Date finished: April 30, 2019
One True Loves, Taylor Jenkins Reid
Have you ever wondered how Helen Hunt felt while Tom Hanks was stranded on that island in Cast Away? Taylor Jenkins Reid, bestselling author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones & The Six, plays out that scenario in One True Loves, to devastating and heartwarming effect.
Emma Blair married her high school sweetheart, Jesse, got a great job, and was living the dream in California. But then she learns Jesse’s helicopter went down over the Pacific and he’s almost surely dead. Emma grieves, mourns, struggles, returns home to Massachusetts, and slowly begins to move on — accepting an invitation to drinks with a gorgeous man from her past… drinks that lead to love that leads to an engagement. But just as everything’s going perfectly, Emma finds out Jesse survived and is on his way home to her.
This story might feel predictable, but just as she did in Maybe in Another Life, Taylor Jenkins Reid leaves us desperate for more and unsure how the story will play out as Emma struggles with the pull between head and heart, between past and future.
While parts of this story were a bit cheesy, Emma’s grief, guilt, and desperation feel all too real. She’s relatable, memorable, funny, and, while she’s no Evelyn Hugo, TJR succeeds at painting yet another strong heroine.