Successful financier Tom Marshall is suffering a mid-life crisis and longs to escape the rat race of New York and a loveless marriage. Leaving his wife and fifteen-year-old daughter, Juliet, he moves to the small ranching town of Fishtail, Montana, and is quickly embraced by the local community. The neighbouring families all have their problems but they support each other in times of crisis. When Juliet visits Tom for vacation she swiftly falls in love with the way of life, the people, the countryside and the neighbouring rancher’s son. The decision is made for her to finish her education in Fishtail. One fateful day, Juliet and the neighbourhood teenagers go on a trek into the mountains on horseback. A harmless day of anticipated fun turns into a nightmare that neither they nor their families will ever forget. The aftermath causes them all – adults and children alike – to re-evaluate their lives, for better or worse.
In this thrilling novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Danielle Steel, a small community is tested when their children go missing while exploring a dangerous local peak, forcing them to band together during the crisis.
Fishtail, Montana, is home to Anne and Pitt Pollock, local royalty, high school sweethearts, and owners of the successful Pollock ranch. The sprawling foothills of the Beartooth Mountains surround the town, overlooking the Pollocks’ property and the nearby ranch belonging to Bill and Pattie Brown. The two couples have known each other since childhood.
Their sons Peter Pollock and Matt Brown are also the best of friends. When they and two other local kids meet Juliet Marshall, new to town after her parents’ bitter divorce, the five of them are soon inseparable, spending their summer days swimming, horseback riding, hiking, and fishing.
But one August afternoon, their latest adventure takes a dangerous turn—and quickly escalates into a battle for survival—when they find themselves trapped on Granite Peak. Fear reverberates through the town as their parents grow ever more desperate to hear word that their children have been found. They must place their own trials aside amid a massive search-and-rescue operation. As they come to lean on one another for support, a media frenzy ensues, heightening tensions and testing some already fragile relationships.
In the aftermath of this one fateful event, devastating secrets are revealed, new love appears on the horizon, and families are forced to reconsider what they once held dear. In The Challenge, Danielle Steel deftly weaves a story that is a portrait of courage and a striking tale of the bonds of love and family.