Saturday, 18 June 2016

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid


From the author of Maybe in Another Life—named a People Magazine pick and a "Best Book of the Summer" by Glamour and USA Today—comes a breathtaking new 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.

Find on Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon US:
Amazon PB:
Amazon UK:
Amazon CA:
Amazon AU:

Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: June 2016.

Taylor Jenkins Reid is often lauded for writing pieces that make the reader approach a subject from another angle, One True Loves is certainly no different. The concept at face value seems common enough, in book world I know I've read plenty of stories where a widow/widower is given a second chance at love and happiness after grieving the passing of their spouse, in fact books that deal with grief sensitively and with honor are often the ones I remember clearly long after I turn the last page, but Jenkins Reid uses this well versed plotline and flips it on it's head.

Emma first see's Jesse in high school, after pining away for him for the requisite time as is expected in teenage girl years she accepts that she may never be the object of his affection. One night everything changes, after years of doing exactly what is expected by everyone around them, Emma and Jesse find their soul mate in the other, the person who makes them reassess their lives, makes them dream for something bigger than the world they currently inhabit, corny yes, but they complete each other in a way they never dreamt possible. After school they blow the pop stand that is small town life and set out on an adventure of sightseeing a world they never dreamt existed, they grew up together in all the ways that were important, they created a life together, planned a future together, stood in front of one another and declared their undying love for each other, they swore they would forsake all others, that their bond was in sickness and in health, until death do us part. I've stood there on that alter, I've declared my love for someone, I know inherently the weight those vows hold. It's the beginning of your happily ever after, well it's supposed to be , tragically on the eve of Emma and Jesse's first wedding anniversary, whilst on a work trip, Jesse's flight goes down and he's gone, just like that, in the blink of an eye, Emma's world stops... it just STOPS... their plans for wedding anniversary celebrations - cancelled, their plans for travel and the future - gone, children and family and all the memories you imagine you will have, the years of joy and happiness you expect in your future...POOF...gone. It's a bitter pill to swallow, from having everything in the palm of your hand, to an emptiness so strong that you feel you may never be whole.

One True Loves stole my breath from the very first page, you see the story bared too many similarities to a couple I met while on my honeymoon, allow me a moment to digress, my husband and I married on 20th February 2011, while honeymooning in Fiji, we met a couple, also newlyweds, as we chatted over cocktails in the pool bar we discovered that we shared mutual friends, that M&M as I'll refer to them, actually got married the day before us, in a church not 30 minutes away, friends who attended our wedding, also attended theirs the night before, we laughed about what a small world it was, we shared our stories with each other, I learnt that M&M were high school sweethearts, their wedding was truly the beginning of their happily ever after, they radiated love for one another, they doted on one another, their love was tangible, and yet not in that nauseating sweetie, baby, hunny kind of way. We spend half of our honeymoon together, went out for meals, relaxed in a tropical oasis and just enjoyed getting to know each other, we made plans to catch up back home, we saw each other briefly over the coming year, but never had that dinner like we planned.  Unexpectedly in February 2012 M passed away, a week shy of their first anniversary, we were heartbroken for them, unable to reconcile what had taken place, unable to comprehend what M must be feeling, the pain the anguish, the devastation, we stood at his funeral and we wept with her, we wept for him, we wept for not only the loss of life, but for loss of dreams, we grieved the loss of the future they had planned. Earlier this year M walked down the aisle for the second time and married the second love of her life, for someone who once believed in one true love, life taught her that there's room in her heart for more than just one soul mate. Their story was one that floated through my mind while reading One True Loves, because while M like Emma has met two men that she loves unconditionally, and experienced that not all love is meant to last forever, for Emma she has the chance with her first love again. Years after Jesse is declared deceased, when Emma has grieved the loss of her first husband, when she moved on and forged a new life for herself, when she found love again, and once again found herself engaged to be married to Sam, she receives a phone call that will cause her world to stop once again, only this time Jesse isn't gone, this tine he's back, her husband is alive, and he's coming home for her. We're only supposed to have one true love right, that's the way fairy tales go... but when your past and your present collide, who will hold your future?

"I am who I am because I loved you once."

I want to tell you about every moment that made my heart soar, from those delicious first moments of young love with Emma and Jesse embarked on what would become a love of a life time, I want to tell you all the ways that this book broke my heart, in those moments where grief and pain bubbled to the surface, when we felt every emotion Emma felt as she tried to navigate life in the early days after Jesse's passing, I want to tell you about the real, raw anguish as Sam felt as he had to let Emma go to decide who she wanted as her future, the sense of unjustness that Jesse felt as he struggled to reconcile where the missing years had gone and the impact his disappearance had on Emma's life as well. I want to tell you how I was so enamoured by this story that I read it cover to cover twice because I wasn't ready to say goodbye, because I wanted to revel in Jenkins Reid's words just a little longer, how I felt that Emma and Jesse and Sam deserved more than me just putting down their story and moving on with my life, that I felt someone had to celebrate this incredible journey. I want to tell you how I kept my husband updated throughout the story because despite being an ardent non reader, he could tell by my reaction to this book that it was something special. I want to tell you my favourite quotes and how they are scored on my heart, but I also want you to read this book without knowing any more than is mentioned in the blurb. Over a year ago, a trusted friend described TJR as an author of life lessons, an author who pushes you to think outside the square, who begs you to leave your preconceived notions of right and wrong at the door and trust her to take you on a journey, and after losing myself in this story I unequivocally agree. One True Loves is without a doubt a PLATINUM read for me. Raw, unapologetic and poignant, a must read for ANY book lover.

About Taylor Jenkins Reid:

Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author and essayist from Acton, Massachusetts. Her first novel, Forever, Interrupted, was named one of the "11 Debuts We Love" by Kirkus Reviews. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alex, and their dog, Rabbit. You can follow her on Twitter @tjenkinsreid.
Connect with Taylor on Facebook

1 comment: