Published by Random House on June 28th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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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.
I have been a fangirl of Emily Giffin from the days of Something Borrowed in 2004. I devoured that book and not so patiently waited for her next book to come out. To this day, she is one author on my short list that I will auto-buy. I wasn’t really into the storyline of her last book, however, I love her writing. When I saw that her next book was on Netgalley and available for request, you better believe I snatched it up.
This book is essentially about 2 sisters and the strain that a tragedy can put on a family. Josie is a 38-year-old, single first-grade teacher and is having a bit of a mid-life crisis over having her only serious ex-boyfriend’s daughter in her class. She still mildly stalks him online (and 1 drive by his house) because she has a hard time letting go. She cannot discuss the tragedy that fell over their family. Her sister, Meredith, is married with a 4-year-old daughter. She is a lawyer and her husband, Nolan, works with his family business. She is also having a bit of a mid-life crisis in that she is questioning all of her life choices up to this point, except her daughter. There is also so much tension between her and Josie that a simple conversation cannot take place without a fight erupting.
This book is really about the characters self-reflecting, looking at their life choices, changing direction, and fixing their relationships for the better. And these occur on different timelines.
I was really frustrated with Meredith’s character but I also sympathized with her as well. I have often felt the same way she has felt before in my marriage. However, the way she treated her sister was just…off the charts horrible. The barbs she threw cut me and they were thrown towards her sister. Towards the end of the story, I felt that Meredith wasn’t going to change direction or find herself at fault for her behavior at all. She was always blaming everyone else for problems occurring around her. I’m glad that she found a piece of happiness by the end, but I am disappointed that I couldn’t READ her thought processes in regards to Josie. I did agree with Meredith that Josie’s character was self-centered. That was a tad frustrating. However, I am happy with the way her character ended up.
Overall, I rate this book around a 4-4.25 stars. This book was really good and I stayed up until around 2 am to finish it. It was far and away better than her last book, in my opinion. But that was my personal preference on story-lines, but not a commentary on her writing. This book reads very much like early Emily Giffin and that is a very great thing. I would completely recommend this one!