Published by Brilliance Audio, Delacorte Press on October 28th 2014
Genres: Family Saga
This is a story of courage, friendship, and fate as two families face the challenges of war... and the magnificent stallion that will link them forever.
Nicolas von Bingen and Alex von Hemmerle, titled members of the German aristocracy, have been best friends since childhood. Both widowers, they are raising their children — Nick’s two lively boys and Alex’s adored teenage daughter — in peace and luxury on the vast Bavarian estates that have belonged to their families for generations. While Nick indulges in more glamorous pursuits, Alex devotes himself to breeding the renowned white Lipizzaner horses that enthrall audiences throughout Europe with their ability to dance and spin on command, majestic creatures whose bloodlines are rare and priceless.
But it is Nicolas’s bloodline that changes everything, when his father receives a warning from a high-ranking contact inside the Wehrmacht. A secret from the past has left the family vulnerable to the rising tide of Nazism: Nick’s mother, whom he never knew, was of Jewish descent.
Suddenly Nicolas must flee Germany, wrenching his sons away from the only home they have known, sailing across the Atlantic for a new life in America. Their survival will depend on a precious gift from Alex, their only stake for the future: eight purebred horses, two of them stunning Lipizzaners. In Florida, where Nicolas joins the Ringling Brothers Circus, he becomes Nick Bing, with Alex’s prize white stallion — now named Pegasus — the centerpiece of the show.
Pegasus tells the story of a family reinventing itself in America, while the country they left behind is engulfed in flames and madness, and men like Alex von Hemmerle are forced to make unbearable choices. Alex’s daughter will find sanctuary in England. In America, Nick will find love, his sons will find a future, and their left-behind world will eventually find them. A novel of hope and sacrifice, of tragedy, challenge, and rebirth, It is a brilliant family chronicle that unfolds across half a century—a masterwork from one of our most beloved writers.
#LipizannerHorses #WorldWar2 #RinglingBrosCircus #GreatestShowOnEarth #Holocaust #MalcolmHillgartner @daniellesteel @RinglingBros @BrillianceAudi1
Back during the summer, I listened to Pegasus by Danielle Steel for two reasons: I had never listened to one of Ms. Steel’s books and I was just in the mood for the type of book that has made Danielle Steel the best-selling author alive. And what type of book is that? While some people have called Ms. Steel’s books formulaic, I consider them books that are guaranteed to take readers out of their everyday lives to worlds that are often glamorous, often populated with people whose wealth and lifestyles we can only imagine, but who are usually facing some sort of crisis or dark revelation from the past that makes all their wealth seem inconsequential. The endings will be satisfying with no cliffhangers and you will walk away feeling you’ve visited another plane for a while. The reason I chose to review Pegasus at this particular time is because of the recent announcement that the Ringling Brothers Circus, which figures prominently in the storyline, is planning to take down its Big Top for the final time after 145 years. I feel just a little bit sorry for those who will never know the excitement of hearing that famous opening line “Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, and children of all ages! Get ready for the Greatest Show on Earth!” So, because I’m feeling nostalgic, I want to pay homage to a very important aspect of my childhood.
This is my first listen by narrator Malcolm Hillgartner, an accomplished performer who has provided narration for a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction including the books of science fiction writer, Michael Flynn. His voice has an authentic tone for a story set in a dark time in history and his phrasing and pace are well-suited to the author’s work.
Pegasus is a book that will appeal to those who love horses and who enjoy historical fiction, romance, and family sagas. The book is richly detailed as are all Danielle Steel’s books. For those who have never given much thought to the many ways families suffered at the hands of the Nazis, this book will give you a glimpse into how a mere hint of Jewish blood could destroy lives. Whatever your opinion of Ms. Steel’s books, she is a workhorse and a prolific writer who regularly turns out stories that keep her fans entertained. If you need a break from your own world, Pegasus is a good opportunity to allow Ms. Steel to take you into hers.