‘One True Loves’ – Taylor Jenkins Reid

Having read two more recent books by Taylor Jenkins Reid, I was surprised at how different this was. A love story, but not quite what I expected.

Emma Blair always fought against the expectations for her: to manage her parents’ book shop and to stay in her home town. When she ends up dating Jesse, the young man she had a crush on for years, he brings out a side to her that encourages her to do things differently. They are happy together. They travel and enjoy planning for their future. Then, a day before their first anniversary, Jesse takes a flight and we learn his helicopter crashed. He is presumed dead.

We learn that Emma fell apart after this revelation. She, slowly, learned to accept that Jesse was gone and found ways to think of him fondly but also to make changes to her life. She ends up moving back to her hometown, where she starts running the book store and becomes closer to her sister. She is about to marry Sam, a childhood friend who we know has always loved her. Then comes the revelation that Jesse has been found.

I cannot even begin to imagine how this kind of thing would turn your world upside down. How do you come to terms with learning that the love of your life is not dead…and that you have fallen in love with someone else and it’s okay?
The situation is unbelievably tough to imagine. The characters each have things about them that are not particularly appealing, but it was interesting to see how each of them reconciles their past thoughts of each other with the present reality.

Definitely not one to read if you’re feeling remotely wobbly, but it was a great read.