I panicked when I had this book on hold for weeks at the library, as the book club date drew nearer, and I still didn’t have the book in my hands. Luckily this book is addicting and I finished it in three days (well, three late nights)… with plenty of time to spare to write up a review for book club. In case you missed the title… or the fact that I’ve said “book club” 27 times in three sentences, this is the September edition of A Slice of Brie Book Club, and we read, “One True Loves” by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
In case you haven’t heard of “One True Loves” before, here is a quick summary of what it is about from GoodReads.
“A breathtaking love story about a woman unexpectedly forced to choose between the husband she has long thought dead and the fiancé 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 fiancé, 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.”
This book is a really quick read, and a great romantic summer weekend novel. I loved how invested I got in the book, and I kept asking myself what I would do in Emma’s situation. Based on some of my other book club reviews, it’s clear I’m a pretty emotional reader, so yeah, I cried reading this book. I don’t really remember which part, I think it was when Emma was writing her letter to Jesse asking permission to go on a date with Sam. I loved how opposite both men were, Jesse the wild and ‘never say no’ guy who was always traveling and exploring and had no desire to settle down, and Sam, who was happy doing things he loved in a comfortable place. It wasn’t crazy to me that Emma could love both men, because they brought out different sides of her and different parts of her life.
I really enjoyed reading about the relationship between Emma and her sister too. I don’t have a sister but it was neat to read how envious they were of each other at different points in time. Emma always lagging behind her in high school and trying to copy the things she does, and then trying to get as far away from her as possible with Jesse in LA, then coming back home and trying to settle into that life just as her sister did. It was fun to read.
As far as how the book ended, I definitely was happy with the choice Emma made. I could see it coming when she talked about how Jesse never wanted to settle down and was always onto the next trip or next adventure. Emma was swept up in it at first but it was clear she wanted to settle down just a bit, talk about having kids, and maybe move away from their busy life a tad. At this point when she met Sam and she talked a lot more about the future with him, it was clear Sam would be the one to win out. I couldn’t imagine being in his position though, just waiting for her to decide between her husband and her fiance. I’m glad Emma chose him.
The one critique I have of this book is that it wasn’t long enough. I don’t mean that in a gushy way, I just mean I think both relationships, the one with Jesse, and the one with Sam, deserved more space in the book to develop. The book was about 350 pages and it could easily have been over 450. A lot of the emotions were over too fast and there was a lot to cover in such a short space. It was hard to invest completely in both men because they weren’t given a ton of room in the book. It’s hard to capture two distinct love stories in 350 pages so I definitely could have used more!
Did you read this book? What did you think?
Who were you hoping Emma would chose?