If you’ve read my post in the last few weeks, you know that this summer is busy. LOTS of driving, without going very far (Read about that here ).
And in the next couple days, this continues. One last (two-day) swim meet, a couple more days of camp. Then the real driving begins.
My girls and I are driving to Colorado. Husband is staying home for most of the trip, flying out for the last few days to join us. So, I will be putting some distance in my miles. YEAH!!!!
In Colorado we’ll be celebrating my aunt and uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary and visiting with family. Hopefully I’ll get to see some old friends (I grew up in Colorado) and some favorite sites.
I’ll be sharing pictures (hopefully of beautiful sites and my happy family), but I won’t writing a lot of family posts. BUT I have been stockpiling books and reviews, so I will be sharing these for the next couple of weeks. That means there may not be a lot of the Momma, but there will be a lot of the Constantly Reading!
Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get onto my review of the lovely Emily Giffin’s First Comes Love.
Sometimes, like tonight, I find myself wondering which is more egregious, to pretend to be happy when you’re not, or to feel so consistently dissatisfied when you should be happy.
Madeline, First Comes Love by Emily Giffin
Josie and Meredith grew up in a healthy, happy, loving home. Josie was the outgoing sister bursting with personality, while Meredith was hardworking, artsy, and thoughtful. Both looked up to their big brother Brian.
And then Brian was killed in a car accident, and their whole world changed.
15 years later, both are in their late thirties. Life has moved on, but they’re both emotionally crippled in many ways, with a sibling relationship that is contentious at best.
Josie is first grade teacher, single, and wanting a child more than anything. Even enough to swear off dating for good. When her ex-boyfriend’s daughter is assigned to her first grade class, the need for a child is intensified, and Josie decides to take matters into her own hands.
Meredith seems to have it all together. She’s a successful lawyer, mother to a beautiful four year-old daughter, wife to a great guy. But underneath, Meredith is unhappy, feeling trapped, wondering if she’s meant to be living a different life.
As the anniversary of their brother’s death gets closer, both sisters will have to confront their grief in order to move on in their lives. They will have to remember how to be sisters again, and to lean on each other in order to figure out their pasts and their futures.
I’ve never read an Emily Giffin novel. I’m not sure if I was missing anything (because I didn’t read them–duh), but I’m really glad I read First Comes Love.
I was really expecting a surface-y, chick-lit novel–a fun book without much substance.
Guess what?! I was wrong.
It was a page turner, and it was pretty much women’s fiction, but it has quite a bit of depth. Lots of emotions and heart. Much more than just chick lit.
I understood Josie, although she was that one girl who got everything she wanted (I was that girl at one point in my life, and probably still would be if it wasn’t for my husband and kids).
But I understood Meredith more. She’s the deeper, more lost of the two characters. I have no desire to not be with my husband and kids, but there are those moments when I (and every other adult I know) wonders about the road not taken. And marriage and motherhood are HARD.
The quote I started this review with hit a chord with me: There are days when I feel like I should be happy, but I’m not. And there are days when I fake it until I make it.
I think everyone does that. I hope so.
See what I mean? This book made me think and feel!!! Not what I was expecting from chick lit!
Okay, here’s another Meredith’s quote (about a conversation with a friend with older kids) that resembles what I think at times:
She swears that things get easier as your kids get older and become more self-sufficient, but she also maintains that no matter what their age or yours, motherhood is hard. Really hard. Stay-at-home mothers have it rough; working mothers have it rough; and part-time working mothers, like myself, have it rough, even though the first two camps annoyingly insist that we have the best of both worlds when I think we actually have the worst of each.
First Comes Love is smart, emotional, and thoughtful. It’s a realistic look at family, and how complex the relationship can be with someone who has known you since your birth, an everyday since. The person who has seen your happy and sad, your good and bad, your pretty and your ugly. And how tricky that gets when that precarious balance changes, and when adulthood gets in the way.
Heartfelt and real, I loved this Giffin novel. I can’t speak for others, but this is a great story that ends way too soon.
I give it 4.5 stars. LOVED it!!!