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Five Days


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About the Author

Douglas Kennedy is the author of eleven previous novels, including the international bestsellers The Moment and Five Days. His work has been translated into twenty-two languages, and in 2007 he received the French decoration of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He divides his time among London, New York, and Montreal, and has two children. Find out more at DouglasKennedyNovelist.com.


"With Five Days, Douglas Kennedy has crafted a brilliant meditation on regret, fidelity, family, and second chances that will have you breathlessly turning pages to find out what happened in the past and what will happen next. At once heartbreaking and hopeful, it is a bracing new work of fiction by an internationally acclaimed writer at the height of his powers."--Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club
"Five Days delves exquisitely and painfully into how it is that people allow themselves to live lives of such tightly 'limited horizons.'"--Portland Press Herald (Maine)

Kennedy (The Moment) has a way with women, or at least with women characters. Half of his previous ten novels are ably penned from a female narrator's point of view. He does this so well that the reader may double-check the author's name to see whether "he" isn't really "she." Laura, 42, married Dan Warren 23 years ago. Although the couple has drifted apart ever since, they raised two children, Ben and Sally, who now hover very differently between adolescence and adulthood. The capable, steady, and intelligent Laura also works as a talented radiology technician in a Maine hospital where she witnesses those precipice moments in peoples' lives when they learn whether they will live or likely die. She is also the family's mainstay both financially and emotionally as Dan increasingly withdraws in the face of 19 months of unemployment. When Laura attends a work conference in Boston, she meets Richard, a married insurance salesman. Within a few days, the two recognize their unlikely but increasing connection. Finding in each other a mirror image of lost passion, sad marriages, broken dreams, self-doubt, and a corresponding regard for wordplay and art, they offer each other the bolstering and applause they so sorely lack at home. VERDICT Depicting the human spirit's courage in its quest for connection, this novel may appeal to women of a certain age who find themselves disappointed in love and in need of change. [See Prepub Alert, 10/15/12.]-Sheila M. Riley, Smithsonian Inst. Libs., Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Laura Warren is a radiographic technician in Maine, trained to spot disease in others, but unable to determine the cause of her own sadness in the bumpy 11th novel from Kennedy (The Moment). Laura's family is unhappy-her husband's lengthy unemployment has made him angry and resentful; her 19-year-old son, Ben, an artist, is bereft over a failed love affair; and she feels disconnected from her teenaged daughter, Sally. Her own midlife and marital crises are taking a toll on her, and after finding herself uncharacteristically shaken by the sadness she inevitably sees in her job, Laura jumps at the opportunity for a weekend conference in Boston. There she meets Richard Copeland, an equally confused and unhappy insurance salesman, and the two feel an immediate attraction. Laura and Richard find in their shared loneliness a common longing to lead a better life together, if they can find the courage to change. While Laura and Richard's quickly developing relationship is rarely believable, Laura's confusion and fear are well drawn, and Kennedy ably raises questions about marriage, identity, and happiness. Agent: Antony Harwood, Antony Harwood Literary Agency. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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