Friday, June 13, 2014

Love the One You're With

Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin (2008), narrated by Kathleen McInerney

Ellen is married to a perfect man from a perfect family, the brother of her college best friend. Ellen is happy with Andy and with her budding career as a photographer. But one day on the streets of New York she runs into Leo, her ex-boyfriend, the one who got away. Leo is a journalist now and hooks Ellen up with a project-of-a-lifetime on which they work together. Even as Ellen and Andy decide to move to Atlanta to be near his family, she questions whether the life she chose is the one she should have.

As in her other novels, Giffin has created a likable protagonist who struggles with very real problems. The tone is light - this is chick lit after all - but her struggles are complex and potentially life-changing. What I always like about Giffin's novels is that they aren't predictable. I really did not know whether Ellen would end up leaving her husband or not. Part of this is because Giffin creates characters who are so realistic. There are no good guys or bad guys here. Leo and Andy are both good people and they both have flaws. Just like Ellen, her sister Suzanne, and her best friend Margo.

I love the audio versions of Giffin's novels because they are light enough to listen to on audio without missing a lot, but compelling enough to hold my interest. I recognized Kathleen McInerney from at least one other Emily Giffin audiobook, and I found her performance struck just the right tone for this first-person narrator.

I've read or listened to all of Emily Giffin's novels now (except the new one that came out just as I was listening to this one). While Love the One You're With maybe wasn't my favorite, it still compared favorably with her other books and made my daily commute much more enjoyable.

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