In this dazzling new novel, Emily Giffin, the #1 New York Timesbestselling 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.
I've been a fan of Emily Giffin's ever since I read Something Borrowed - which I know is a controversial novel - so I was very excited to read her most recent novel, since I must say that I haven't read that many books from her. I might not be part of the targeted audience for this particular novel (and I wasn't either for Something Borrowed, especially since I read it when I was about 14), but it still interested me, so when I finally got my hands on it, I couldn't resist picking it up. I wasn't disappointed, even though it's much different from what I was expecting.
I liked how the book starts with the tragedy that strikes the family, the older brother's death. Even though the rest of the story takes place fifteen years later, this particular event is truly what started this story, so I feel like it's important for the readers to know about it from the very beginning. Since I'm about the girls' age at the moment of the tragedy right now, I could imagine what it would be like to lose a sibling so suddenly and it made it easier for me to relate to them. I loved how different Josie and Meredith's reactions to grief are, because it reminds me a little bit of how different my sister and I are and that made the story even more realistic to me. Also, as someone who hasn't lost that many people yet (touch wood), it's always a bit difficult for me to imagine losing a close one, so even though it's a bit painful to read about, grief is something that has always interested me.
The main characters are incredibly well developped and they keep becoming more and more interesting. I'm not sure which one of the sisters is my favourite, because I really like the both of them, even though they can be exasperating sometimes. Seeing their relationship evolve is really interesting because at first they keep arguing and it's kind of a love/hate relationship, but as the story progresses, it becomes more about love than anything else. It was really touching to see and it felt even better than a regular rom-com.
As for the actual relationships, I think they're quite realistic, but since I have absolutely no experience in this field, I could be completely wrong. I liked seeing the start of a relationship as well as the struggles of another one, since the contrast between the both of them is impressive. Meredith's honesty and her desire to find what's best for her is inspiring, because most people don't have that much courage.
Overall, I found this story to be a very pleasant read. It's not necessarily an easy book, but I had a nice time reading it. I'd recommend it!