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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes You Question How Much You Will Compromise For True Love..And What That Even Is!
I first reviewed this for Luxury Reading blog.

When The First Husband opens we find Annie Adams completely content in her life: she gets to tour the world writing her rather successful travel column; her long term boyfriend, Nick, is beginning to taste success as a film director; her much-loved dog, Mila, is keeping her feet warm. What could go wrong? In the...
Published on May 27, 2011 by Colleen T.

versus
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Tonight, I head outside and rejoin the world."
Thirty-one year old Annie Adams has a love/hate relationship with the Audrey Hepburn movie, "Roman Holiday." On the one hand, she adores this charming and entertaining film. On the other hand, every time she watches it, something terrible happens: her parents announce that they are divorcing, an exciting job offer is withdrawn, and the house that she plans to move into...
Published on May 22, 2011 by E. Bukowsky


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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes You Question How Much You Will Compromise For True Love..And What That Even Is!, May 27, 2011
By 
Colleen T. (Land O Lakes, FL) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The First Husband: A Novel (Hardcover)
I first reviewed this for Luxury Reading blog.

When The First Husband opens we find Annie Adams completely content in her life: she gets to tour the world writing her rather successful travel column; her long term boyfriend, Nick, is beginning to taste success as a film director; her much-loved dog, Mila, is keeping her feet warm. What could go wrong? In the next breath her world begins to unravel: Nick announces he is leaving her for the possibility of a better life with a better woman, taking her beloved Mila with him; she learns her job is potentially in danger since the paper has been taken over by a new owner; the once comforting home she shared with Nick becomes filled with the memories of what they had and what will no longer be.

With the push of her best friend, Jordan (Nick's sister), Annie decides to thrust herself back into life to see if it will stick. She finds herself in a beachside restaurant after hours, where she meets Griffin who is highlighting as Executive chef until the permanent chef returns and he goes home to small town Massachusetts to open his own restaurant. Annie instantly feels connected to Griffin and decides that he might be the new lease on life she was looking for, her way to be someone new and improved. As they get to know each other the time dwindles until Griffin must go back to the life he had only temporarily put on hold...with one new addition: Annie.

Annie takes a leap and accepts Griffin's impromptu wedding proposal, traveling to Massachusetts, by way of Las Vegas and a little wedding chapel, ready to begin anew. What she doesn't expect when they arrive is Griffin's brother, Jesse, waiting at their home with his two rambunctious and sticky twin boys, declaring he and his wife are separated. She doesn't expect the ex girlfriend who spent thirteen years with Griffin and doesn't seem able to fully let go, or the icy mother in law that dotes on Griffin's ex as the daughter in law she wished she had. She doesn't expect to feel trapped by the small town life or the total immersion into a past she doesn't share with Griffin. Most of all, she doesn't expect the feelings that keep creeping into her thoughts: did I make a mistake rushing into this?

When Nick shows up at the opening of Griffin's new restaurant and declares he is ready to give Annie everything she wanted from him she has to make a decision: does she go back and begin again the life she thought she always wanted, or does she live this new life she never knew was missing?

I loved this book! It isn't often you find a book that can literally make you laugh out loud and then turn around and make you want to call your husband and tell him how much you love him, with tears in your voice. What makes the book perfect for me is that each of the characters are flawed in their own way and that much more realistic because of it. The First Husband will have you questioning the choices you have made in your own life and, hopefully, will reaffirm for you that real love is not worth compromising.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommend The First Husband, May 12, 2011
This review is from: The First Husband: A Novel (Hardcover)
Author Laura Dave first captured my attention with London Is the Best City in America, continued to enchant me with The Divorce Party, and has once again exceeded my high expectations with her latest novel, The First Husband.

The story of Annie Adams, just shy of 32 and fresh off a breakup from her live-in boyfriend, could easily slip into cookie cutter territory, but Dave steers away from the predictable and embraces all the nitty-gritty, rough edges of relationships, exploring love and loss with reality-colored glasses on.

