Six Years by Harlan Coben
Published by Dutton
Publication Date: March 19, 2013
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Six years have passed since Jake Sanders watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd.
But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for . . . but she is not Natalie. Whoever the mourning widow is, she’s been married to Todd for more than a decade, and with that fact everything Jake thought he knew about the best time of his life—a time he has never gotten over—is turned completely inside out.
As Jake searches for the truth, his picture-perfect memories of Natalie begin to unravel. Mutual friends of the couple either can’t be found or don’t remember Jake. No one has seen Natalie in years. Jake’s search for the woman who broke his heart—and who lied to him—soon puts his very life at risk as it dawns on him that the man he has become may be based on carefully constructed fiction.
Jake Fischer met Natalie Avery one summer and spent 3 wonderful months with her. They had a love that was close and amazing and something that would last a lifetime. Only it didn’t. Natalie up and breaks up with Jake and then not only marries another man but invites Jake to the wedding. Ouch. Jake is devastated but when Natalie asks him to leave them in peace and not try to contact her he agrees.
Six years later Jake sees an obituary for Todd Sanderson, that man that married Natalie. He knows that he promised Natalie but now that Todd is dead he holds onto hope that there is some chance for him. It kind of sounds desperate, and it is a little bit, but even after all those years have passed he still finds it hard to believe that Natalie didn’t feel the same way about him that he did about her. He heads to Todd’s funeral but doesn’t see Natalie. In fact the woman he sees who ends up being Todd’s wife was Delia and they have 2 kids…they were high school sweethearts.
This jolts Jake into searching for the woman he loves. He can’t figure out what’s going on but as the days go by he knows that there’s something much more going on than just a fake wedding. He’s kidnapped and almost killed. He heads back to where he and Natalie met and supposedly the “retreat center” never existed. He’s warned off time and again to just drop his search but Jake just can’t give up. What he finds is shocking to say the least but he won’t stop until he finds Natalie.
I have to say that I was a bit confused as I read further and further into the story. Coben wrote a twisted mystery that had me completely wrapped up in it. By Chapter 11 I was thinking this is a whole bunch of Holy Shit with a side order of WTF cuz I had no idea what was going on! Lol I have to say that I really loved the different aspects of the story that were all woven into one intersecting outcome.
Now I did think that the lengths that Jake went sometimes bordered on unbelievable for a college professor but I guess not completely out of the realm of possibility. I then would think about Jake’s love for Natalie and think, that yeah, that could totally happen.
The end of the book was a bit of a surprise when certain things are revealed but the road to getting to that point was so gripping that I it flowed nicely with the entire story. I haven’t read Harlan Coben before but I if all of his novels are this good I will definitely be reading more.
Rating: 4 out of 5