The Five-Year Engagement
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One year after Tom Solomon met Violet Barnes, he surprises her with a ring. Tom's plan is simple: As they head out to a New Year's Eve party, he fakes a reason to drop by work. The staff patio at the ber-trendy Birch, with its view of San Francisco's Bay Bridge, is the perfect place to pop the question. Tom is nervous as hell, but the candles are lit, the champagne is chilled and his best friend, Alex is in on the secret. But they are late for the party, so Violet fights him on the pit stop. Frustrated, he blurts out his agenda, and suddenly, they are engaged!

By all accounts, Tom and Violet are destined for their happily ever after. As a sous chef at Birch, Tom is at the apex of modernist cooking and ripe for a promotion. Academia is Violet's life, and she's this close to a post-doctoral assignment in social psychology at UC Berkeley. There is nothing she can't handle with ease, and she'll spearhead wedding logistics. They'll be married in no time at all.

Scoring the perfect wedding venue is a headache, but much more painful is Violet's rejection by her dream school. When the University of Michigan beckons, she's conflicted. But Tom swallows his pride and tells her to go for it. He can cook in Michigan for two years; they'll just have to postpone the wedding for a bit.

In Ann Arbor, Violet thrives under the tutelage of brilliant faculty advisor Winton and makes quick friends with her fellow grad students Doug, Vaneetha and Ming. Left with too much time on his hands, Tom settles into Michigan life and gets a job at Zingerman's Deli, a local institution but a far cry from the fine dining he is used to. He bonds with his co-worker Tarquin and takes up hunting at the behest of the other faculty spouse, Bill. Back in San Francisco, Alex gets the restaurant promotion that should have been Tom's and marries Violet's quirky sister, Suzie. They quickly have two kids while Tom and Violet still don't have a wedding date. Life seems to be working out so easily for everyone else. Two people who once dreamed of the perfect day just want to get it over with. But even that seems beyond them, as comical problems torpedo every save the date. Maybe its not meant to be. Maybe they're not meant to be. Now, through the humorous trials of discovering who they will become as a couple, Tom and Violet will learn if they have what it takes to survive their five-year engagement.


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