The Five Times I Met Myself

The Five Times I Met MyselfThe Five Times I Met Myself by James L. Rubart
Genres: Inspirational, Speculative, Suspense
Published by Thomas Nelson on November 10, 2015
Pages: 400

 

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?

Wow! What an intriguing book!! This was the first book I’ve read by James Rubart, and it will definitely not be my last. 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.

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.

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.

The message of mercy and grace, of healing and redemption, hovers in the background but wow, when it surfaces, it takes your breath away.

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 🙂

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.

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.

–Carrie


About The Five Times I Met Myself (from the back cover):
What if you met your twenty-three year old self in a dream?  What would you say? 

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.

This is the only book I’ve read by James L. Rubart, although he has several published.  When I first read the description of the story I was intrigued by the unusual premise, especially in a Christian genre novel.  Once I had read a few chapters into the story I wondered about it being a Christian novel, since there didn’t seem to be a focus on faith or Christ.  There were mentions of God and having faith but I didn’t get the impression that much of the story line was going to be about strong faith in Christ, living a life of active Christianity or even struggling with said faith while sorting through a major life issue.  My impressions proved to be true.  Towards the end God was brought more into the story, with more focus of trusting in Him.

When I first read the description of the story I was intrigued by the unusual premise, especially in a Christian genre novel.  Once I had read a few chapters into the story I wondered about it being a Christian novel, since there didn’t seem to be a focus on faith or Christ.

Brock, the main character, and his wife Karissa have what seems to be a disconnected relationship.  They go through the motions and live life day to day but it was obvious that there wasn’t any real passion or sense of working together.  In fact, they seemed to live separate lives, for the most part.  Their one son, Tyson, would soon be off to college, leaving them to fend for themselves.

Unfortunately, I found this book to be choppy and rambling in sections.  I also became confused at times, due to what I perceived to be a lack in structure of the story line.

Brock’s coffee company has been his main focus for many years and although it has provided them with a very upscale lifestyle, their little family has suffered deeply because of neglect.

Ron, Brock’s only brother, is also part owner of the coffee company.  The brothers have a tenuous relationship, at best.  This is a main theme in the book, i.e., damaged and contentious relationships.  Most family connections are or were not good and thus the plot unfolds with that as a backdrop and reason for Brock’s desperate interest in interacting with his younger self via dreams.  His efforts to change his past mistakes result in more chaos than he ever imagined.

While The Five Times I Met Myself  has the ability to provoke introspection about how we live with those we love, as well as focus on what is most important in life, the writing style made it difficult for me to enjoy reading the book.

Unfortunately, I found this book to be choppy and rambling in sections.  I also became confused at times, due to what I perceived to be a lack in structure of the story line.  The potential is there for a really good story that blends Christian faith and struggles with God’s supernatural intervention, but it falls short of being all it could be.   While there were portions that I found to be gripping, for the most part I had to make an effort to read it to completion.

While The Five Times I Met Myself  has the ability to provoke introspection about how we live with those we love, as well as focus on what is most important in life, the writing style made it difficult for me to enjoy reading the book.

–Dianne

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