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Friendship by the Book: Friends Forever by Danielle Steele

August 21, 2012 | By | 2 Replies Continue Reading

Danielle Steele has sold 600 million copies of her novels, many of which have become international bestsellers, but Friends
Forever
(Delacorte Press, 2012) was my first personal foray into this uber-popular author’s books.

This newest novel tells the story of five friends (three male and two female) who grow up in Northern California and forge lifetime ties. Friends Forever follows the characters from when they first meet in kindergarten until they are well into their teens and twenties. The story reflects not only on the expectations and lives of the protagonists but also on those of their families (parents and siblings), all of whom are interconnected through the friendships among the young people.

I imagined the book would be a perfect summer beach read—light, fun and fast-paced. While the storyline was engaging, the book was anything but breezy—it was somewhat painful and depressing to read.

Steele highlights, without varnish, the risk-taking rampant among youth, including drug and alcohol abuse. Early on, one of the families faces an unimaginable loss and Steele gives us a glimpse into the emotional aftermath of premature death on both friends and family. Other unexpected tragedies and setbacks befall the friends.

Prior to reading the book, I knew a little bit about Danielle Steele’s own backstory. One of her earlier books, His Bright Light, chronicles the life and premature death or her own son Nick Traina. Her family tragedy seems to have inspired this book and accounts, at least in part, for the sensitive way that she grapples with uncomfortable topics to read or think about, such as suicide and substance abuse.

The small community where the main characters and their families live serves as a magnet pulling all the characters back home for a sense of belonging, support and friendship during difficult times. Some of the writing was a bit repetitive and might have benefitted from better editing but it’s a worthwhile read highlighting some of the factors that bind forever friendships.


“Friendship by the Book” is an occasional series of posts on The Friendship Blog about books that offer friendship lessons.


Several other recent posts on The Friendship Blog touched upon the topic of losing a best friend. These include:

Other books about dealing with the loss of a friend:

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Category: Books & movies about friendship

Comments (2)

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  1. jacqueline says:

    I have read many of Danielle Steele’s books over the years. The stories were predictable and yes, repetitive, but they were an easy read. She keeps writing her novels because millions are still buying them!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I had my first foray into Danielle Steele books recently, as well, and found that her books were very repetitive. Interesting that you thought so, too.

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