Title: First Comes Love
Author: Emily Giffin
Published: June 2016, Ballantine Books
Format: ARC Paperback, 400 pages
In this dazzling new novel, Emily Giffin, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Something Borrowed, Where We Belong, and The One & Only introduces a pair of sisters who find themselves at a crossroads.
Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing; Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes their family, their different responses to the event splinter their delicate bond.
Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths. Josie, a first grade teacher, is single—and this close to swearing off dating for good. What she wants more than the right guy, however, is to become a mother—a feeling that is heightened when her ex-boyfriend’s daughter ends up in her class. Determined to have the future she’s always wanted, Josie decides to take matters into her own hands.
On the outside, Meredith is the model daughter with the perfect life. A successful attorney, she’s married to a wonderful man, and together they’re raising a beautiful four-year-old daughter. Yet lately, Meredith feels dissatisfied and restless, secretly wondering if she chose the life that was expected of her rather than the one she truly desired.
As the anniversary of their tragedy looms and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them, but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover they need each other more than they knew . . . and that in the recipe for true happiness, love always comes first.
Emotionally honest and utterly enthralling, First Comes Love is a story about family, friendship, and the courage to follow your own heart—wherever that may lead.
My thoughts: It's been a while since I've read anything by Emily Giffin, so I was quite pleased to get my hands on her latest book and thrilled to see that it was one of BookSparks #SummerReadingChallenge selections this summer! I loved her Darcy and Rachel books from years ago and even though this is a stand-alone, I was quite eager to dive right in!
Right from the opening pages, I found myself completely hooked and captivated with this story. It's equal parts emotional and humorous and I found that to make it that much more endearing. The characters are all so richly drawn and whether you end up loving them or not, siding with them or wanting to throttle them for their at times selfish choices, they come alive on the pages and you just want them to find peace - whatever that peace might look like for them.
Having two sisters, I felt that at times, I could completely empathize with each of the sisters for how they were feeling towards the other sister - the relationship dynamic that Emily Giffin writes is so spot on. This wasn't always an easy read - it takes a hard look at family dynamics and how tragedy affects everyone in a different way, but it's a good read, and it's heartwarming and honest.
I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait to see what Emily Giffin writes next. In the meantime, I think I need to go back and see what books of hers I missed. What's your favorite Emily Giffin book? I think this one might be mine!
First Comes Love by Emily Giffin is one of BookSparks "Summer Reads" reading selection picks.
Follow the #SRC2016, #BestSRCEver and #BestSummerEver hashtags on twitter to read reviews on this book as well as reviews on the other summer books!