Express Yourself

About anything and everything on the planet

July 6, 2009

Love the One You’re With by Emily Giffin – Book Review

Have you ever thought back to your first love with regret? Regret for things you left unsaid, for things you did or didn’t do? In your deepest, most private thoughts, do you ever wonder how the one you first gave your heart to is doing today? Or how different your life would be if you were still with him?

If so, Love the One You’re With is the book for you.

Chances are, if you’re longer with your first love, your mind takes a trip down memory lane every now and then and wonders….What if?

Emily Giffin does all that and more through her main character, Ellen Graham.

Ellen is a happily married, thirty-three year old photographer who by chance runs into her long ago love, Leo, at a New York City crosswalk.

Shocked by this ghost from her past, she ducks inside a nearby diner to collect her thoughts and is surprised when he calls her cell phone minutes later.

Against her better judgment, Ellen agrees to let him come see her at the diner but isn’t prepared to deal with the emotions she thought were buried years ago.

What starts out as innocent slowly becomes a runaway train for Ellen, as she chooses not to tell her husband, Andy, of her fateful encounter.

Now, I’m not usually fond of reading books written in the first person narrative, but Emily Giffin is a master at letting you inside Ellen’s head without feeling like a voyeur. Instead, through witty dialogue and real life dilemmas, she makes you feel as though you are Ellen’s very best friend and confidant.

What I loved most about this book is that it’s so relatable. It delves into that all too common area of relationships; temptation, and dissects the human emotions that come with it. She somehow manages to do this without villainizing OR redeeming Ellen.

There were moments I wanted to shake some sense into Ellen but at the same time was absolutely fascinated with her journey of self-discovery, watching her life spin so methodically out of control.

A loyal best friend, caustic sister, doting husband, and a determined ex-boyfriend round out this story beautifully as Ellen maneuvers her way though this marital landmine.

The dialogue among Emily Giffin’s characters is so vivid, and often hilarious, at times I felt like I was in the same room with them. She expresses those inner thoughts we’ve all had during a serious relationship, often while fighting or arguing:

“To add insult to injury, Andy falls right to sleep that night – which is about the most galling thing you can do after a fight, or in our case, a standoff. No tossing or turning or stewing beside me in the dark. Of course this has the infuriating effect of keeping me wide awake, replaying the evening, then the past few weeks, and the few months before that. After all, there is nothing like a little argument-induced insomnia to shift you into a state of hyper-analysis and fury”.

Emily Giffin is one of those rare authors who literally had me chasing down her other books after reading Love the One You’re With, in hopes that they are even half as good.

I originally bought this book to read over my week-long camping trip with my own husband, but mistakenly read the first page two days before we left…I devoured the book within 8 hour and had nothing to read while camping!

A literary, must read, chick flick!

Similar Posts:

Incoming search terms for the article:

Post a Comment