Newlywed Ellen bumps into Leo, her old boyfriend, in the street in New York City on a rainy day Stunned, she goes to a nearby coffee shop to gather herself Leo calls her cell phone and asks where she is, showing up a few moments later They have coffee and she tells him she s married He touches her hand and leaves but Leo doesn t leave Ellen s thoughts, not even when she s with her husband, Andy, the man she loves and adores, the man she married Leo contacts Ellen again with a career making offer to photograph a celebrity in Los Angeles Her sister Suzanne goes with her because Suzanne is a fan and ends up acting as chaperone Leo is writing an article about the celebrity and Ellen is taking the pictures Ellen leaves feeling as though she has dodged a bullet until Leo shows up on the plane sitting next to her They talk and fall asleep holding hands, waking the next morning and say goodbye once again, this time on Leo s doorstep Ellen doesn t plan to see him again, but Leo has other plans, and so does Andy Andy quit his job at a high powered law firm in New York and wants to move back to Atlanta to be near his family and partner in his father s law practice Ellen reluctantly agrees She s rich and her handsome husband loves her, but nothing feels right She misses the electric excitement of New York City and her career and she misses Leo Did she make a mistake marrying Andy, moving to Atlanta, giving up her career not giving Leo another chance Not everyone gets the dream handsome husband, big house, country club, loving family, wealth but Emily Giffin makes it seem possible in Love the One You re With Ellen, Leo and Andy are well ensconced in lucrative careers The men are handsome and the women are beautiful Everyone, except for Suzanne, is rich and not all that attainable for the average Joe or Jane Despite these fantasies, Giffin s tale of exploring the road not taken has much to commend it The emotions resonate clearly and the situation, although a little out of the average woman s reach, is basic What do you do when you find out your best friend kept you from reuniting with the man you loved Even in the rarefied atmosphere of country clubs and jaunts across the country to photograph celebrities and feature articles, it comes down to the basics relationships and this is something Giffin portrays with a lack of guile and plenty of heart Giffin s prose is clean and uncluttered and the characters eminently authentic Only one plot point seemed a bit contrived a phone call at a crucial moment but the rest of the story is one to which anyone caught between the present and the past can relate Love the One You re With is a story that goes straight to the heart of what it means to love and be loved, and to find a way to live with difficult choices.
This was another great book by Emily Giffen staying true to her form of regular people making some tough and non conventional choices I both disliked, and related to Ellen I also liked how the scope of this book covered both the modern love story in that the one we end up with is rarely the 1st one we have loved and how losing Andy would have meant losing so much for Ellen.
It s hard to say what I would do if a smoldering love from the past were to appear but as Ellie eventually found out ex boyfriends are generally an x for that reason However, someone who has broken up with you had a hold over you that isn t the same should you have broken up with them This is something I have learned the hard way.
That said, I did not like Leo from the moment he first showed up I agree with Margot in that he seems smug and full of himself even years later And while Margot didn t have the right to make the decision she did I understand why she did All of Leo s sorrys fall flat to me I think Leo, always has been, and remains a very selfish man.
I thought it was interesting how Ellie wasn t sure if getting everything she wanted was pedantic, or a dream come true I have the same internal struggle I want a house and children No Wait Too boring I never, ever agreed with Ellie s choice to pursue a relationship with Leo I firmly believe she had an affair and cheated on her husband The plane flight, and of course when she kissed Leo But I prayed and prayed that the title of the book would turn out to be true Because while I understood the allure of Leo, there was never a moment I wasn t rooting for Andy.
The thing I like about Emily Giffin is that she doesn t talk down to her readers Nor does she assume that everyone who wants to read a light, fun, chick book gives two hoots about what brand of clothing the heroine wears Her books aren t cerebral by any means, but they re smart This is a story about a happily married woman who runs into the One That Got Away The encounter brings up a host of memories and feelings and is the catalyst to a series of events that will leave her wondering if the life she s chosen is the life she was meant to have.
I thought the character of Ellen was written very well So well, in fact, that it makes me wonder if the author has been in this situation or if a close friend of hers has I particularly thought the fact that Ellen had lost her mother at an early age was handled very well This aspect of Ellen s life influenced many of her decisions and gave some insight into her psyche In almost every chapter Ellen who is also the narrator mentioned how much she missed her mother, and while some readers might think it was too much, it felt real to me I ve had close friends lose a parent and I know that it is something they think about every single day I also thought Giffin perfectly captured the nuances of a new marriage both its simple joys and its bumps in the road It occurred to me that unmarried readers might not fully appreciate Ellen s feelings or motivations as marriage is something you can really only understand if you ve experienced it.
