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The One That I Want: A Novel Hardcover – June 1, 2010

56 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the latest from Scotch (Time of My Life), a clichéd story of a baby-craving 30-something, gives way to an aching, honest look into the death and rebirth of relationships. Tilly Farmer is a high school guidance counselor who married her high school sweetheart, has never left her hometown of Westlake, Wash., and is sure that the key to her happiness is getting pregnant. When an unexpected encounter with an old grade school friend (now a psychic) leaves Tilly with the ability to see the future, what she foresees is not a baby but losing her husband to a job in Seattle. Though the far-fetched plot device feels tired, Scotch combines the fallout of Tilly's visions with the burdens of an alcoholic father, angry younger sister, and deceased mother to bring her character into focus. Scotch answers hard questions about the nature of personal identity and overwhelming loss with a wise, absorbing narrative. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Scotch (The Department of Lost & Found, 2007; Time of My Life, 2008) specializes in heroines at a crossroads, questioning their life choices and preparing to embark on journeys of self-discovery. Here she hews closely to this formula. Tilly Farmer is aggressively insistent in claiming that she loves her life, including marriage to her high-school sweetheart and a job as a high-school guidance counselor. She’s actually in a rut but doesn’t know it, until a fortune-teller provides her with the gift of “clarity” regarding the future. The more honest Tilly is about her emotions—especially the anger, resentment, and grief tamped down since the death of her mother—the more her perfect world unravels and the closer she comes to real happiness. Scotch creates eminently relatable characters, with a particularly excellent understanding of the way sisters interact, and has the ability to craft scenes of real emotional weight, so much so that none of her flash-forwards or hocus-pocus is necessary. --Patty Wetli

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Crown (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307464504
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307464507
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,067,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Allison Winn Scotch is the bestselling author of five novels, including THE THEORY OF OPPOSITES, TIME OF MY LIFE, and THE DEPARTMENT OF LOST AND FOUND. Her sixth novel, IN TWENTY YEARS, will be released in June of 2016. In addition to fiction, she pens celebrity profiles for a variety of magazines, which justifies her pop culture obsession and occasionally lends to awesome Facebook status updates. She lives in Los Angeles with her family. For more about her and her books, go to or follow her on Twitter at @aswinn.

Photo: Kat Tuohy Photography

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Naida M. VINE VOICE on June 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In The One That I Want, Tilly Farmer is a married 32 year old guidance counselor, working for the same high school she graduated from. She is married to Tyler, her high school sweetheart, and the two are now trying to have a baby. They both live in the town they grew up in. One afternoon Tilly goes to the town carnival and decides to see the fortune teller, who happens to be one of her old classmates. The fortune teller gives Tilly the 'gift of clarity' and sends her on her way.

Tilly's life is far from perfect. Her mother died to cancer when she was 16, leaving her 2 sisters, her father and herself heartbroken. Tilly managed to cope, but her father succumbed to alcoholism and her younger sister still resents him for it. Now that Tilly has seen the fortune teller, she suddenly has strange episodes where she has visions of the future. When she 'sees' her father getting into his car drunk, then receives the phone call from the police station telling her he is being held for DWI, she begins to wonder how powerful this 'gift of clarity' really is.

Before she knows it, Tilly begins to have other visions of the future, including one where she sees her husband packing his belongings and leaving town. Tilly begins to realize that things aren't what she thought they once were.

I both liked and disliked The One That I Want. The storyline was interesting and I enjoyed the magical realism aspect of it, but for some reason I just could not connect with Tilly's character. She wasn't annoying or anything, I just didn't feel any type of connection to her.
I hate to sound nitpicky, but one thing that bothered me was the language in the story, at times it felt uncalled for and distracting.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mercedes J. VINE VOICE on July 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Based on all the glowing reviews of this book (which I'm now wondering if a number of them aren't shills by friends of the author), I was expecting to love this book. I absolutely did NOT. I didn't hate it, but I was tempted to quit about half-way through. I stuck with it though...I kept telling myself 'All those people raved about it, maybe it gets better'. Nope.

Right off the bat, I didn't like Tilly. She's not offensive, or rude in any way, but her nickname 'Silly Tilly' is definitely the best way to describe her. I could not relate AT ALL to someone so desperate to relieve her high-school days, that she would become the school guidance counselor just to be able to be there everyday. Her pathetic excitement at planning the prom year after year...she's 32!! Get over it! No WONDER her husband had one foot out the door!

I did like the flashes of her seeing the future. I thought it was the only thing that made the book somewhat interesting and worth finishing. The whole dynamic between Tilly and her husband Tyler began to wear on me did her relationship with her sister Darcy. I could absolutely understand Tyler wanting to leave little Westlake, to see what else life had to offer him. It infuriated me that Tilly, while not wanting to leave the only place she's ever lived (which I can understand), was so close minded that she couldn't grasp how someone else would want to. She wanted everything to stay just it is was...always. And even though her outlook on life changes through the novel, I never really got over my initial dislike for her.

The 'surprise' at the end, the big secret her father's been keeping for years, felt totally out of place. It's almost like it was thrown in as an after thought just to give the story a bit of shock value.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Girls Gone Reading on July 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Tilly Farmer and I have a lot in common. We are both 32. We both married our high school sweethearts. And we both work in high schools in the towns where we grew up. You would think that all this similarity would breed familiarity, but I found Tilly very difficult to take until the very end of the book. Ironically, I think it was all these similarities that made it harder for me to like her, made me focus on our differences. Tilly, in the beginning, loves prom (I avoid the sponsor for weeks before so I don't have to chaperone), always smiles to fix a problem (anyone who knows me will tell you that I prefer yelling), and thinks her boy-man husband is adorable when he falls asleep watching another baseball game (um...I don't even know how to answer this!).

So as the novel begins, Tilly is "blind" in more ways than one. The fact that it took her two hundred pages to recognize that her husband was a poor spouse was aggravating. The way that she makes excuses for her alcoholic father was not helpful. And the way Tilly spent so much of the book telling me everything was perfect made me want to scream. She ignored the issues in her life for too long in the novel for me to truly love it. And it was this slow beginning that made her ultimate discovery-which came very quickly in the end-lose its punch.

The shining spots of this work came in the end. When Tilly finally finds clarity, she is inspirational. She relaxes and lets the other people in her life handle their own problems. She learns to let go, and that her students, her siblings, and her spouse are able to think without her constant guidance and cliched advice. Tilly almost won me back in these last wonderful fifty pages. She further reminded me of our similarities, when she realizes what she has given up for her family.
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