The plot of In Five Years intrigued me. The night she becomes engaged to her long-time boyfriend, the narrator dreams a dream so real she can only undertand it as her future paying a very real, very visceral visit. She is with another man, in an apartment she doesn’t recognize, experiencing with him an emotional and physical connection deeper than anything she has ever experienced. I had to chuckle at the tells that this was undeniably her life — the cosmetics in her medicine cabinet, the clothes in her closet and the fabulous red dress she is wearing in the dream. A glance at the TV news sets the timeline exactly five years hence.
I went along and part way in began dragging my feet. The narrator was flat. Her life was trite. It was all too pat. Until it wasn’t and I couldn’t put it down. Serle had me until the very end and then I began to reread my favorite parts. It is a beautiful book, rich with the truths we don’t tell ourselves and the untruths we do. The narrator’s friendship with her BFF (since first grade) is a joy to experience vicariously. I sensed a glimmer of the ending and I was right. It still landed with delicious surprise. In Five Years answers the question What does loss do to us? in unforgettable fashion.