I love New York, and my latest book crush, In Five Years by Rebecca Serle, made me remember why. My grandmother was from Brooklyn, and I lived in New York City after college and during 9/11. Like everyone who has ever lived in or visited New York City, right now especially I miss the excitement of being there, of eating at an amazing Tibetan restaurant in the East Village and then going to see a Broadway show. I remember the anxiety I felt after 9/11 with National Guard soldiers in the subway and wondering if things would ever feel “normal” again, and I imagine New Yorkers are wondering the same today.
These thoughts were on my mind as I began reading In Five Years by Rebecca Serle, a novel about New York City, love, and friendships that asks important questions about which relationships matter the most. Dannie Kohan is a no-nonsense career woman who is newly engaged to her equally career-focused fiancé. But when she goes to sleep the night of her engagement, she dreams of waking up five years later with another man in her bed (not her fiancé) and another ring on her finger.
Determined to prevent the vision from coming true, she tries to preserve the present. In the course of pursuing her career and planning her wedding, however, Dannie begins to unravel her life goals. What is her life’s real purpose? She is terrified that she has made a series of wrong decisions. She thinks, “You mistake love. You think it has to have a future in order to matter, but it doesn’t. It’s the only thing that does not need to become at all. It matters only insofar as it exists. Here. Now. Love doesn’t require a future.” When she meets the man from her dream, Dannie must decide how to face her fears and follow her heart. This carpe diem book shares a refreshing reminder to make the most of our relationships, and I found myself reaching out to my lifelong friends after I finished it.