Six Years Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Six Years

Jake Fisher moves heaven and earth to find out what happens to his one true love. The story starts with Jake's love Natalie marrying another man named Todd Sanderson. Right at the end of the wedding ceremony Natalie finds Jake and makes him promise that he will leave them alone forever. For six years Jake was able to keep his promise until by chance he saw the obituary for Natalie's husband on his laptop while talking counseling students at the college he taught at. After a lot of deliberation, Jake decides to attend the funeral and hopefully have a chance to see Natalie again. However, he is in for the shock of his life, the widow who attends the funeral is not Natalie. When he begins to ask questions, everyone denies Natalie's existence, including the priest who married them.
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Two thugs kidnap Jake from his dorm apartment, resulting in the injury of a student. Luckily, Jake is able to escape and pursue his quest for answers. He relies heavily on his secretary because she is able to provide him with confidential files of students who once attended the same college he both attended and teaches at. After his kidnapping, Jake is suspended from the college, because no one believes that he was kidnapped including the police. During the course of the kidnapping he had to kill Otto, one of the bad men. He even tells the police this, but they believe he was drunk and had hallucinations. After being banned from the college he continues to pursue all the leads which consistently take him back to the college and two of his professors.

After speaking with one of his colleagues he figures out that everything has ties to his college. He just isn't able to put the pieces together, so he contacts Natalie's sister. At first, she denies knowing him, but after he physically shows up on her doorstep she acknowledges his existence and the wedding between Todd and Natalie. However, she doesn't know any details and literally believes that Natalie is living happily ever after with Todd overseas. This leads Jake to visit Natalie's mother who lives in a retirement community.

On the first visit Natalie's sister isn't very helpful, but the visit does provide some useful information. Jake is now on the trail of finding out what happened to Natalie's father, who happened to vanish just as she has years before. He finds out that the mystery lies in a charity called Fresh Start, which was created by two of his college professors as well as Todd and Jake's best friend.

After being warned by everyone to leave it alone, Jake almost gives up the fight until he realizes that things just don't add up. His best friend reveals to him that he is a member of Fresh Start and that their charity gives people in desperate situations a second chance with new identities. The only drawback is that to ensure everyone's safety, no one in the charity knows what happens to the people they help. To ensure that the secrets are kept anyone who is a member has Cyanide pills that they take if someone realizes who they are and what they do.

This realization takes Jake to his mentor and college professor who started the charity with Todd Sanderson 20 years before. However, when he goes to the cottage where the mentor is staying he finds him dead from a Cyanide pill. The bad men who were mobsters set a trap and despite Jake's best efforts his life was on the line. That is until Natalie shows up, and shots two of the bad guys giving Jake the chance to make his escape. However, after searching all over for her he wasn't about to lose her again. He plowed down the man who was going to shoot her right before the police arrive.

Natalie and Jake go into witness protection and get married. We also learn that Natalie's father didn't disappear twenty years before as his wife had said, he was murdered by one of his students. The student was a mob boss's son and when Natalie finally learned the truth as an adult she murdered him. That was why she was on the run to begin with.
Best part of story, including ending: I thought the story was a page turner that literally had you turning the page to learn more. The plot was complex and took many twists and turns which kept you interested.

Best scene in story: My favorite scene in the book was when Jake was in his best friends apartment and finds out that he is part of the secret charity. His friend had a gun at his back, and Cyanide pills in his hand. However, they both loved each other like friends do, and neither of them wanted to do anything that would hurt the other. After Jake asked him if he was going to shoot him, they both went to their favorite bar and got drunk.

Opinion about the main character: I like the fact that despite all of the obstacles placed before Jake, he kept fighting for the love of his life. I don't think that this book is really a realistic romance, but it does offer great insights into how our minds work. For instance, Jake insists that he is in love with Natalie and that she really loves him, yet how could she since he truly doesn't know the real her. How often do we think we love someone without really knowing them. It makes you think, and that is what a great book is all about.

The review of this Book prepared by Michaelle Bragassa-Holman a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

Chapter Analysis of Six Years

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 60%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 10%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   30% Special suspect?    -   lover Murder of certain profession?    -   criminals Kind of investigator    -   skilled citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards lover Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes Is Romance a MAJOR (25%+) part of story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   scholar Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American Unusual characteristics:    -   Cynical or arrogant


United States    -   Yes Small town?    -   Yes Misc setting    -   resort/hotel

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Harlan Coben Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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