Gabby, Billy, Izzie, Andy, and Sean—each bursting with their own personality, strikingly different looks and talents, in sports, science, and the arts. Each drawn by the magical spark of connection that happens to the young. At the exclusive Atwood School, on a bright September day, starting in kindergarten they become an inseparable group known to outsiders as the Big Five. In this rarefied world, five families grow closer, and five children bloom beside one another, unaware of the storms gathering around them.
As they turn from grade-schoolers to teenagers, seemingly perfect lives are buffeted by unraveling families, unfortunate missteps, and losses and victories great and small. And, one by one, they turn back to the Big Five to regain their footing and their steady course. But as they emerge from Atwood and enter the college years, the way forward is neither safe nor clear. As their lives separate and diverge, the challenges and risks become greater, the losses sharper, and the right paths harder to choose, in a journey of friendship, survival, and love.
In what may be her most intricate and emotionally powerful novel yet, Danielle Steel tells a heart-wrenching, ultimately triumphant story that spans decades, weaves together a vivid cast of characters, and captures the challenges we face in life—sometimes, if we’re lucky, with a friend forever by our side.
I had read that this book was going to be coming out on Danielle Steel’s website a few months before it was realized, but I had forgotten all about it until I was looking on the library’s website trying to find a new book to read. I’ve always been a sucker for Danielle Steel’s books and I have yet to read one that I don’t end up loving by the end.
When I first started reading this book I didn’t expect it to take the turn that it did and to be honest about half way through I was praying that it had a good ending and wasn’t all filled with sadness. I’m all for a book having bad things happen to people because the reality of life is that bad things can happen to anyone. None of us are immune to the harsh reality of death, whether its due to illness, accident or murder. At some point in our lives we’re all going to be affected by death.
I feel like some of the characters and situations could have used a little more depth. However, since the book takes place over almost 20 years I can understand why it seems a little jumpy at times. The characters in this book are hit by blow after blow and I can see why some people say that it seems to “unrealistic”.
Maybe if I had read this at a different time in my life I wouldn’t have liked it. But with the fact that this year alone I’ve had three people I know pass away and one get diagnosed with a serious illness made this book a little bit easier for me to relate to. Bad things happen whether we’re ready for them or not. It doesn’t matter what else we have going on in our lives or how many times we’ve been recently hit by a devastating blow.
These characters are forced to deal with more than anyone at their age should have to but they come together along with their families and deal with it each time. After all, what are friends for?