Five children meet on the first day of kindergarten. In the years that follow, they become friends and more than friends. Together, they will find strength, meet challenges, face life's adventures, endure loss, face stark realities, and open their hearts. In this moving novel, number one New York Times best-selling author Danielle Steel traces their unforgettable journey - full of tests and trials - as three boys and two girls discover the vital bonds that will last a lifetime.
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.
©2012 Danielle Steel (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
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"Disappointed for the last time."
For years I was often heard saying "Danielle Steel is my favorite author". However, I'm so sad to say I will never be heard saying those words again. I've havent been able to finish listening to her last 7 or 8 books! It seems that she now repeats things over and over, like she takes large portions of a particular chapter and just rewords them 2 or 3 times! It makes me sad to have to say goodbye but unless I hear she has made huge writing style changes, I wont bepushing "buy" for a DS book anytime soon!
"Did a 3rd grader write this?"
Better writing and an original thought.
It is boring and poorly written.
The reader did the best they could with the material given.
I can't remember any of them because they were all so uninteresting.
Nah - I will know better next time not to buy anymore Danielle Steel. Can I get my money back?
"Pretty sad and not too deep"
This book was very superficial. I prefer books with more depth and character development. The plot seemed very contrived.
I really think it was more the writing of the book than his performance that left much to be desired. I didn't care for the way he changed his voice to portray the female characters.
This book was slow and depressing. I kept thinking there would be a redeeming event that would save it, but alas, I was left disappointed at the end.
The story was dull.
Robyn Carr's series
The story was like listening to a nightly news narration.
"Good story...horrible narration"
I would recommend the book itself, but not this audio version. The story spans a long period of time and is fairly interesting. The narration is an abomination though.
Izzie was the main character in the book and I'd say she was my favorite. She was caring and the best friend to all in the group. My least favorite character was Billy. I felt everything that was written throughout the story about Billy was very predictable.
Absolutely NOT! I felt he was a bit lispy. I think the way he tried to imitate the voices made the women sound like 3 year olds and the men sound like they were stoned. I think it really detracted from the story. Perhaps I'm being sexist, but I would really like a story by Danielle Steel, a fantastic writer of women's fiction for decades, to be narrated by a woman.
The Big Five
If you can endure the bad narration, you will enjoy the story.
REmembering the first day of school for all of them.
Absolutely wonderful reading. This may have been fiction, but touch so much of my life in more ways than 1.
"Good but surprising"
I haven't read a Danielle Steel book in awhile because of the typical storylines but this one I must admit did surprise me. Good book and I liked the narrator
Better writing. I never read Danielle Steel's books, and now I know why I have stayed away from them. I wanted an easy read for the beach, and while this had the potential to be a decent story, it was a snooze. Neither the characters nor the plot were developed and compelling, and bad writing pulled them down even further. There was a lot of repetition in the narrative, and Steel just told the story in a humdrum way, making the characters feel mundane and uninteresting. Devices such as foreshadowing were painfully obvious, despite clear markers that they were trying not to be; when you try too hard, it becomes even more obvious. The characters were painfully cliched stereotypes of everyone you knew in school. Don't waste your time with this one.
"After this, Danielle Steel's success continued is a mystery."
Not publishing it.
Again, not published it.
It was so bad that it was almost comical, so that's something, right?
Once upon a time I found Danielle Steel to be a reliable, sort of entertaining author. Her stories were like watching an exceptionally bad soap opera. Her formula never changed, which got boring, so I stopped bothering. But after a MANY year hiatus, I saw the title on special so I thought I'd give it a shot. Like a horrible car accident that you just cannot look away from, I had to keep "watching" this absolutely horrendous book unfold. It just kept getting worse; the storylines were absurd. The writing style was like listening to one very long outline... Not much better than an 8-hour-long listing of events. It was just atrociously bad.
"Doom and gloom"
I will not read another book from Danielle Steel. I read her in the past but her style became very repetitive and I have not read a book in at least five years, her style has grown even more stilted and without feeling. It reminded me of the writing my children did in High School. Definitely glad I listened to the book as I was multi tasking and didn't lose eight hours that I could never get back. The narrator was horrible and had no concept of voice variance. Much too monotone to be interesting.
It has turned me off completely to Danielle Steel.
Everything. Boring. Speech was much too chopped off. Did not know how to transition from male to female. Maybe it was the book that made him sound so bad. I will try him again.
The book had so many possibilities as to where it went but the author took a great idea and rammed it into a wall and the book was lost after the first chapter or so. I don't need sadness and anguish in my reading, there is too much in real life and I use my reading and listening for escape and imagination not gloom and doom.
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