In Five Years by Rebecca Serle | Book Review [spoiler free]

3/29/2020

This contemporary novel was on my Most Anticipated Releases Of 2020 list, so I was really happy to find it on Scribd. I listened to it's entirety in two sittings as I didn't realise how short this novel was (only 272 pages). It read much longer but in the best possible way. Reminiscent of Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah, Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid, and The Giver Of Stars by Jojo Moyes, this was wrongly marketed as a romance novel whereas it's much more of a book about the power of female friendship. Let's go over the synopsis before gushing over my enjoyment of it...


Dannie Cohan is leading the life she always wanted. She's a lawyer at her dream firm, fast to making partner. Her lifelong best friend Bella continues to live a life of spontaneity keeping Dannie as the responsible one in their friendship, which she enjoys. Her mother is always a phone call away. And most notably, her perfectly matched boyfriend just asked her to marry him. Everything is how it should be. After a few too many glasses of champagne in celebration, Dannie takes a nap that changes everything.

Suddenly she wakes up five years after the night of the proposal, only she is no longer engaged to her fiance. Instead she's in a completely different apartment in a different area of New York, and there's a strange man who appears to be her partner. Everything is different, and yet, she feels like everything is right for the first time.Without meaning to, she quickly finds this strange man's body on her, giving her the most pleasurable experience she has ever had. Only when she awakes the following morning, she's back in the past, back to living her usual controlled life. Assuming it was one hell of a weird dream, Dannie continues to live her life trying to put that apartment and that man out of her head. Four and a half years later something impossibles happens, she finds him. Only instead of him being a part of her life, he's dating Bella.

That was a long-winded synopsis, I know. I'm sorry. It's really hard to put this book into words without giving away any of the plot.

Huge thank you to @theshelfaroundthecorner for borrowing me her photo for this blog post. Go give her a Bookstagram follow!

I loved this novel, it broke my heart and then sewed it back together. The characters were all greatly developed despite the 272 page count (or 5 hour listening time), and I truly was blown away by the writing. As mentioned at the beginning, this was written about the enrichment that a healthy friendship can bring to your life. It had romantic elements without ever falling into the trap of being corny or unrealistic. This was a beautiful portrait of the paths that life may give us, if we only felt brave enough to listen to our hearts and not our minds.

As a main character, Dannie was a pleasure to read. She was flawed despite her seemingly perfect life, but not in a try-hard 'why is this supposedly smart character doing all these dumb things?' way. If you're the friend who always seems to have it together, giving out advice, while secretly being a little broken, you will find solace in Dannie. In parts she reminded me of a more grounded Eleanor Oliphant from Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. All the characters were actually great in this, all had fleshed out personalities which was a real accomplishment by the author.

All in all, if you like stories driven by female friendship and enjoy a little destiny in your stories, pick this up. I enjoyed the audiobook but I guarantee I would've had the same experience if I'd physically picked this up. Go with the format that you prefer.

Rating: 5/5

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