I don’t usually by Danielle Steel books because a) she is an awful writer and b) nope, mostly because she’s just an awful writer. I’ll read them if they were free from the library or from a friend, but for some reason I thought I’d read this. I’m not sure what possessed me to buy this one because I hadn’t read any especially heavy books before this, so… call it a moment of insanity.
Basic plot: Five friends start kindergarten together at an elite private school one September. 13 years later, they graduate high school and embark on adulthood.
In usual Steel fashion, this unfolding of time in this book is fast. I’m convinced the only reason Steel cranks out books the way she does is because she a) has an very formulaic plot or two she follows and b) she is the queen of telling instead of showing. Characters are never fully developed and there is a TON of boring, uninteresting, devoid-of-emotion narrative. This book is no exception.
And even worse, this is pretty much one of the most depressing books, Steel or non-Steel, I have ever read. Of the five friends, three of them die while they’re still young, and one comes very close to death. I actually enjoy books that have kind of depressing plots, a la Flannery O’Connor, but it’s safe to say that O’Connor and Steel will never, ever fall into the same box of awesome. If Steel took the time to develop these five characters instead of wizzing through almost 20 years, I think this could have been a mediocre book. Instead, it was just.plain.awful.
Overall rating: 2/10