Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Review: To Have and To Hold by Jane Green

To Have and To Hold by Jane Green
March 2005
Format: Paperback, 352 pages
Source: Personal copy

Alice knows she should be happy. A charming twenty-eight-year-old with a successful catering business, she’s always dreamed of a rose-covered cottage in the English countryside, filled with children and animals and home-cooked meals. Her favorite attire is comfy jeans, her best manicure features garden dirt under the nails. But when her teenage crush—the wealthy, dashing man-about-town Joe Chambers—wants to make her his bride, Alice is more than willing to play Cinderella to Joe’s prince. Never mind that he wants her to change—a diet, ice-blond highlights, stilettos, snooty gallery openings—and that he’s allergic to nature and kids. She tells herself she’s happy to sacrifice for love, and besides, with Joe’s stunning good looks and high-profile career at a top financial firm, every woman in London wants to be in her shoes.

But that’s just the problem. And despite Alice’s efforts to be the perfect wife, Joe soon reveals a penchant for being hopelessly unfaithful. When a notorious indiscretion with a female colleague forces Joe to transfer to New York, Alice’s life turns upside down
—and she must decide how much Cinderella she can take, and whether she's ready to find real happiness on her own. before her deepest desires win out—and if she can summon up the courage to find real happiness on her own.

Delicious, witty, and packed with sparkling sex appeal, this latest tale from the beloved Jane Green proves that the search for true love doesn’t always end when someone dons a veil, and offers a lively, refreshing look at romantic relationships after we say "I do."

My thoughts: I really enjoy reading Jane Green's books. She is able to tell a tale with characters that just seem to pull you  in. From the first book that I read by her - Jemima J - I just knew she would be an author I would continue to read and follow.

While I liked To Have and To Hold, it was definitely a frustrating reading experience in that the actions of the characters drove me crazy! Alice ends up marrying her high-school crush, and ultimately giving up all that is important to her. I can't believe how long she put up with Joe. And don't even get me started on Joe - how could he live with himself? At least man up and admit that marriage is not for you!

I had such mixed emotions about Alice throughout the book. I felt sorry for her at times and then I was mad at her for being so naive. It was so evident that she wasn't happy with her life after marrying Joe - and that's not even counting the fact that he was cheating on her. It wasn't until they bought that little house in Connecticut that she came back into her own.

This book definitely looks at relationships at a deeper level than some of her other books and that's a refreshing change every once in a while. It's not all about getting that happily-ever-after as much as it is about growing into the person you want to be and then finding happiness that enhances your life.

How do you feel about the not-so-tidy happily-ever-after books out there?



  1. This sounds like another wonderful read from an author I enjoy (Jemima J was my first read of hers, too!). But I'm sure I would also be frustrated with Alice...and Joe, let's not get started on him, as you say.

    Thanks for the stunning review.

    1. I think I need to go back and reread Jemima J - I read it so long ago.


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