ONE TRUE LOVES by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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 fiancĂ©, 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.

Strangely compelling and filled with complex emotions. I think that pretty well sums up One True Loves for me. After a bit of a rough start, I found myself oddly unable to put this down. I am filled with a range of emotion after reading this. I felt like Emma: taken in, yet irritated at times; drawn in, yet confused. I guess that’s exactly what a good book should be. I’m not sure.

Okay, let’s get to it. It begins with a family at dinner. Emma, her parents, her sister, and her fiancĂ©. Shortly after this Emma receives a call from her husband, who until now she thought had died in a helicopter crash. As she spirals into an emotional abyss we are transported back to how they met, fell in love, and started a life together. The first 10-15%of the book is where I had some issues. We spend way too much time waxing on about area codes and languishing about trying on jeans, and I may have shelved this one for a bit.

But to my surprise and delight, once I did get going again and was brought back into the “now” of the story I was hooked. How do you choose between two different yet powerful loves? The dichotomy and anguish of Emma’s position is heartbreaking and overwhelming. I teared up many times while reading. Both Jesse and Sam are good men who love her dearly. Neither deserve to be hurt, but this is their situation and they all must figure out what’s for the best.

After all was said and done, I do wish more time was taken in the events of the plot. I think a long weekend isn’t anywhere near enough time to understand, realize, and comprehend the many years that have passed and the personal changes that have become reality. But that’s just me wanting more I guess.

Any who… a bumpy start with an emotionally charged ending. Totally recommend for a beach read!

Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author and essayist from Acton, Massachusetts. She is the author ofForever, Interrupted, After I Do and Maybe In Another Life. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alex, and her dog, Rabbit. You can follow her on Twitter @TJenkinsReid.

Instagram: @tjenkinsreid


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