Put simply, have you ever read a book and thought to yourself, "In the movie version of this, who can I see playing the protagonist/main character?" You proceed to check through a list of celebrities, then come as close as you can to casting perfection.

Well, with The First Husband (as well as Dave's other amazing books), I can see myself as the main character--not in a narcissistic way, but in a relatable, real way. It's like Dave crawled inside my head and plucked out various thoughts and feelings I've had over the years regarding love, life, career and family. In short, Dave writes for her readers, not at them.

In The First Husband, I adore Dave's ability to seamlessly reference Saved By The Bell while explaining a friendship's back story, her observation of the perils of the Internet ("Nowadays you've got to try not to get emotionally involved with someone else; you have to try not to reach out to an old fling and start shrieking about maybe we're meant to be."), how she ponders the advice: "be the opposite of you", her use of a Wilco concert as a major plot point, and the way she notes the use of Facebook "status" (as a way of proclaiming you're "over" someone else).

Among the highlights of The First Husband: the intriguing "worst/best thing" question, which would have made my life much easier had I had it as my litmus test for men back when I was dating; an observation on breakups: "That's the brutality of a breakup, right? The people leaving think they did everything possible, the people left behind think what is possible hasn't even been tested yet"; an observation about the path we choose: "When you saw where the truth was, you wanted to get to it as quickly as you could, before you lost sight of it again"; and a gem about life in general, or whatever problem you're faced with: "When you're willing to do the work, it's amazing what can be saved."

I can't imagine how Dave will top The First Husband, but I can't wait to find out!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Tonight, I head outside and rejoin the world.", May 22, 2011
This review is from: The First Husband: A Novel (Hardcover)
Thirty-one year old Annie Adams has a love/hate relationship with the Audrey Hepburn movie, "Roman Holiday." On the one hand, she adores this charming and entertaining film. On the other hand, every time she watches it, something terrible happens: her parents announce that they are divorcing, an exciting job offer is withdrawn, and the house that she plans to move into burns down. Should Annie watch her "comfort movie" and tempt fate once again? She is almost thirty-two, secure in her job as a travel writer, and content to be the live-in girlfriend of an aspiring filmmaker, Nick Campbell. After Annie views the DVD, lightning does indeed strike again. Nick announces that he needs a break from their relationship. Annie is devastated: "My heart broke open...."

This splendid beginning is the best part of a novel that is eons away from any resemblance to real life. In "The First Husband," Laura Dave would have us believe that soon after Nick's departure, a sweet man named Griffin makes a play for Annie and she falls in love. Three months later, he proposes and she accepts. They move to a small town in Massachusetts, where her boyfriend, a chef, plans to open up his own restaurant.

Complications ensue. Griffin has an ex-girlfriend, Gia, who may still carry a torch for him, and Annie's job is imperiled. In addition, the author falls back on such clichés as a mouthy but good-hearted best friend, Jordan, who both supports and bosses Annie around; Griffin's wacky and irresponsible brother; and his obnoxious mother. The plot spirals downward from there.

The book's central theme is the familiar one about how we often miss the forest for the trees. Annie is confused about her priorities. Are glamour, the freedom to visit exotic places, and prestige more important than stability, a loving husband, and the chance to fulfill one's artistic vision? Most people will guess the answer with ease. The story is formulaic, pat, cute, and predictable. Long before Annie makes her choices, we know what they will be.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not predictable and I laughed out loud!, November 15, 2011
This review is from: The First Husband: A Novel (Hardcover)
Review by Valerie: If you're looking for a great chick lit book, this one's a definite read! What is chick lit, you might be wondering...One of the blogs I follow, chicklitbooks.com, says that the chick lit genre is "writing told in a more confiding, personal tone. It's like having a best friend tell you about her life. Or watching various characters go through things that you have gone through yourself, or witnessed others going through. Humor is a strong point in chick lit, too." This book has it all, I was hooked from page one!

