Power Play by Danielle Steel is a fascinating novel about two CEOs with very different moral compasses and ideas of power.
Fiona is humble, fair, and aware of how skilled she is at leading one of the top companies in the country, but without the nasty attitude to match. Marshall is her antithesis–he is the stereotypically egotistical and misogynistic CEO that your mothers warned you about.
The fact that Marshall’s character plays so heavily on stereotypes and predictability was almost a drawback for me initially, although I’m sure Danielle’s crafting of him that way was intentional. However, I became engrossed in his story (and enraged, let me tell you).
Warning: slight spoilers ahead.
In short, Marshall is living a double life in the most selfish way he possibly can. He has a wife whom he’s been married to for nearly thirty years and three kids. However, he also has a secret mistress whom he’s been with for nearly a decade and twin girls. Inevitably because he’s a snake, he blames everyone around him except himself when it all falls apart.
Meanwhile, when a love interest lands in Fiona’s lap, she’s indecisive because she has spent so many years devoted to her children and, in her experience, the men that she’s dated cannot handle the idea of a woman with the amount of power that she holds as CEO. In other situations, men simply want whatever they can drain from her.
The story follows various perspectives, including Fiona, Marshall, Marshall’s wife Liz, and his mistress, Ashley.
“It’s amazing the compromises we all make just to hang on to someone we care about. I’ve finally come to believe it’s not worth it.”
Funnily enough, Marshall’s storyline stood out the most to me. Men like him constantly do whatever they want, railroad whomever they want to, and then simply begin their lives again if it ever blows up in their faces. The parallels to some of the stories I’ve seen in the news about men in his position are striking.
Read my review of Blue by Danielle Steel.
I think what is most notable with this novel, as with everything that Danielle has written over the years, is the nuance of relationships. Nothing about the way we interact with one another as human beings, as friends, as family members, and so on, is simple and clear-cut.
There are two sides to every story, and in some cases, neither of them is the truth.