My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In Five Years, a novel by Rebecca Serle, is more than a story. Reading it is an experience, with genuine emotional highs and lows. Protagonist Danielle Kohan is a 30-something woman who is the very definition of the type A personality. A corporate attorney living in NYC, Dannie is about to land her dream job and become engaged to long term boyfriend David, and life is going exactly according to plan, thank you very much. In five years, they will be married, living in Gramercy Park, and living large. Returning home from their celebratory dinner and awash in champagne, Dannie falls asleep. In her dreams, she finds herself exactly five years in the future, in a loft apartment not her own, wearing a different engagement ring, in the company of Aaron, a movie star handsome man she’s never met before. The calendar on the wall tells her it’s exactly five years in the future. When she awakens back in her own time and place, Dannie is shaken to her core, unsure about whether she’s had a dream or a vision. What if what she experienced is real?
Up until this point, early in the plot, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to continue reading what seemed to be a rom-com, but now I was hooked. Dannie attempts to follow her carefully constructed life plan, but she isn’t very good and dealing with uncertainty, and soon there will be other changes that will submerge her into depths of hope and fear, anguish and despair, confusion and anger and depression. Serle is a very good writer, but the center of the novel contained too many emotional elements that I simply prefer not to deal with anymore when reading fiction. But that’s my preference; many other readers, judging from their reviews, don’t feel that way. At the final third of the novel, Dannie’s dream comes back into play in a very interesting way, so the plot was redeemed, and I was glad to discover how Dannie would fare, even though I came to not like her very much. I didn’t enjoy the subject matter, but I can appreciate the skill with which this author can put together a story.
View all my reviews