Published by Washington Square Press on June 7th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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.
Reading One True Loves felt a lot like falling in love. For me, it started out as a hesitant attraction to the story and quickly evolved into a passionate affair. I was fully invested and wanted the wonderful feeling to last. As things evolved, however, and complications arose, I braced myself for heartache. I was no longer certain what a fairy tale ending looked like. I just knew the love story would end, and someone would wind up getting hurt.
I love the writing style of Taylor Jenkins Reid. It seems effortless and fluid, but she has a tight reign on every minute detail of this poignant book. The story is told entirely from Emma’s point of view, and I really didn’t feel the need to read the other characters’ perspectives. Emma knows Jesse and Sam so well that she effectively conveys the emotions behind their every look, word, breath, and action. The narrative is expressive and thoughtful as Emma works through her conflicting emotions and guilt about letting go and holding on.
I wonder if grief isn’t something like a shell.
You wear it for a long time and then one day you realize you’ve outgrown it.
So you put it down.
The story spans from the moment Emma and Jesse meet in high school to the present, where a 31 year-old Emma is engaged to Sam. The two men are very different, yet both nurture Emma with open hearts and all-consuming, unconditional love. Jesse is fun loving, a bit of a rebel, and gives Emma the strength and encouragement to chase her dreams. Sam is calm and sensitive, and offers her acceptance and an opportunity to find herself again.
Both men are wonderful in their own way, and while I had an opinion about who she should choose, I appreciated how her heart might be torn in two. Does loving one man diminish the love of the other? Which is more of a betrayal: moving on or turning back? The impossible situation is handled with maturity and honesty, even though it’s agonizing for everyone involved.
One True Loves is engrossing, emotional, and angst filled—an astonishingly beautiful story about loving wildly with abandon while being true to oneself.
**ARC received in exchange for an honest review.**
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