Friday 17 April 2020

Book Review: In Five Years by Rebecca Serle.

Product details:
Publisher: Quercus.
Hardcover, 272 pages.
Release date: March 10th 2020.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Source: Received from publisher for review.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Kohan has been in possession of her meticulously crafted answer since she understood the question. On the day that she nails the most important job interview of her career and gets engaged to the perfect man, she’s well on her way to fulfilling her life goals.

That night Dannie falls asleep only to wake up in a different apartment with a different ring on her finger, and in the company of a very different man. The TV is on in the background, and she can just make out the date. It’s the same night – December 15th – but 2025, five years in the future.

It was just a dream, she tells herself when she wakes, but it felt so real… Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.

That is, until four and a half years later, when Dannie turns down a street and there, standing on the corner, is the man from her dream…

In Five Years is a love story, brimming with joy and heartbreak. But it is definitely not the love story you’re expecting.

 Manhattan lawyer Dannie Kohan is one of life’s great planners. In fact, from the moment she wakes in the morning to when she falls asleep at night, Dannie plans her days down to the minute. It’s not just her days Dannie plans; it’s her weeks, months and years, too. On the day we meet her, Dannie plans to ace her job interview at a prestigious law firm. Which she does. She also plans on her boyfriend, David, proposing marriage during a celebratory dinner at New York’s iconic Rainbow Room. Done. What Dannie doesn’t plan on, though, is a dream which propels her five years into the future; a dream in which far from being happily married to David, Dannie instead finds herself in a strange apartment getting intimately acquainted with a man she has never laid eyes on before.

Well, that wasn’t in Dannie’s five year plan! But it was just a dream, right? Maybe. But it felt so real.

As the action moves forward four-and-a-half years, we expect to find Dannie married to David. That’s not the case. Whatever happened to that plan? Dannie and David are still together. Still seemingly happy, too. However, meticulous planner Dannie somehow hasn’t gotten around to planning her wedding. She insists this isn’t a big deal; insists that everything is still on track. While that strange dream from five years ago sometimes plays on her mind, to the point where she discusses it with her therapist, Dannie knows that it was just a dream. After all, it couldn’t possibly be real. The guy from Dannie’s dream isn’t in her life. He’s not on her radar. He doesn’t exist. And then he does. His name is Aaron Gregory. And he’s dating Dannie’s best friend, Bella.

Now that definitely wasn’t in Dannie’s five year plan!

You might be thinking right around now that In Five Years sounds like a fun read - pure escapism. Let me stop you right there. In Five Years is not the book you think it to be. Also, this is a difficult one to review without veering into spoiler territory, so I’ll stop right there. What I will say is that is that In Five Years, at its core, is a book about friendship. The central relationship of this book is not between David and Dannie, nor is it between Dannie and Aaron Gregory. Instead the true romance of this story belongs to Dannie and Bella, the kind of lifelong friends who are there for each through thick and thin, in sickness and in health, no matter what. Dannie knows for sure that she would never betray Bella – but that dream of five years ago is still playing on her mind. And then, one day, Dannie walks into an apartment, which though strange, seems so very familiar. It is the apartment from Dannie’s dream. It is also the beginning of Dannie’s living nightmare.

A tender and heartfelt tale of love, friendship, and best-laid-plans gone awry, Rebecca Serles’s In Five Years will take you by surprise in the very best way.

Read it if you liked  One Day by David Nicholls, The First Last Kiss by Ali Harris, Everything I KnowAbout Love by Dolly Alderton.

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