Monday, August 8, 2016

Book Review: In Twenty Years by Allison Winn Scotch

Pages: 332
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: July 1, 2016
Publisher: Lake Union
Source: Publisher for review
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Twenty years ago, six Penn students shared a house, naively certain that their friendships would endure—until the death of their ringleader and dear friend Bea splintered the group for good. Now, mostly estranged from one another, the remaining five reluctantly gather at that same house on the eve of what would have been Bea’s fortieth birthday.  But along with the return of the friends come old grudges, unrequited feelings, and buried secrets. Catherine, the CEO of a domestic empire, and Owen, a stay-at-home dad, were picture-perfect college sweethearts—but now teeter on the brink of disaster. Lindy, a well-known musician, is pushing middle age in an industry that’s all about youth and slowly self-destructing as she grapples with her own identity. Behind his smile, handsome plastic surgeon Colin harbors the heartbreaking truth about his own history with Bea. And Annie carefully curates her life on Instagram and Facebook, keeping up appearances so she doesn’t have to face the truth about her own empty reality.  Reunited in the place where so many dreams began, and bolstered by the hope of healing, each of them is forced to confront the past."

In college, you feel like the friendships you made will last forever and everything will stay the same, but little do you know when you enter the real world, everything changes.  Six Penn students, all best friends, lived together during college and as the years go by things change drastically and most of them end up not speaking to one another.  Unfortunately, one of the friends, Bea, dies and they all receive letters stating that they need to come to the house they lived in at college for 4th of July weekend.  It would have been Bea's 40th birthday and she wants them all together.  But can they all forget the mistakes of the past? Allison Winn Scotch's In Twenty Years is a satisfying reunion story about friendship and forgiveness.  If you have ever dreamed of being reunited with all of your old college friends for a glorious weekend, you'll appreciate this book.

First there's Catherine who runs a really successful company that is very Martha Stewart-esque.  She is extremely busy and is married to Owen, her college sweetheart. Everyone knew they would end up together, but no one predicted that they would hit a rough patch.  Owen is a stay at home dad and just wants more time with Catherine, but her company is about to go public.  Then there's Lindy who is a successful musician, but she's dealing with issues like the fact that she is forty years old and the music labels want something young and fresh.  Next is Colin, a successful plastic surgeon, who appears to have it all.  But he is hiding a major secret involving Bea.  Lastly, there's Annie. She loves to put on show in that her world isn't exactly as it appears on Facebook and Instagram.  They are all reunited at their old college house in Philadelphia, but they don't know exactly why.  Let the drama ensue, especially because they barely speak to each other thanks to the events that occurred at Catherine and Owen's wedding.

I can't say I was overly connected to any of the characters in In Twenty Years, but I could appreciate their stories.  Scotch alternates the point of view between all of the friends, so readers are able to get a glimpse into each character's thoughts as well as glimpses into their back stories.  I thought this was well done by Scotch and it wasn't confusing in the least. I actually liked the chance to get to know each friend and learn more about what makes them tick.

Ultimately In Twenty Years is a story about friendship.  I liked this aspect of the book and it made me think about my own college friendships and how they have evolved over the years.  But obviously things aren't all fun and games. They have to deal with the fact that Bea is now dead and there are secrets surrounding this as well.  

All in all, In Twenty Years is an endearing read that fans of beach reads about women and friendships will enjoy.  


  1. I get the sense that this book failed when you can't connect with the characters. I mean, considering it'a character-driven plot, you'd expect to feel more for them. I don't know about this one.

    1. You definitely have to appreciate a good reunion/friendship story to enjoy this book. Even though I didn't identify with any of the characters, their stories were interesting enough! Thanks for visiting, Joy!

  2. I kind of liked the description of this book and its focus on college friendships. I have drifted from my college friends and don't really keep in touch with them anymore though I keep up with their lives through what they post on Facebook. We didn't have a falling out like the characters in this book but time and business kind of caused the distance. I'd like to think that if we had a reunion it would be a lot more fun than what these characters probably experience!

    Nice review. I haven't read anything by this author but I may check this one out from the library or look for her other books.

    1. Yes, I hear you! It's hard to keep touch with everyone, but Facebook does help. I hope you can check out this book sometime. It is perfect for summer. Thanks for visiting, Christina!

  3. Normally I'm not a huge fan of multiple POVs or following multiple people, but I think with a setup like this it would work really well. I'd want to get to spend time with each of the friends:) Glad it was a solid read, even if you weren't overly connected to any of the characters!

    1. I think Scotch did pretty well with the multiple POVs....definitely didn't bother me! Thanks for visiting, Jenny!


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