Book Review: Love The One You’re With

28 July 2009 at 3:07 pm (Book Reviews, Life, Love & Relationships, Raves) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Emily Giffin is currently one of my favourite “chick lit” authors. Her name is usually one of the first I look for when perusing the shelves at Chapters.

I’ve read all of her books starting with “Something Borrowed” that spawned two follow up novels. Her writing is relatable, real, honest, and endearingly charming. Her characters are believable and well-developed. When I read a novel I want to KNOW the character I’m reading – and she does that amazingly well.

This  particular novel takes place in New York focusing on our heroine, Ellen Graham née Dempsey. Raised in Pittsburgh, Ellen lost her mother at an early age. She went away to college and befriended her wealthy but friendly roommate, Margot.  In the latter years of her college experience, Ellen met Leo, in of all places, while doing jury duty. Thus began a great courtship both filled with passion and intensity. However, without a strong understanding of why, Leo and Ellen’s romance and relationship falters and altogether dies out shortly after one New Year’s Eve.

In the presence of Ellen’s brokenheart she takes up a new hobby that ends up turning into a thriving career – photography. In the course of mending her heart she ends up dating Andy, her best friend Margot’s brother. Their courtship is romantic, based on a strong friendship and eventually they marry. All seems to be well until a fateful rainy day where Ellen runs into Leo in the middle of an intersection. Thus begins a tumultuous game of “what if” and “could be“.

The book pretty much deals with the question of: how can one woman love the one she is with when she is constantly thinking about the one that got away?

On a personal level I could relate to the concept of this story and while it’s “only a book” there was a VERY important lesson I took from it; the past is the past for a reason. It may not make sense. It may not be logical. It may not be easy to deal with or get over but, the past is indeed THE PAST.

I also took from this story, the quote I posted yesterday – directly below this blog entry.

Without giving away too much of the book (and definitely the ending), I think the question this story raises is a good one and any woman that has been haunted by the “what ifs” of her past will relate. Readers will follow Ellen’s journey into dangerous territory as she comes face to face with some tough, real-life decisions.

Emily Giffin‘s novels are easy and quick reads. There are good and bad things to this because you wish the book won’t end but you are so engrossed with the stories and characters that you fly through it.

I highly recommend this book. It’s light, enjoyable reading as well as smart and witty. A page turner that you wont want to put down; I believe I read it in 3 days. PICK IT UP – lol.


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