Review: The One and Only by Emily Giffin

the-one-and-only“In her eagerly awaited new novel, beloved New York Times bestselling author Emily Giffin returns with an extraordinary story of love and loyalty—and an unconventional heroine struggling to reconcile both.
Thirty-three-year-old Shea Rigsby has spent her entire life in Walker, Texas—a small college town that lives and dies by football, a passion she unabashedly shares. Raised alongside her best friend, Lucy, the daughter of Walker’s legendary head coach, Clive Carr, Shea was too devoted to her hometown team to leave. Instead she stayed in Walker for college, even taking a job in the university athletic department after graduation, where she has remained for more than a decade.
But when an unexpected tragedy strikes the tight-knit Walker community, Shea’s comfortable world is upended, and she begins to wonder if the life she’s chosen is really enough for her. As she finally gives up her safety net to set out on an unexpected path, Shea discovers unsettling truths about the people and things she has always trusted most—and is forced to confront her deepest desires, fears, and secrets.
Thoughtful, funny, and brilliantly observed, The One & Only is a luminous novel about finding your passion, following your heart, and, most of all, believing in something bigger than yourself . . . the one and only thing that truly makes life worth living.” – Goodreads

OK. Y’all, I admit it. I used to be a huge Chick Lit fan back in the day. And Emily Giffin was one of my favorite authors. Come on, now – Something Borrowed, Something Blue…? How can you not love those? Giffin’s more recent novels (Heart of the Matter, Where We Belong) have been great, as well. Thus, I was looking forward to reading her newest work, The One and Only (May, 2014). Dear Emily did not let me down.

Shea Rigsby is the ultimate Walker, Texas football fan. Growing up, her family was best friends with the Coach’s family (and still is), she attended college in Walker, and she even stayed on and works in the university athletic department. She’s dating a former Walker football player. Her best friend, Lucy, is the football coach’s daughter, and Coach Carr himself is Shea’s hero.

When Coach’s wife, Mrs. Carr, passes away, Shea begins to question her place in life. Has she simply taken the easiest and most comfortable route? Is she brave enough to chase after her dreams? Things start to look up when she runs into an old classmate, current star quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, Ryan James. The two quickly build a rapport and begin seeing each other. Shea builds off of this and begins making other changes in her life as well. But is Ryan too good to be true? And what happens if leaving Walker means leaving her old life – and friends – completely behind?

I so enjoyed this story. I was happily reading along, following Shea’s tale, digging the new relationship with Ryan, and then BAM! Twist-amundo, baby! Giffin throws in a surprise twist and third love interest you would have never expected that totally turns things around and hooks you into the tale but good. Loved. It.

I am not ashamed to admit that more than a few tears were shed near the end of the book. I feel things deeply, people, what can I say? Giffin definitely took me on a roller coaster ride of sorrow, joy, love, loss, regret, and salvation. It was a ride I was all too reluctant to have end when I was forced to turn the last page. It is a ride that you will want to begin as soon as you can.

The One and Only by Emily Giffin. Buy it, read it, love it.

4 stars

Source: Free Library of Philadelphia

 

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