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, #1 New York Times bestselling 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.
Danielle Fernandes Dominique Schuelein-Steel was born on August 14, 1947 in New York. Her father was a descendant of the Lowenbrau beer family and her mother was the daughter of a diplomat. She studied both literature and fashion design, first attending the Parsons School of Design and then New York University, graduating in 1967. Danielle Steel is currently the bestselling author alive today, and the fourth bestselling author of all time with over 650 million copies of her books sold. Steel has written 129 books, 93 of which were novels, primarily romance. Every one of her novels has achieved best seller status. She has been published in 69 countries and in 43 different languages. She has had 22 of her novels adapted for television movies and two of those received Golden Globe nominations. Danielle releases three new novels a year and works on multiple books at a time, often as many as five at once.
Steel has been married five times and although she is currently divorced, she is a strong believer in marriage and family. An only child, she discovered the joys of a big family as a child through one of her friends. She has nine children (seven biological and two stepsons that she has always considered her own) that are her greatest accomplishment. Her joy in life is her children and she speaks of them frequently on her website and her blog. Many of her books have been dedicated to one or more of her children. She was based in California for most of her career and now lives in both San Francisco and Paris.