In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

I received a copy of In Five Years from the publisher, Quercus. The decision to read was my own and this review forms my honest opinion.

Blurb

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.

Review

In Five Years is a beautiful book; smart and a true masterclass in the creation of a genuine relationship between two people – I absolutely adored it.

The main character, Dannie, is a New York lawyer who has her life planned out almost to the second. Her obsession with work, and her fixation on creating the perfect life for her and her fiance leaves her life devoid of….well, life! Her polar opposite is her friend, Bella. Free, fun and brimming with a zest for life; it’s almost inconceivable that two women so different and with such different priorities could be best friends.

Dannie’s plans for perfection are coming together seamlessly with both her dream job in her sights and a proposal from her boyfriend occurring precisely to her schedule. But that very night, she is thrown off kilter by an incredibly realistic dream in which she finds herself five years in the future, in the company of a man who is not her fiance. Waking up in familiar surroundings, in her own time – Dannie is shaken, but determined to write the experience off as a weirdly realistic dream, until four and a half years later she meets the man from her vision.

It’s a wonderfully original story which buzzes with shades of love. We’re too quick to link love to romance, and it’s sometimes easy to forget that love takes many other forms. It’s a story of great poignancy – and yet, there is also joy laced throughout and its ultimately life-affirming despite the torrents of tears I shed! It’s an exploration of what we truly need to make us happy and it focuses life into perspective.

I read In Five Years swiftly, carried so completely by the beautiful storytelling. Dannie goes on such a life-altering journey throughout the course of the book, and as her life began to deliver twists in her tale, she began to grow from a single-minded career woman, into a truly likeable character.

My one niggle, was the ending. I’m so conflicted over it still, and I finished the book two weeks ago! I think it might be a bit of a marmite ending to be honest, and it will be interesting to see how other readers feel. It’s hard to talk about without giving anything away, but I just recoiled from it. I know why it happened, and I understand it in the context of the book – I think I just didn’t want it to happen…..and I’m not sure I could get any more cryptic than that!! Definitely a great one for book clubs to discuss as I think the nature of the ending raises some big questions about life in general and beyond. The very fact that I’m still debating with myself a fortnight down the line is proof that it is a story that stays with you and has much to say.

In Five Years is a stunning book, and one which I could see lending perfectly to an on screen adaptation.

In Five Years is due to be published on Tuesday 10th March 2020.

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