Brock Matthews’ once promising life is unraveling. His coffee company. His marriage.
So when he discovers his vivid dreams—where he encounters his younger self—might let him change his past mistakes, he jumps at the chance. The results are astonishing, but also disturbing.
Because getting what Brock wants most in the world will force him to give up the one thing he doesn’t know how to let go . . . and his greatest fear is that it’s already too late.
Wow! What an intriguing book!! This was the first book I’ve read by James Rubart, and it will definitely not be my last. In fact, I perused his author page on Goodreads before I came over here and found several other titles to add to my TBR tower.
The premise of the plot is at once both magical and sobering – a little bit A Christmas Carol, a little bit It’s a Wonderful Life, even a little bit Back to the Future… but a whole lot of fascinating. What if, by controlling your dreams, you could meet up with your younger self and alter the course of your life? Veer in a different direction and offset a few regrets? Brock Matthews faces these questions after borrowing a book from a friend, just hoping to control a recurring (and troubling) dream long enough to learn what his dad wanted to tell him. But when he encounters his younger self instead and wakes to discover his timeline slightly altered, Brock wonders how powerful this “lucid dreaming” technique actually is. As he continues to meet with “Young Brock” while dreaming, the repercussions to his life – and the lives of those he loves – appear to be astronomical. In trying to right a few wrongs, did he simply end up making a bigger mess? And is it too late to fix it back?
Plots like these are everything I love about books with elements of fantasy/science fiction, specifically with the bit of fiction that’s just close enough to reality to be plausible. We’ve all had moments where we had a dream so vivid that we woke up and had to lay in bed for a moment, re-centering ourselves in what’s real and what isn’t. On the flip side, we’ve also all had regrets, things we wish we could go back in time and change. Combine the two and BAM! You have a mesmerizing story that you won’t be able to put down.
Rubart’s writing style is engaging and drew me in right away, making those 400 pages fly by in no time at all! The message of mercy and grace, of healing and redemption, hovers in the background but wow, when it surfaces, it takes your breath away. Compelling characters made me care about the outcome of this story, and my investment in these characters caused my emotions to ride the roller coaster with them. I grieved with and for them. I breathed sighs of relief, only to gasp out loud in surprise in the next chapter. I grinned at young love – and renewed love – and I may have even cheered a time or two 🙂
Bottom Line: With more twists and turns than a waterslide park, James L. Rubart’s The Five Times I Met Myself will play out a riveting story in the cinema of your mind. Schedule out enough time to read this book cover to cover once you start because I can just about guarantee that you won’t want to be distracted by silly things like sleeping or eating – certainly not chores or your job! A wonderful candidate for your next book club, it’s perfect for fans of Mitch Albom and William Paul Young… and for anybody who’s ever wished things had turned out differently.
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)
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James L. Rubart is a professional marketer and speaker. He is the author of the best-selling novel Rooms as well as Book of Days, The Chair, Soul’s Gate, Memory’s Door, and Spirit Bridge. He lives with his wife and sons in the Pacific Northwest.