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Just When You Thought Your Life Was Perfect

Updated: Aug 1, 2020

In Five Years

By Rebecca Serle

When I was in 6th grade at Midland School, we wrote a letter to our 18-year-old self. In this letter, the assignment was to ask our future-self questions, predict what we thought we would be doing, the kind of person we were, the college we might be going to. I recently found this letter when I was getting ready to sell my mother’s house. My 6th grade self-had very big aspirations for her life. She wanted to be a news anchor like Katie Couric (I still would love that). She had visions of going to college somewhere warm, which didn’t happen, she knew her best friends would continue to be Maggie, Sarah, and Carrie. While I did meet many more friends along the way in Middle School and High School, my three best friends remained in my life and still do to this day.

It’s always fun to picture yourself and wonder what you will be doing in the future. Sometimes we’re wrong and sometimes so spot on. This week’s book selection is one I enjoyed so much more than I originally thought I would. When I read the first 100 or so pages, I wasn’t so sure how I felt. It’s the story of a 28-year-old girl, Dannie Cohan, who had achieved almost every dream she had imagined as an elementary school kid. She had just landed a job at the law firm she had always dreamed of; Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. She was dating a handsome Jewish man who her parents loved and who was equally as driven as Dannie. She lived in NYC and she was still best friends with Bella, her friend from grammar school. In her eyes, life was perfect. Until the night she and David get engaged. She falls asleep and dreams of a completely different life five years in the future. Is it a premonition or just complete nonsense? When she wakes up from the dream that seemed so real that she believes it to be true, Dannie was back in her apartment with David, still newly engaged.

Is there such a thing as a premonition? In the dream, she was with another man, she was wearing a different engagement ring than the one she just received, and she was in what looks like a loft in Brooklyn. What about David and the life they were about to start building together? What about her perfect apartment in Gramercy Park that she and David live in together? Most importantly, she was sure that she would never be a girl who lives in a loft in Dumbo, Brooklyn.

This dream scares Dannie into action. Her first instinct is to go talk to someone and figure out what the hell had just happened. Can you predict your future and how can it be that she Dannie, who had planned every moment of her entire life could live in this alternative bizarre world?

The reason why I wasn’t sure about this book at first is because it seemed like total chick -lit. I am not saying I don’t like chick-lit, I absolutely love it but also have to be in the mood for it. This is not at all chick-lit. Reading this book, you will feel deep emotions, laugh a little and maybe cry. It is a beautifully written story about the deep bonds of friendship and how unpredictable life can be. Even though after her dream, Dannie tries to spend the next 4.5 years trying to stay the course of her original plan, what she realizes is that you can’t have a perfect plan. Life throws you curveballs all the time and that’s what makes it an adventure for all of us.

I loved this book because while I did shed a few tears, it was incredibly uplifting. As a former New Yorker and someone who hopes to return someday, I loved the setting of the book and the mention of so many iconic locations in New York. Overall, I loved the friendship between Dannie and Bella, how it develops so much over the years, but also how their roles stay very much the same. There is nothing quite like having a best friend.

I give this book five stars because this is the kind of book I needed right at this moment. I hope you feel the same.

In Five Years

Rebecca Serle

Publication Date: March 10, 2020

Atria Books


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