While the character of Ellen was superbly developed, I thought all of the supporting cast including the husband, the ex boyfriend, the sister, and the best friend were lacking Although the book is written in the first person from Ellen s perspective, I thought could be done to make these other characters come to life This is particularly true of the character of Margot, Ellen s best friend and sister in law I just didn t care about her.
Finally, reading this book made me ache to return to New York It wasn t about the glamour and superficiality of New York like so many chick lit books I ve read, but I thought it really captured the essence of what NY truly is the burroughs, the culture, the pace The feeling of being at the center of the world.
Possibly never have I disliked a book than I did this one If possible I would give this book a negative star rating Unfortunately goodreads will not allow me to do this So instead I ll describe why my initial response upon finishing this book was one of depression at the realization I ll never get the time back in my life that I wasted reading this book My extreme distaste for this story stems from a number of things To begin, I pretty much hated all the characters Every single one Across the board they re incredibly unlikeable and empty Even the main character Ellen who I think we re supposed to sympathize with, comes across as shallow I m incapable of feeling bad for her When faced with picking between her wealthy, well connected husband and an ex boyfriend from the past the one that got away she makes the wrong choice in my opinion The ending of the book is predictable and entirely too neatly resolved It left me wondering what the point of reading this was It will take something drastic to convince me to read another of Griffin s books again Like maybe a natural disaster in which I end up trapped somewhere with nothing to read but one of her books.
First off, I couldn t put this book down, I started it on Sunday late morning and finished it Monday evening.
This is my second favorite Emily Giffin book behind Something Borrowed There was a similar dynamic between Ellen and Margot, much like that of Rachel and Darcy in Something Borrowed While the premise of the book wasn t the same, you get the same test of loyalty since Ellen is married to Margot s older brother Andy In fact, I would say that the test of loyalty might be stronger due to the blood relationship between Margot and Andy.
Anyways, I don t want to say too much, I had a feeling as to how the book would end given the titleit was just my intrigue to see how Ellen would get from point a to point b.
The premise of the story is something I think most people can relate to, male or female, as at some point in our lives I suspect we have all felt the same way about the road not taken Whether it be a relationship, a job, collegeetc So this made Ellen very easy to relate toThere is no tie to Giffin s other books so this one could be read before the others.
Love the One You re With is a standalone, women s fiction chick lit novel written by author Emily Giffin Ms Giffin s novels have been hit or miss with me, and when they miss, they miss big time I have zero appreciation for marital affairs or romantic deception in general that end in happily ever afters, so when the married female lead began making cringe worthy choices when an old flame resurfaces, I considered doing a one woman boycott I finished the book though and I m happy I did Fortunately, this novel s title came true at the end, and although I had a That was close feeling, I was left feeling hopeful and satisfied An interview with Ms Giffin was included at the end of the audiobook I listened to I ve often wondered why she doesn t write your typical, fun chick lit with likable characters and she answered this by saying that real world relationships aren t always pretty They are far from perfect and people make choices that go against the grain sometimes, and she reflects this in her writing As a reader, I can acknowledge the value in this If all books were rainbow and unicorn brain candy then many learning growth opportunities would be lost I guess today I was just craving of an escape, and Ms Giffin s real life fiction didn t quite give it to meI spent too much of my time squeezing my eyes shut at the sure to come consequences But her style is obviously working for lots of readers, so read the synopsis of her some of her books and see if they re for you My favorite quoteI think of how life takes unexpected twists and turns, sometimes through sheer happenstance, sometimes through calculated decisions In the end, it can all be called fate, but to me, it is a matter of faith 2.
Love, not as a surge of passion, but as a choice to commit to something, someone, no matter what obstacles or temptations stand in the way And maybe making that choice, again and again, day in and day out, year after year, says about love than never having a choice to make at all.
I ve done it I ve now read all of Emily Giffin s novels so far I avoided this one for a while though, because from the description, you get a bit of a feeling that it might deal with cheating And cheating is a touchy subject with meI finally decided to just give it a chance and see how it went, since I had yet to pick up a Giffin book that I didn t lovethis might be that book, I think.
Ellen and Andy have a wonderful marriage They live in an apartment in New York Andy is a lawyer, Ellen is a photographer They have been married less than a year, but so far, the marriage is all sunshine and rainbows.
Then one fateful afternoon, Ellen sees Leo, in the middle of a crosswalkLeo, the one that got away She goes into a nearby diner to try and collect herself, when her cell starts ringing Turns out she has the same number that she did while they were dating all those years ago, so he took a chance and dialed that number He asks where she went and when she tells him the name of the diner, he tells her he ll be there momentarily And so starts the story I find myself wondering what exactly normal ever was Were things normal when Andy and I started to date Were they normal by the time we got engaged or walked down the aisle Was I ever truly over Leo At one time I was sure that the answer was yes but if seeing him again and merely touching his hand could peel back so many layers of my heart, then did I ever stop loving him the way you re supposed to stop loving everyone but the one you re with Ellen spends the whole of the novel grappling with her emotions, which are pulling her all over the place Did she make the right choice in marrying Andy or did she settle for him Was Leo the great love of her life What would ve happened if they had stayed together Would they have made it Throughout the book, Ellen had a ton of internal dialogue going on and would bounce between guilt for what she was feeling and then give herself false justifications for why she felt her feelings were understandable Even in the end, she was still not 100% honest about everything and I found the way her story ended to be a stretch, just a bit too unbelievable for me Overall, I just wasn t very happy with this book.
