Wednesday, September 07, 2016

#30 Authors: Laura McNeill recommends One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid


I'm so excited to be participating again in this year's #30Authors event. I have the lovely Laura McNeill here to discuss Taylor Jenkins Reid novel, One True Loves, a book I have sitting on my shelf just waiting to be read!  I'm so glad Laura is reviewing this book here today!  But first, here's a little bit about the #30Authors event itself: 


#30Authors is an event started by The Book Wheel that connects readers, bloggers, and authors. In it, 30 authors review their favorite recent reads on 30 blogs in 30 days. It takes place annually during the month of September and has been met with incredible support from and success in the literary community. It has also been turned into an anthology, which is currently available on Amazon and all author proceeds go to charity. Previous #30Authors contributors include Celeste Ng, Cynthia Bond, Brian Panowich, and M.O. Walsh. To see this year’s full line-up, visit www.thebookwheelblog.com/30authors or follow along on Twitter @30Authors.



Laura McNeill's review of One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid


I picked up this novel on the recommendation of my very good friend, an avid reader, who rarely steers me wrong. The title intrigued me. The blue cover is soft and inviting, like a blanket you’d want to snuggle up with on a cold winter’s night.

The moment I opened the box from the bookstore, I skimmed the first few pages. The characters seemed like people I’d like to hang out with—Aimee Blair, travel writer turned bookstore owner, Sam the music teacher, Aimee’s sister and nieces, as well as the supportive and loving couple who make up Aimee’s parents.

When I finally settled in to read the novel in earnest, it was a few weeks later, on vacation at my parents’ lake house. With the sun on my back and the water lapping the dock, I opened the paperback and began to read. The beginning of the novel was sweet and soft, like the first forkful of a delectable layer cake. I caught a glimpse of her life—her new fiancĂ©, the joy of finding happiness again after a devastating loss, and Aimee’s family, surrounding her, counting their blessings.

Then, a phone call from a very-alive Jesse, Aimee’s presumed-dead husband, flips Aimee’s world sideways. At hearing Jesse’s voice, and especially after seeing him, Aimee’s heart splits in two. One half aches for the man she was married to years ago; the other half clings to the new life she’s built with Sam, complete with music, laughter, and two cats. All of the memories and feelings Aimee had tried so hard to bury come flooding back with the force of tsunami.

Aimee, a tender, though not perfect, soul, is faced with a most difficult life choice: Stay with the man she’d promised to marry or rekindle her relationship with her husband, who survived a devastating helicopter crash in the wild.

The author does a lovely job of illustrating Aimee’s alternating joys and sorrow, revealing why she first fell in love with Jesse, the deep mourning she endured when she finally accepted his loss, and the guilt, then freedom, she embraced after finally admitting to herself that she was able to find true love again. Bite by bite, like enjoying a delectable slice of cake, I relished every chapter, reveling in the subtle nuances of the story, the flavor and spice of Aimee’s personality, the smooth filling between cake layers representing the division of past and present.

As the end of the book neared, I found myself wanting to turn the pages faster, to swallow up the remainder of the book, sweeping up every crumb just to get to the very end. Would Aimee end up with Jesse? Would she choose Sam? Would she lose both men? But in the last few chapters, I slowed my pace, savoring the paragraphs, smiling through a few tears as the author wrapped up the novel with a satisfying, though not confection store-perfect, ending.

After finishing the book, my recommendation is this. The next time you have a lazy afternoon, pick up a copy of One True Loves, brew yourself a cup of coffee, cut yourself a slice of cake or other sweet confection, and settle into your favorite reading nook. Prepare to be transported, just for a few hours, into Aimee Blair’s world. You won’t be disappointed.




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About Laura McNeill
After six years behind the anchor desk at two CBS affiliates, Laura moved to the Alabama Gulf Coast to raise her family. Her accolades in broadcasting include awards from the Associated Press, including Best News Anchor and Best Specialized Reporter.

Laura’s writing awards include those from William Faulkner-Wisdom Writing Competition, Writer’s Digest, RWA, and the Eric Hoffer award. Center of Gravity was published in July 2015. Sister Dear was released on April 19, 2016 by HarperCollins. She is currently working on her PhD and resides in Birmingham, Alabama.

Author Links:
Website |  Twitter |  Facebook  



Laura's Books:

 
Purchase links:


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About Taylor Jenkins Reid
Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author, essayist, and TV writer originally from Acton, MA. She is the author of Maybe in Another Life, After I Do, and Forever, Interrupted. She now lives in Los Angeles. 


Author Links:
Website |  Twitter |  Facebook 


Purchase Links for ONE TRUE LOVES:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

3 comments:

  1. I love TJR's novels. This was an enjoyable one!

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  2. Not only do I want to read this book (Reid is new to me), I feel like I can see Laura flipping through the pages while she sits on the dock and the whole experience sounds perfect. Thank you so much for joining in and I hope you're back next year!

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  3. Sounds like quite the emotional read.

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