NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – This week’s summer Beach Reads is the latest from international best-seller Douglas Kennedy.

“Five Days” explores how our lives can change in an instant and how our happiness is our own responsibility.

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Kennedy told WCBS 880’s Pat Farnack that the plot came to him when he noticed a woman worriedly twisting her wedding ring while waiting at an airport gate.

DK: In “Five Days,” it’s a brief encounter story. Laura goes to Boston for a radiology conference, she works as a radiography technician, she looks at other people’s cancers all day. In her own life, the cancer is metastasizing that of a kind of very quiet, private despair. But while in Boston, she meets a rather unassuming man in his mid-50s named Richard. He sells insurance and something sparks.

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“And it’s about two people who really thwarted themselves for much of their lives and are in marriages that have flat-lined and suddenly here’s an opportunity. It’s very much about falling in love in midlife. The catalyst here is actually: Can you change and how difficult that is. I mean, that’s the whole thing. Change is loaded and change is a gamble. And only you know yourself whether you can risk it or not. That also is one of the interesting things about “Five Days” is even though on one level it’s a love story, it’s also quite suspenseful – what’s going to happen here? And actually can people grasp the idea that there is a life outside that which they’ve created if they can only see it.

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