- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Washington Square Press (July 1, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1476712840
- ISBN-13: 978-1476712840
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 301 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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After I Do: A Novel Paperback – July 1, 2014
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It all started out so well for Lauren Spencer and Ryan Cooper—an all-consuming college romance, a perfectly imperfect proposal, a lovely wedding, and a rustic honeymoon. Now, almost 10 years later, Lauren and Ryan find themselves rehashing the same arguments with increasing vehemence. In a last-ditch effort to save their marriage, Lauren and Ryan decide to take a yearlong break from each other, abstain from all communication, and figure out how they’d like to move forward. Once Ryan moves out, Lauren spends the next year learning more about herself, her marriage, and the foundations of good relationships than she ever imagined. Reid’s second novel (after Forever, Interrupted, 2013) contrasts the heady bliss of courtship with the smothering familiarity of a long-term partnership. Written in a breezy, humorous style familiar to fans of Jane Green and Elin Hilderbrand, After I Do focuses on Lauren’s journey of self-discovery. The novel’s pacing is a bit slow at times, but the intriguing premise and well-drawn supporting characters contribute to an emotionally uplifting and inspiring story. --Stephanie Turza
Praise for After I Do:
“Written in a breezy, humorous style familiar to fans of Jane Green and Elin Hilderbrand, After I Do focuses on Lauren’s journey of self-discovery. The intriguing premise and well-drawn characters contribute to an emotionally uplifting and inspiring story.” (Booklist)
"Taylor Jenkins Reid offers an entirely fresh and new perspective on what can happen after the "happily ever after." With characters who feel like friends and a narrative that hooked me from the first page, After I Do takes an elegant and incisively emotional look at the endings and beginnings of love. Put this book at the top of your must read list!" (Jen Lancaster New York Times bestselling author)
“Taylor Jenkins Reid delivers a seductive twist on the timeless tale of a couple trying to rediscover love in a marriage brought low by the challenges of domestic togetherness. I fell in love with Ryan and Lauren from their passionate beginning, and I couldn’t stop reading as they followed their unlikely road to redemption. Touching, perceptive, funny, and achingly honest, After I Do will keep you hooked to the end, rooting for husbands and wives and the strength of true love.” (Beatriz Williams, New York Times bestselling author)
"As uplifting as it is brutally honest—a must-read." (Kirkus)
"Taylor Jenkins Reid writes with ruthless honesty, displaying an innate understanding of human emotion and creating characters and relationships so real I’m finding it impossible to let them go. After I Do is a raw, unflinching exploration of the realities of marriage, the delicate nature of love, and the enduring strength of family. Simultaneously funny and sad, heartbreaking and hopeful, Reid has crafted a story of love lost and found that is as timely as it is timeless." (Katja Millay author of The Sea of Tranquility)
Praise for Forever, Interrupted:
"Touching and powerful...Reid masterfully grabs hold of the heartstrings and doesn't let go. A stunning first novel." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
“A moving novel about life and death.” (Kirkus)
"You'll laugh, weep and fly through each crazy-readable page." (Redbook)
“Forever, Interrupted weaves a beautiful love story with a terrible tragedy. Told in alternating timelines, each chapter progresses sequentially from two different arcs: one of a blooming, forever love and another of overcoming a sudden, inexplicable loss. Each storyline moves effortlessly and seamlessly through the connected stages, while also emphasizing the strengthening of old friendships and the forging of new ones. Whether told in past or present voice, Reid’s debut is a superb read from start to finish!” (Romantic Times)
"Moving, gorgeous and, at times, heart-wrenching. Taylor Jenkins Reid writes with wit and true emotion that you can feel. Read it, savor it, share it." (Sarah Jio New York Times bestselling author of The Violets of March)
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They decide to take a year apart, with no contact with one another.
There are so many layers to the relationship that are peeled off and revealed by the author. To the bitter decision to separate, they both say they feel they still love one another but they just can't live with one another.
I've been married for a long time now (more than 25 years) but I was divorced earlier in my life. I understand what it takes to keep a marriage together and how one comes apart. The author really hits the nail on the head. When she wrote about them coming apart, I kept saying to my self as I read, " YES...that is exactly how it can happen."
During their year separation Ryan and Lauren both come to realize that life did not turn out the way they wanted partly because they did not tell the other person what they wanted and partly because they never thought about "marriage" being different from "courting." An example of this is that Lauren hated going to Lakers games and Ryan got tickets often. Instead of speaking up and even suggesting that she only go to an occasional game, she went but harbored some resentment. It never occurred to Ryan (nor did he ask) whether she liked going to the games or not.
In the course of the novel, Lauren's family members also experience some relationship changes and you'll find some surprises.
If you feel the ending is a bit too neat and "rose colored glasses." I can't really disagree with you. But this is a story that is very well written and filled with hope. It will make you laugh and make you cry and warm your heart. It would make a great movie.
If you haven't read the author's other book (FOREVER, INTERRUPTED) don't miss it. Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author who I will follow. Hope she is working on another novel!
I really don't want to recap the story, but I will tell you that what Lauren and Ryan go through was so very real. It's so easy to become disconnected and complacent in a marriage. To me, that's what happened to Ryan and Lauren. They became so wrapped up their every day lives that they truly forgot about honoring each other and their marriage. It was sad to read about how things began to crumble, but again, so real. They didn't have problems that happened over night. It was a series of miscommunication, lack of interest in each other, and they simply forgot all the reasons they fell in love in the first place. I think when life sets in and the rose colored glasses come off, it's hard to keep a marriage, or any relationship alive. You have to deal with the pesty little things like hygiene habits, laziness, snoring, farting, and other unpleasantries. The little things continued to build for Lauren and then it become a bigger issue.
Even though it was hard to read at times, seeing this couple go through something so challenging was really rewarding for me in the end. I won't tell you if they make it or not as a couple, but I will tell you that they learned so much about themselves throughout their separation. Another thing that hit me hard while reading this one is, that the couples who can make it through hard times, may not always be "in love". Sure, they love each other, but I think in long term relationships/marriages, there are times that you aren't necessarily in love with your partner. It's finding ways to fall in love again that helps to make it last.
Overall, I can say without a doubt that this is one of my best books of the year. Yes, it reached me personally, but I also felt that there were some really great messages throughout the book for everyone. It truly has something for every reader; self discovery, heart ache, falling in love, and family complexities. Seriously...read this book!
I'm glad that I stuck with it. It was a process of self discovery more than anything. While I don't personally agree with the decision that they made, and how they went about it. I did like the lessons that were learned. The growth and perspective that Lauren and Ryan came to, but I guess I didn't like that they felt they couldn't come to the conclusion together. There was a lot in this book, that I would never do, don't agree with, ideas of marriage that don't work for me, and blah, blah, blah....., but this author got to me, she made me think and she made me feel. Not necessarily all warm and fuzzy feelings, but she did make me feel things. I do feel that that is a powerful thing. I'm glad that I stuck with this book. I did enjoy the letter from Allie. I thought it was an appropriate way to end the book.