yourself to a certain extent. But the end changes your perception for both the twins and makes to question yourself “do you really know the people in your life?”

Maggie

In the major part of the story you will fine Maggie to be very fragile and weak in nature, as she suffers from a health issue as she wasn’t like that since birth. She has a met with an accident and after that her whole world turns upside down. She was Peter’s childhood girlfriend but now she is Michael’s wife.

Since she got married to Michael, she being in his protection forever; she had to be dependent on Michael or her kids for every single things in her life because of her sickness. As the story goes on, Maggie turns out to be the strongest than any character in the novel. She has been a fighter throughout the story.

The Kids

As the story progress, I started liking all the kids. They all are amazing and funny in their own way. They had their difference with their parents and each other, but they all stood up for their parent. At some of the novel, the kids are more matured than the elders which were funny and hilarious. They remind me about my nieces and I’m sure will fall in love with them.

My Review

Story that shows that life is beautiful and worth fighting for. Every parent should read this novel.

About the Novel

The two brothers couldn’t have been more different, even though they were twins. Their mother has said that about them since they were born. Even as a toddler, Peter has been hot-headed, and given to rages as he grew up. Michael was the quit and patient. Peter constantly had to be punished. Michael rarely needs discipline. He had been gentle and tempered, caring and thoughtful of his parents. As a teenager he was always doing errands for his mother, and favor for the people in neighborhood. He was loved by all, while Peter was at war with the world.

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The Mountain Shadow – Gregory David Robert
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