Annie has what others might consider the perfect job, really. She has a magazine column where she writes about places others might want to travel to giving them the good, the hidden, and the unexpected for each location. The job requires a lot of traveling, which in hindsight, means that she can sort of be there for her permanent boyfriend of five years - the man she will eventually marry - or is she really? While the thoughts circle around in her head, he makes an unexpected announcement. Well, was it totally unexpected? She had been watching her comfort movie, Roman Holiday, the classic. Each and every time she treated herself to the movie, during her entire life, something bad happened afterwards.

In some ways, I thought the story might be predictable and I am so glad I was wrong. I enjoyed Annie's attempt to be "the opposite" of what she felt she was and the outcome, a quickie marriage. I laughed aloud as she moves to a town so small that other people can't even get the name right and then deals with her new husband's family. But, as good chick lit does, I also felt incredibly sad when things come to a head and she has to make a decision regarding her need for freedom and her need to settle down. No spoilers here but it's a trip you'll enjoy making with her!

Quote: "Quite the digs they've handed you here," Thomas said, as we stood by the living room windows, filling out the paperwork he needed completed. "It's like a ready-made life," he said. Page 193
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a little treat for your reading pleasure, September 14, 2011
This review is from: The First Husband: A Novel (Hardcover)
JUST now finished THE FIRST HUSBAND (Laura Dave). What a sweet, delightful little book. It is basically a confection, a bon bon....nothing deep or terribly memorable, but a pleasure to read for the short time it takes from start to finish. I won't remember its plot a few months from now, but I will remember that the story made me feel good and that the author has her own charming style. It is NOT about a divorce, as one might expect, or a second marriage. It is about a first marriage and the choices we make, but it is light reading, yet lovely.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, July 21, 2011
This review is from: The First Husband: A Novel (Hardcover)
Annie Adams has spent her entire life moving around. It's no surprise when she lands a job traveling the world writing a syndicated travel column. She is living with good looking long term boyfriend, Nick and their dog. Nick's career as a film director is about to take off. They seem to have it all...or so Annie thought. Nick pulls the rug under her when he reveals he has reconnected with an old flame and needs to see where it leads. Reeling over his announcement, her best friend Jordan tells her to go have fun. He'll be back! Feeling as if she has no idea how to be fun, Jordan tells her to be the opposite of herself...and she does exactly that.
Three months later, Annie is living in a small Massachusetts town married to Griffin. She took her friends advice all right. Suddenly, Annie is in a world she has never known. Her brother-in-law and his twin sons live with them, her new mother-in-law appears to wish Griffin had chosen his once upon a time long term girlfriend that oops Griffin forgot to mention how long they dated! Could their marriage really just be a rebound relationship for both of them? Jordan thinks so and so does Nick who comes back to claim the women and the life he wants back.
All this sends Annie moving, the only thing that feels safe to her. She has to ask herself who is the man she is really meant to spend her life with.
The story itself was not all that different than other books I've read. But what this book has is the protagonist, Annie do some self exploring. She asked herself some tough questions and looked for real answers. She had a best friend giving her advice counter to what I would have said to her--something I can't say I've seen a lot of. Usually the best friend acts as an agent of the readers, I found this completely refreshing! This is a book that has everything a good book should have and more.
I have heard fabulous things about Laura Dave. This was my first Laura Dave book, and it did not disappoint. This was such a great book and I know I'm going to be reading Laura Dave's books from here on out. Not only am I going to recommend this book, but I'll go one further and say if you can't get your hands on a copy of this book read one of her others! This isn't just a good book this is a good author.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A cut above your average beach read, July 17, 2011
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This review is from: The First Husband: A Novel (Hardcover)
If you are looking for a good beach read, this might be the one for you. This book was nice surprise in that it was not nearly as predictable as the average light novel, and it is also enough fun to keep all of your cares away.

The First Husband is the story of Annie Adams, who's got pretty much the best job ever as a travel writer. Her boyfriend Nick decides to lob a new-age grenade into their relationship, which leaves Annie feeling aimless. She gets some help from her best friend Jordan, who rather inconveniently also happens to be Nick's sister. Inspired, Annie rejoins the world and meets Griffin, a guy who seems too good to be true. The tale then follows their relationship and the choices that Annie must make with regard to love, friendship, and career. Putting aside for the moment the unreal situation (Annie's dilemma seems almost like a choice between awesome and awesomer), it's a nice story told in an unusually interesting manner.

