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Publisher's Summary

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    194
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    99
  • 3 Stars
    59
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    32
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    26

Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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    190
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    82
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    44
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    21
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    20

Story

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
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    87
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    49
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    25
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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!

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Did a 3rd grader write this?

What would have made Friends Forever better?

Better writing and an original thought.

What was most disappointing about Danielle Steel’s story?

It is boring and poorly written.

How could the performance have been better?

The reader did the best they could with the material given.

What character would you cut from Friends Forever?

I can't remember any of them because they were all so uninteresting.

Any additional comments?

Nah - I will know better next time not to buy anymore Danielle Steel. Can I get my money back?

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Anne
  • Charlotte, NC, United States
  • 08-20-12

Pretty sad and not too deep

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

This book was very superficial. I prefer books with more depth and character development. The plot seemed very contrived.

Has Friends Forever turned you off from other books in this genre?

Yes.

What aspect of Nick Podehl’s performance would you have changed?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Disappointing

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

The story was dull.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Robyn Carr's series

What didn’t you like about Nick Podehl’s performance?

The story was like listening to a nightly news narration.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

no

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Janna
  • Westminster, CO, United States
  • 11-29-12

Good story...horrible narration

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

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.

Would you be willing to try another one of Nick Podehl’s performances?

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.

If you could rename Friends Forever, what would you call it?

The Big Five

Any additional comments?

If you can endure the bad narration, you will enjoy the story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Brilliant!

Would you consider the audio edition of Friends Forever to be better than the print version?

Yes.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Friends Forever?

REmembering the first day of school for all of them.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely

Any additional comments?

Absolutely wonderful reading. This may have been fiction, but touch so much of my life in more ways than 1.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Good but surprising

Where does Friends Forever rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

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

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

typical

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Mundane Book

What would have made Friends Forever better?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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After this, Danielle Steel's success continued is a mystery.

What would have made Friends Forever better?

Not publishing it.

What could Danielle Steel have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Again, not published it.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It was so bad that it was almost comical, so that's something, right?

Any additional comments?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Doom and gloom

Would you try another book from Danielle Steel and/or Nick Podehl?

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.

Has Friends Forever turned you off from other books in this genre?

It has turned me off completely to Danielle Steel.

What didn’t you like about Nick Podehl’s performance?

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.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No

Any additional comments?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful