Aspen Times Weekly book review: ‘First Comes Love’
‘First Comes Love’
Ballantine Books, 2016
Best-selling author Emily Giffin delivers another emotionally honest work with the novel “First Comes Love.” Giffin paints a relatable picture chronicling the journey of two sisters who land on opposite ends of the spectrum after tragedy strikes their family 15 years before.
According to Facebook, Meredith has a pretty good life. Even though most of her social media hashtags claim she is “blessed,” Meredith can’t seem to shake the feeling that something is missing from her marriage. Her husband is kind and attractive. He provides for the family and adores her and their beautiful 4-year-old daughter. But it feels more like a friendship than a passionate romance, and Meredith secretly wonders if circumstances years ago forced her down a wedding aisle out of guilt.
Meredith’s sister Josie longs for her sister’s life. She would give anything to be a mother. In fact, she plans on skipping marriage in order to get to the baby carriage part. When her ex-boyfriend’s child ends up as a student in her first-grade class, Josie takes matters into her own hands and begins to research having a baby on her own. Since the tragedy, she’s mastered the skill of taking control of her life. Why stop now?
Naturally, each sister grates on the other’s nerves. Meredith doesn’t understand why Josie can’t bask in the freedom of not maintaining a busy schedule or having other people depend on her. Josie is confused by Meredith’s inability to embrace the fact that she has it all. Neither is willing to confront the root issues that divide them in order to come to terms with her own reality.
“First Comes Love” is a heart-stirring novel about the many layers of sibling rivalry. Giffin expertly fills in the gaps of a story that spans 15 years. It’s a story about the past and the future, fighting and forgiveness. It’s a story about following your heart. It’s a story that insists readers consider in their own lives, “Should love come first?”
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