The thing that I really enjoyed about this story is that it did not devolve into what might be the lazier route in terms of the choices Annie makes. There is no simple answer that is made clear to the reader, as so often happens in books of this type. The reader simply doesn't know who the good guy is supposed to be until they reach the end. Another plus is the supporting characters, who are interesting and provide some levity.

Overall, this is recommend if you are looking for a lighter book that will keep you guessing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boyfriend of five years vs. husband of three months, July 18, 2011
This review is from: The First Husband: A Novel (Hardcover)
Annie is shocked when her live-in boyfriend of five years arrives home after a trip, greets her with a loving kiss, and suggests they break up. Twelve days of housebound depression later, Annie forces herself to an oceanfront bar in Santa Monica and meets Griffin--a sexy executive chef temporarily filling in. The two agree not to discuss exes and they enter a whirlwind relationship. Three months later, when Griffin must return to his tiny hometown in western Massachusetts, they get married instead of parting ways.

It isn't until Annie arrives in Massachusetts that the reality of her drastic life change sets in. On her first morning in town, she meets Griffin's ex-girlfriend--a lovely woman whom Griffin broke up with after dating for thirteen years. To make matters worse, Annie's telecommuting job as a travel writer is in jeopardy and her ex-boyfriend decides he's made a huge mistake.

//The First Husband//is the cleverly romantic story of a young woman in limbo between the person she was and the person she thinks she wants to become, and the role her significant others--past and present--play in her transformation. Laura Dave's voice as Annie is light and natural, but carries a depth that is captivating and moving as it mirrors the book's themes.

Reviewed by Megan Just
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic summer read!, May 31, 2011
This review is from: The First Husband: A Novel (Hardcover)
Annie Adams leads an exciting life. As a writer for a syndicated travel column, she visits the most exotic places and well-kept secret hide-a-ways in search of the perfect story. Upon her return from each adventure, she snuggles up with her loyal boyfriend Nick Campbell who is struggling to make a name for himself as a movie director in Los Angeles. At the age of almost thirty-two, Annie seems to have it all...a fabulous career and smashingly handsome beau.

Like most things in life, all that changes on a dime when Annie's supposedly committed partner announces he needs to put their relationship on hold while pursuing a former flame. Left without a lover, a dog, and a future, Annie searches for the closest bar in town in hopes of easing the pain. As luck would have it, she meets a charismatic chef named Griffin who whips up the perfect recipe to steal her heart. Three months later and crazy in love, Annie and Griffin are now man and wife.

With a bright future ahead, the two lovebirds set out to Griffin's hometown with plans for opening his dream restaurant. Upon their arrival, their love is put to the test with chaotic family drama and emotional fanfare. As the true Griffin is slowly revealed, Annie starts to question whether her rash decision to marry a man she hardly knew was the right one. Will the love between these two somewhat strangers be strong enough to stand the test of time? Or, did Annie just let the man of her dreams get away?

THE FIRST HUSBAND is the third novel by the talented author Laura Dave. Well-known for her journalist endeavors in The New York Times and The Huffington Post, Dave delivers a modern day spin on finding happiness and true love. Her attention to detail touching upon the true essence of each character sets her apart as not only a superb writer but also a true wordsmith. Humorous in all the right places, THE FIRST HUSBAND is this summer's must-have travel guide to happiness.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!!, July 10, 2011
By 
Kim Riccardo (JUPITER, FL, US) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The First Husband: A Novel (Hardcover)
I couldn't put this book down and finished it in a day! Highly recommend. Loved the story line and how well the author described the feelings and emotion of the main character. Don't pass this book up.
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The First Husband: A Novel
The First Husband: A Novel by Laura Dave (Hardcover - May 12, 2011)
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