Review: In Twenty Years by Allison Winn Scotch

In Twenty YearsTitle: In Twenty Years

Author: Allison Winn Scotch

Pages: 322 Pages

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

The Blurb

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.

The Review

In Twenty Years is the first book that I have read by Allison Winn Scotch but it certainly won’t be my last. I loved this story.

It is about how our expectations of the future versus the reality often careen down very different paths. In Twenty Years focuses on five friends (Colin, Owen, Catherine, Annie and Lindy) who all turn up at their old university digs at the behest of Bea, their friend who died seventeen years ago. When they are there they start to reveal their true selves and not the picture perfect portrait in which they have previously presented their lives.

It is at their Alma Mata that they start confronting old grievances, present dramas and try to remember the hopeful, optimistic people that they once were.

In short, In Twenty Years is a wonderful book. It is a great read for those who are maybe a little dissatisfied with how their life has turned out; it is a reminder that life is what you make of it and that you have to make it count every day.

I really loved In Twenty Years. It was such a satisfying book. You loved all the characters but equally recognised their flaws. I think what impressed me most about Allison Winn Scotch’s reunion story is that she made the narrative unambiguously ambiguous. You had the closure you needed from the main story thread but the fact that not everything was tied up in a neat little bow made it all the more realistic; the cast of characters who made up In Twenty Years still had issues that they needed to resolve. This made it all the more realistic and as a reader I really appreciated this.

If I was going to describe this book to someone I would say it is a more readable and less macabre version of The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Much more readable, accessible and honestly it is just a much better story.

In Twenty Years deserves a place on your summer reading list.

In Twenty Years by Allison Winn Scotch is available now.

For more information regarding Allison Winn Scotch (@aswinn) please visit

4 Stars

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