One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published by: Washington Square Press
Reviewed by: Madison
What to Expect: A well written story that forces you to reflect on the different versions of yourself. Prepare yourself with tissues.
Plot: From the author of Maybe in Another Life—named a People Magazine pick—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?
Review: I cried. A lot. It wasn’t even a pretty kind of cry; it was a blubbering sob. My dogs looked at me with confusion and worry every time I had to put the book down to collect myself. This story follows Emma, we see her years after her husband has died in a plane crash and she is engaged to someone else. Little does she know that her husband, Jesse, didn’t actually die but he is indeed alive. The book is separated into three parts. It gives us a glimpse of how Emma and Jesse met. How they complemented each other and encouraged one another to live their lives on the edge. Then we see Emma dealing with the news of Jesse’s death. I think Reid does an amazing job at not just showing us grief, but placing us directly in Emma’s emotional state. For me, it wasn’t easy. I had to take a few step backs from the book itself. But I could not go long without picking it up again. During Emma’s grief we see her relationship with Sam blossom.
Sam was the quiet boy who always had a thing for Emma. He was sweet and safe. He helped Emma out of what she thought was a dark rabbit hole that she’d be stuck in forever. He is the opposite of everything Jesse was and somehow they fell into a rhythm and meshed together. Fast forward to the present and Emma finds out Jesse is alive. Emma is confused. She should be elated, right? Well this just threw her through for a loop. Is she Jesse’s wife or Sam’s fiance? She grapples with Emma of the past and who Emma is now. I don’t want to give anything away but Reid takes you on a roller coaster ride with rich, dynamic characters. If you are like me, you will become entranced by this story and lose sleep. Also, you will cry. So i definitely recommend a box of tissues (preferably the ones with the lotion on them).
What you might not like/doesn’t work for you: It’s not straightforward romance. Some parts are hard to get through. But it was satisfying because Emma is such a relatable character.
What you will love: Everything. The writing style was so easy to read. The characters packed the story line together.
When not working on her own first novel, Madison loves reading YA & Fantasy and listening to podcasts. Check out all of her reviews here.
You can get in touch with her on Twitter: @MPMarkerWrites