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Five Days: A Novel Hardcover – April 30, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (April 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451666330
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451666335
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,495,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Radiology technician Laura Warren has begun to lose her professional detachment, falling apart emotionally whenever she detects a malignancy. She knows part of the problem is her 23-year marriage, which has become increasingly difficult ever since her husband, Dan, lost his job; however, she has also come to realize she has never fulfilled her potential and could have gone on to medical school if she had possessed more self-confidence and parental support. Full of regret and incredibly lonely, she attends a radiology conference in Boston and meets a graying, married insurance salesman who turns out to be smart, sensitive, and just as lonely as she is. Their passionate affair gives her the impetus to remake her life and to embrace change instead of clinging to stifling routine. The prolific Kennedy (The Moment, 2011) explores his favored themes of mortality, love, and loss in this fluidly written tale. Deftly depicting how certain choices can unexpectedly narrow a life, instead of expanding it, Kennedy has much to say about the nature of happiness, the difficulty of change, and the great divide between obligation and desire. --Joanne Wilkinson

Review

“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)

“The prolific Kennedy explores his favored themes of mortality, love, and loss in this fluidly written tale. Deftly depicting how certain choices can unexpectedly narrow a life, instead of expanding it, he has much to say about the nature of happiness, the difficulty of change, and the great divide between obligation and desire.” (Booklist)

“Kennedy ably raises questions about marriage, identity, and happiness.” (Publishers Weekly)

“…a fine tale of lives re-examined.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“A gripping emotional rollercoaster, pressing so many buttons it’s likely to have readers examining their own what-might-have-beens.” (London Daily Mail)

“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))

More About the Author

Douglas Kennedy is the author of ten novels, including the international bestseller Leaving the World and The Moment. His work has been translated into 22 languages, and in 2007 he received the French decoration of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Born in Manhattan, he now has homes in London, Paris, and Maine, and has two children.

Customer Reviews

I didn't care about any of the characters.
book lover
The last book The Moment bored me to tears for the first 150 pages, but then I couldn't put it down when it finally got interesting.
Ali
As usual I enjoyed the very well researched background information always provided by Douglas Kennedy as well as the story.
Val Duffell-Canham

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By The Write Edge on May 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
When a woman gets the chance to escape her life for a few days, she jumps at the chance. She leaves behind a husband who loves her but who has become disillusioned with their marriage since losing his job and children who have their own notions about how to deal with life's challenges. When she meets someone at the conference that provides her with her getaway, she doesn't have any idea that a few casual encounters will alter her entire viewpoint on life. Seasoned author Douglas Kennedy gives readers this premise in the novel Five Days.

Laura Warren has worked as a radiology technologist for several years in a small town in Maine and has begun feeling the deep effects of her job. Her experience in reading MRI scans has taught her to distinguish between cancerous and non-cancerous scans, and she feels the weight of facing dozens of patients through the years who have asked her whether they will live or die. On a more personal front, Laura's husband, Dan, has spent the last 19 months out of work and his lack of employment has caused resentment and bitterness to creep into his heart. With both children in college and trying to meet life's challenges on their own terms, Laura alone bears the brunt of Dan's inadequacy.

A radiology conference in Boston offers Laura the opportunity to get away from home for a weekend, and she packs her bag as fast as possible before anyone can talk her--or guilt her--out of the idea. She reaches the hotel for the conference and meets an insurance salesman also in Boston on business. In their first meeting Richard Copeland manages to annoy Laura and intrigue her at the same time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jaffareadstoo on June 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is an interesting look at one women's unease, both with herself and with her life. Trapped into an unequal and disinterested marriage, Laura has stopped doing all the things she once dreamed of, and although she doesn't know how unhappy she is, all it takes is the chance meeting in a hotel lobby with a stranger, and the five days that follow show Laura just how magical life can still be if only you are prepared to follow your heart.

Beautifully written from the beginning Five Days is one of my favourite Douglas Kennedy books to date. He gets into Laura's character so perfectly that the book could so easily have been written by a female author. The interpretation throughout is flawless and the ability to dissect the minutiae of everyday life is exemplary. With its combination of regret, fidelity, family values and second chances, this story really tugs at your heart strings, and the conclusion, when it comes, is skilfully completed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Devon M. on January 30, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
He has always been one of my favorite authors, so I suspect he has been kidnapped, and a charlatan wrote this plodding, monotonous work that I had to skim through at times to get through. The dialogue, which is as prosaic as it comes, goes on and on and on, and it's a bloody bore. I just kept shaking my head and saying, "This is awful."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By sammy on August 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book. Although most dialogue in the book is very false (no one would ever speak to another person that way, especially their best friend), there are moments of enjoyment, as in when the two main characters explore their love of words and bounce off each other in fairly witty vocabulary.
The over all premise of the book though, about lost opportunities and wasted lives has stayed with me. It is thought provoking, and sad.
I am not sure why it is called five days as most of the story takes place over three days and then you meet again the characters in a year.
I would recommend it, i liked it, i have spoken about it to friends and i am still thinking about it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joanna on August 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
I won this book on Goodreads giveaway ! Thank you ! This is an excellent novel, Douglas Kennedy is excellent writer and this book proves it.In a split moment your life can change.Its a story about 2 people ,they meet in a hotel lobby and that's the beginning of their love story that doesn`t end well. They are both trapped in loveless and boring marriages,they are so in love in each other that after only 24 hr,they planing their life together.I`m not going to say the end of the story .Douglas Kennedy books never disappoint me.Always the characters look and feel like a real people .You don't want the story to end.This book keeps you really thinking : Are you happy with your life ?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Zamazon on August 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As all Douglas Kennedy's books, this is an amazing reading experience! It's very deep, psychological, and real. It talks about the "big stuff" in life. I've read all his books and I was never disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Katie on July 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a Douglas Kennedy fan. I appreciate the dimension of his writing and can wholly relate to his plausible characters. They become my friends and I hate to finish the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Leone Ward on July 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Loved this book. Related to it and loved the way it was written. Well expressed emotionally and great flow. I found
D it hard to put down
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