It is very rare for me to finish a book in a day, but when my friend gave me “One True Loves” by Taylor Jenkins Reid, I couldn’t put it down. It was captivating and thought-provoking. It is also not something that I typically read (not fantasy, YA or Children’s lit). It is about real everyday life, about choices you have to make, and about love-new and old.
The book starts with Emma, the main character, having dinner with her father, mother and her fiancé when her phone rings and it is her husband-yes you read that right, her husband! Emma was married before, to Jesse. Jesse was presumed dead when his helicopter crashed somewhere in the Pacific on his way to Alaska. After three years, Emma rebuilt her life and decided to try to find love again and had just recently become engaged to Sam, her fiancée.
The book takes you through Emma’s life in high school when she first meets Jesse and Sam. You see how her relationship and longing for Jesse develops. You are a participant in their bond between each other. You see their love grow and deepen. You witness their memories being made. Then, you watch Emma fall into a bottomless pit of loss, despair and sadness when Jesse is missing and presumed dead. You cheer Emma on as she re-builds her life and who she is. And then you watch as Emma and Sam find each other and fall in love.
When Emma receives the phone call from Jesse though, Emma’s life becomes a sticky mess of emotion and hard choices. Sam graciously gives Emma the space and freedom she needs to make her decision. Jesse on the other hand wants to pick up where they left off, but there are many things he is leaving unsaid about the accident and about his anger towards Emma and just life in general. Who will Emma choose? Read and find out!
Reid’s book is like a good mash-up between Kristin Hannah’s nitty-gritty portrayal of the messiness of real life and Jodi Picoult’s surprise ending with a dash of Nicholas Sparks' romance. Unlike many love triangles this one is unpredictable. You don’t know who Emma is going to choose. Both Jesse and Sam are two different but equal loves. Can you have two true loves in a lifetime?
Recommended by Tracy Alexander