Review: First Comes Love

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Book Title: First Comes Love
Author: Emily Giffin
Series: None
Genres: Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Chick Lit, Contemporary

Date Read: 04/02/16

Pub Date: 06/28/16


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.

Yes, it may come as a shock but occasionally I DO take a break from my regular scheduled programming of blood, graphic violence, and disturbing content. Sometimes you just need to lighten the mood and feel girly for a hot minute, and this was the perfect read for that. I fell in love with Emily Giffin’s strong characters (read stubborn and real), biting wit, and adult humor when I read Something Blue (even though I didn’t realize I was supposed to read Something Borrowed first-oops) and I immediately went out and read the remainder of her books as fast as I could. My favorite Giffin book is Heart of the Matter; I was super disappointed with her last book, The One & Only. It wasn’t a poorly written book, just completely different than EVERY OTHER BOOK SHE HAS WRITTEN and my poor heart thought I was done with her for good. This one, however, was right back on track with her previous work and I was able to breathe a sigh of relief.

First Comes Love introduces us to sisters Josie and Meredith Garland. These two could not be more different which seems to cause their loving but stormy relationship hang on by a thread. Something traumatic hits their family and causes the girls to go their separate ways. Fast forward 15 years and both women are pushing 40 in the different lives they have chosen. Josie is single and an elementary school teacher who seems to be more concerned with becoming a mother than finding Mr. Right; however, she feels society does not look favorably on that order of life. Meredith is your Type-A perfectionist with the “perfect life”; she has a successful job as a lawyer, a beautiful daughter and a fabulous husband, so why does Meredith secretly wonder if she made the right life for herself?

I loved how the central theme of this novel was a combination of ownership of one’s actions and forgiveness. Giffin’s novels aren’t just about romance; there is usually other forms of love explored in her books and I love all the dynamics that she can bring to the table without the story being confusing or off putting. I would go as far as to say she is the Harlan Coben of the women’s fiction genre as she can take multiple storylines that seem unrelated and weave them together to bring forth a form of perfection that is hard to come by in fiction. A true gem of a read that would be as perfect for the beach as it is in your own home; either way you’ll be transported into another story that will touch your heart.

I received my copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  This did not influence my review in any way, shape, or form.


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