This novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid finds our narrator and protagonist in entirely unique, but oddly familiar situation. As in After I Do, we find our narrator facing down the most important decision of her life. After years and years of love and marriage, she has to decide whether or not the things she once wanted are what she still wants, now asked to decide again, in her her thirties. That’s the familiar part.
The unique part is that Emma is engaged to Sam, who she knew as a teenage and who went out of her life for more than a decade. Now three years after the death of her husband, Jesse who was lost at sea after a helicopter crash, she’s ready to move on with Sam when she gets a call telling her that Jesse has just been rescued. And like in other Taylor Jenkins Reid novels, we get a break from the drama to learn about their love and romance too. She’s got a decision in front of her.
Like the other Taylor Jenkins Reid novels I’ve read there’s a confidence, competence, and comfort in the situation and prose that makes this novel imminently readable. If she were a screenplay writer, and maybe she should try it out given the cinematic element of her books, she’d be one of the most talented writers in mainstream cinema. For novels though, the characters are often perfectly emotionally healthy and reasonable people asked to face extraordinary situations and those do make for readable (or for me, listenable books). But they’re not very challenging, even when they’re sad, which they always are.