Published by Simon & Schuster on June 7, 2016
Genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Drama, Romance, Women's Fiction
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In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.
On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever. Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.
That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.
Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly? Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.
“I am finishing up dinner with my family and my fiancé when my husband calls.”
By far my favorite book by this author. The most uplifting and heartbreaking all at once. I felt as confused as Emma Blair throughout the entire story. Emma finds herself in an unimaginable scenario, engaged for the second time when her husband returns from the dead. It’s that simple. And yet it’s not, it never is. Taylor Jenkins Reid takes us on a journey of finding true love, losing it, losing oneself, finding yourself, only to find love again, and then have the rug pulled out when true love number one reappears. It’s about love, loss, grief, hope, wisdom, all the things that make us who we are today. Every journey is unique, special and entirely our own.
Emma is faced with the complexity of loving two men. Two men who come in and out of her life at different stages. I was floored by the depth of this story. The author starts in the present but quickly works her way back to the beginning. I really came away from the story feeling as if I knew Emma, Sam, and Jesse. I was genuinely happy for all of them. As gut wrenching as it all was…the many many tears I shed…totally worth it. The maturity of the characters, the voice of the story made it hard to put down. I found myself compelled to pick a side, worried I had chosen wrong. But the author takes the reins beautifully crafting a story that seriously examines every angle, every emotion. Giving every voice a chance to be heard. Allowing the reader to also come to terms with the choices as well as the outcomes.
I think that perhaps everyone has a moment that splits their life in two. When you look back on your own timeline, there’s a sharp spike somewhere along the way, some event that changed you, changed your life, more than the others. A moment that creates a “before” and an “after.”
If you’ve ever experienced a profound loss, you will most certainly identify with this story in ways that only we can. I can’t imagine not falling in love with the story, the writing, the characters. I actually came away feeling like a better person for having read it.
*A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*