In Five Years by Rebecca Serle | Summary, Themes & Synopsis

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TitleIn Five Years
AuthorRebecca Serle
GenreFiction, Romance, Women’s Fiction
Publication DateMarch 10, 2020
PublisherAtria Books
Number of Pages272 pages
SettingNew York City
Point of ViewFirst person (Dannie Kohan)
ISBN9781529405835, 1529405831
AwardsGoodreads Choice Award Nominee for Romance (2020)
Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist (2021)

In Five Years-Characters

The main characters in “In Five Years” by Rebecca Serle are:

  • Dannie Kohan – A lawyer living in New York City who has her life all planned out, including her career and her upcoming engagement to her boyfriend David.
  • David – Dannie’s boyfriend who is also a lawyer and is supportive of her career aspirations.
  • Bella – Dannie’s best friend who is a writer and lives a more carefree lifestyle than Dannie.
  • Aaron – Bella’s brother who is a pediatric oncologist and becomes a love interest for Dannie.

In Five Years-Themes

  • Fate and destiny.
  • Love and loss.
  • Self-discovery.
  • Career and success.
  • Friendship.

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In Five Years-Summary

In Five Years” by Rebecca Serle is a lovely and touching book. The protagonist of the book is a young woman named Dannie Kohan, whose life is methodically planned out. She is engaged to her successful lawyer fiance, David and ready to start her perfect career at a famous legal firm.

But next day, Dannie wakes up in a different apartment with a different man, and in a different year – five years into the future. This experience sets off a chain of events that forces Dannie to confront the fragility of her carefully crafted life plan.

The story begins with Dannie in the present, getting ready for a big interview at a famous legal firm. She’s desperate to get the job and win over her lover David, who also works there. Dannie’s careful preparation pays off, and she is hired.

David surprises her with a marriage proposal during a celebratory meal at their favorite restaurant. They spend the night at Dannie’s apartment, which she has beautifully arranged with everything in its proper position and Dannie accepts joyfully.

Dannie awakens the next morning to find herself in an odd apartment with a man named Aaron lying next to her. As she is lost and puzzled, she soon understands that it is five years from now. She is residing with Aaron in this alternate reality, a guy she hardly knows, and David is nowhere to be seen.

After being first shocked and disturbed by this new world, Dannie begins to wonder whether it might not be preferable to the life she has created for herself after spending time with Aaron and learning more about it.

Throughout the course of the following five years, Dannie spends time in this future getting to know Aaron and establishing a prosperous legal practice.

She gets obsessed on finding out the truth about what exactly happened to David and how she got to this other world. She discovers some unpleasant realities about herself and the people she cares about while she does her investigation.

The bond between Dannie and Aaron is one of the book’s most engaging elements. Dannie is first suspicious of him and their relationship seems to be forced. Yet as they spend more time together, their relationship strengthens and they start to take on deeper importance in each other’s lives.

In a world that feels chaotic and unpredictable, Aaron provides a calming presence for Dannie and she eventually starts to regard him as a source of stability. Serle does a fantastic job of illustrating the development of their intricate and multi-layered connection through time.

The story’s climax occurs when Dannie learns the meaning of her dream and the parallel universe she encountered. Without giving too much away, it’s a heartbreaking and accepting moment that makes Dannie face some challenging facts about herself and her relationships.

The book’s ending is both bittersweet and satisfying. Although it isn’t a neat conclusion, it feels accurate to life and the complicated nature of relationships. Serle doesn’t wrap everything up neatly, but instead induces hope and the idea that life is full of limitless opportunities in the reader.

Writing Style

Rebecca Serle’s “In Five Years” is written in an emotional and reflective manner. The narrator of the book is Dannie Kohan, the main character, and the narrative is told from his first-person point of view. Readers can picture the characters and places because to the author’s use of vivid language.

About the Author – Rebecca Serle

Full NameRebecca Serle
Birth DateUnknown
Birth PlaceNew York, United States
EducationB.A. in Creative Writing and English from USC
OccupationAuthor, Screenwriter
Notable Works“Famous in Love” (novel series), “In Five Years”


What is “In Five Years” by Rebecca Serle about?

In the book In Five Years, Dannie Kohan is a character who has a clear plan for her life, which includes a successful career and a fulfilling relationship. But, Dannie’s life suddenly changes after having a dream in which she sees herself five years in the future.

Who is the author of “In Five Years”?

“In Five Years” was written by Rebecca Serle, an American author known for her young adult novels and television work.

Is “In Five Years” a romance novel?

While there are romantic elements in the novel, “In Five Years” is not strictly a romance novel. It deals with themes of friendship, loss, and personal growth.

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