Honestly, as a MC, Ellen just pissed me offa lot From the beginning of the book, she wasn t honest with Andy about anything, which is when I started to get frustrated with her Especially since Andy is painted in a terrific light Giffin makes him seem like the ideal husbandcaring, wealthy, handsome, family man, good sense of humor To me, Leo just didn t compare So I couldn t really understand why, eight years after he and Ellen ended their relationship, she is still so affected by Leo She has what she herself describes a wonderfully happy marriage, yet she starts walking a dangerous line, wondering What if I just couldn t relate to her and that, along with the fact that her decisions just angered me, made it pretty hard to get through this book quickly.
But, I do still like Giffin s writing style Out of all her novels, this is really the only miss for me I ll continue to read her books in the future But hopefully there will be no about the one who got away.
I remember when Emily Giffin s first book came out, and since it dealt with cheating, I did not pick it up for the longest time Then I read a thoroughly positive review of it I think on chicklitbooks.
com, which may no longer be around and I decided I had to see what the fuss was about.
The reviewer did not do the book justice It grabbed me from page one and wouldn t let go, even when it was dealing with messy topics such as betraying your best friend.
Since that first book, I have run out to buy each and every one of Emily Giffin s books, and even got one autographed by her As much as I loved them all, I preferred the first one since on some level, it was just emotionally gripping than the others Love the One You re With has that same emotional depth, that same messiness that you cringe at but can t look away from or stop reading.
Ellen finally has all that she s dreamed of a handsome husband she loves, a successful and satisfying career as a photographer, and an apartment in the city she loves Then, walking across a random street, she sees the one other love of her life Leo Leo recognizes Ellen, calls her, and they talk he then offers her the job of her career, which she cannot turn down She chooses not to tell either her husband or best friend about this encounter, thinking it will end at this, but it doesn t And the she sees Leo, the she questions her life with Andy, especially once they leave NY for Atlanta.
I won t say since I don t want to give it away, but if you love a good, fast, riveting read, definitely pick this up.
Ellen I love Andy SO SO SO MUCH Andy I m practically the epitome of a good person, and the author paints me in a way that makes me seem perfect So yay the story should just finish at this point.
Leo glances at ellen Ellen OH MY GOD OH MY GOD SWOON No no no no no I love andy yes yes yes yes yes I love leo.
Andy Let s move to Atlanta Because I want to make you happy Ellen Okay I am going to completely agree to this but then make it out like you forced me to once we get there And then, proving Emily Giffin s inability to characterize, you will suddenly become an anti female dictator with no respect for your work Because characters TOTALLY just flip their personalities towards the climax of the novel without any premeditation Leo glances at Ellen Ellen I WILL ALWAYS LOVEEEEE YOUUUUUUUUUUU But I m still going to pick Andy and leave you hanging, although you clearly gave up your life for me.
Andy and Margot We re going to take you back despite the fact that you re a cheating tease Ellen I m not going to give you guys ANY explanation to Leo or Andy regarding what a tease I am and won t ever tell anyone the extent of my cheating I will justify this with three ending sentences in the novel which are supposed to be philosophical but have no actual link to the novel and is a sorry attempt on the part of Giffin to save the sorry excuse of a book.
The New York Times Bestselling Author Of Something Borrowed, Something Blue, And Baby Proof Delivers Another Captivating Novel About Women And The Choices That Define Them This Is The Story For Anyone Who Has Ever Wondered How Can I Truly Love The One I M With When I Can T Forget The One Who Got Away Ellen And Andy S First Year Of Marriage Doesn T Just Seem Perfect, It Is Perfect There Is No Question How Deep Their Devotion Is, And How Naturally They Bring Out The Best In Each Other But One Fateful Afternoon, Ellen Runs Into Leo For The First Time In Eight Years Leo, The One Who Brought Out The Worst In Her Leo, The One Who Left Her Heartbroken With No Explanation Leo, The One She Could Never Quite Forget When His Reappearance Ignites Long Dormant Emotions, Ellen Begins To Question Whether The Life She S Living Is The One She S Meant To Live Love The One You Re With Is A Powerful Story About One Woman At The Crossroads Of True Love And Real Life