Featured photo by Florian Wehde | Retrieved from Unsplash
When I first read the synopsis of In Five Years by Rebecca Serle, I figured it would be a wonderful story that makes the reader realize a few things about life.
This was my reaction upon finishing In Five Years:
In case you can’t lip read, he is saying: “What the fuck?!”
So yeah, this book was NOT what I expected.
Be warned, before you go any further: there are spoilers ahead!
Dannie Kohan doesn’t seem to be the most sensitive or warm character at first.
I honestly couldn’t tell if this was on purpose or because Serle just didn’t want to develop her characters. As I continued reading, I realized it was on purpose.
In the beginning, Dannie is very calculated, uptight, and career-driven. She is all about numbers, perfection, and being the best.
She has it all: she nailed an interview at a big law firm in New York City and her boyfriend proposed to her.
Then her life gets turned upside down when she has a dream about her future self. She dreams of a different apartment with a different man, but it seems so real.
Five years go by and then she meets this mystery man…
Only, he is her best friend’s boyfriend. His name is Aaron.
At this point, I was thinking, “oooooh, scandalous!!!”
That’s the turn I thought this story was going to take and boy was I wrong.
I wanted scandal, romance, and emotions.
I wanted all of that but instead I got death (and I suppose I still got the emotions, just different ones).
Dannie’s best friend Bella ends up dying of ovarian cancer. Dannie and her fiancé break up.
The vision Dannie had was real, but at the same time it wasn’t exactly what she had initially thought when she dreamt it. It was simply a snippet of what her life would become.
As the book goes on, I could feel Dannie’s attitude change and the walls she kept up slowly come down. I think Bella’s diagnosis, treatment, and death really rocked her world and taught her so much about life and love.
I’m not going to spoil the end and tell you guys if she really does end up with Aaron. You will have to read it for yourselves!
Unexpected but impactful
I think this story is honestly poetic. It symbolizes something that very few of us humans are aware of, including Dannie.
That we can plan out our life and have expectations but in the end, nothing ever goes according to plan and unexpected things happen.
I thought this would be a story that gets me thinking about where I would be in five years.
Instead, it had me thinking about five-plus years ago and how nothing in my life has gone according to my past plan… but that is simply the beauty of it.