Friday, June 3, 2016

REVIEW: One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid


I probably shouldn't admit this because it does nothing for my street cred but I didn't even need to know what this book was about to know I'd read it. I'd read Maybe in Another Life and knew that I liked the questions Taylor Jenkins Reid asks us to consider and I knew I wanted to explore whatever questions she put before us in One True Loves. 

Another thing I probably shouldn't admit? I read the synopsis and saw the title but I didn't actually *absorb* what it was all saying. It was more a cursory look and a swift head nod--a 'yep' I'm going to read this and I bet I'll like it-type thing. So when I read the first line "I am finishing up my dinner with my family and my fiance when my  husband calls." I immediately stopped, rubbed my eyes (as I started this late one evening), reread the line, flipped to the synopsis, looked at the title, and said to myself  "oh shit". What have I gotten myself into?! 

Let me tell you what I found myself into: the story of Emma Blair and how she came to have two true loves. We read about how she and Jesse found love in her teens and twenties and how she and Sam found love in her thirties and how simple and complicated it all is/was. I felt like I was on an emotional roller coaster where within minutes or seconds I could be higher than high only to find myself plunged into a low and then finding myself climbing out of the low into higher ground again. At one point I was so desperate for Emma to have both Jesse and Sam that I humored the thought of her having brother-husbands (or whatever the equivalent of sister-wives is) and then I laughed at my late night delirium and went back to reading.  

Surprisingly, for as much ground as Reid covers in Emma Blair's life, it isn't bogged down in minute details; instead she gives us these moments that showcase who she is with and without Jesse and Sam. I felt drawn to Emma, not because I knew her every thought, necessarily, but because I identified with her honesty and recognized in her bits of me--youthful rebellion and wistfulness and then a growing understanding of how changing my mind about things wasn't always a bad thing (and all the wavering that comes with growing up and changing). I felt invested in her love of both Jesse and Sam because of who she was and how surprising, and yet right, these loves felt to her (and me--because it's all about me, right?).

By the time I finished reading, early the next morning, I found myself completely satisfied with how it all turned out and yet not wanting to let it all go. I found myself pondering the situation--the questions--that Reid offered and trying to make sense of it for myself. Is there such a thing as one true love? Am I an absolutist when it comes to those kinds of things? Aren't there different kinds of love and is one any less or any more than the other? How do we decide what love is and when do we let love go and when do we hold onto it with an everything we have? How do we change love and how does love change us? And, what in the hell would I do if I had to live Emma's life? So many questions, so many interesting things to think about--all of which just confirms that reading One True Loves and pretty much anything by Taylor Jenkins Reid is going to give me just the type of thoughtful entertainment that I crave.

Interested in knowing more? Read the synopsis below or buy it here.

From the author of Maybe in Another Life—named a PeopleMagazine pick and a "Best Book of the Summer" by Glamour andUSA Today—comes a breathtaking new love story about a woman unexpectedly forced to choose between the husband she has long thought dead and the fiancĂ© who has finally brought her back to life.

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 fiancĂ©, 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.


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