Two Minute Review: One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Monday, May 23, 2016
Title: One True Loves
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Genre: contemporary
Series: N/A
Pages: 352
Published: expected June 7 2016
Source: publishers via NetGalley
Rating: 4.75/5

From the author of Maybe in Another Life 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 fiancĂ©, 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.

Taylor Jenkins Reid is a creative author that writes about love and marriage and commitment in interesting and thoughtful ways. She continually finds new, finely-wrought methods to explore what it means to love someone else with each successive novel she writes. Her books are layered and nuanced quasi-love stories; her characters are complicated women who resonate with all kinds of readers and who come to life in myriad small ways throughout the books. It's easy to fall into the stories and lives Reid imagines because she does it so completely from inception to conclusion. One True Loves has TJR bringing all her talents to bear with a new premise about what it means to love truly, and it's just what I had expected from my newest favorite autor: funny and fun, moving and heartbreaking in equal parts.

I love the originality of TJR's entire bibliography but One True Loves has my favorite plot and premise of her so-far four published books. TJR has explored what it means to be married (After I Do), what it means to move on after love (Forever Interrupted) before, but here she attempts both of these familiar themes with the story of one new character and also throws in the question of what true love really means. It's a lot for one author and let alone one character to shoulder in just three hundred fifty pages, but Emma is such a well-rendered and vivid, realistic person that it all works. You understand how she can wrestle with this huge life event for as long as she does, how her business is not yet finished, and how she needs to be "free" to go forward. One True Loves tugs on the heart and it's meant to hurt. 

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