Meet Dannie Kohan. Numbers are important to her.
Here are a few:
• Thirty-six — the number of minutes it takes Dannie to get ready each morning.
• Eighteen — the number of minutes it takes her to walk to work.
• Twenty-four — the number of months you should date someone before you move in together.
• Twenty-eight — the appropriate age to get engaged.
• Thirty — the opportune age to get married.
As you can tell, Dannie has her life measured and mapped out — all at the age of 28. She lives with her boyfriend David and is on the fast-track to being a partner in a large law firm that she has wanted to work at since she was 10 years old.
She is nothing like her best friend, Bella, who is happy-go-lucky and embraces the adventures in life to their fullest. They have known each other since they were 7 years old, when they met at a park, and have been inseparable ever since.
Both live in New York, but Bella is a frequent traveler and Dannie’s work rarely allows her to make it home in time for dinner.
Dannie and David agree on the importance of a plan. Their plan is to get engaged, continue on their current career paths, get married, move to Gramercy Park and have a couple of kids. It may not be happily ever after in the truest sense of the phrase, but it works for them.
Bella, an artist, owns a gallery and falls in love at the drop of a hat. Dannie lives vicariously through Bella’s many adventures and loves.
Things seem to be aligning perfectly in Dannie’s life, until one night, after David proposes, she drifts off and wakes up five years later. Surprisingly, her future looks nothing like her life of today, and during the brief time she is transported, she sees where she lives, and more surprisingly, who she is with. She does not stay in the future for long and when she wakes, back in her real life, she is not sure what to think. Was it a dream? Premonition? Is she losing her mind?
Flash forward 41/2 years, and Dannie is still engaged to David but not yet married; she is working for her dream law firm, and she is getting ready to meet Bella’s new boyfriend. This is where it gets interesting, and Dannie realizes that her premonition may have not been a dream.
REBECCA SERLE has created a captivating read in her novel, “IN FIVE YEARS.” She does an excellent job setting the scene and allowing the reader to be drawn into the story. Her descriptions of New York — the fashion, the art and the food — seem spot on. I felt like I was there.
The tale Serle has crafted is heart-wrenching and beautifully crafted. It is an unexpected love story that is hard to put down. Many readers will be inspired to question their daily lives, their choices and if they appreciate what they have and where they are in life.
Jeana Gockley is the director of the Joplin Public Library.