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Love the One You're With: A Novel Paperback – April 21, 2009
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“Giffin's talent lies in taking relatable situations and injecting enough wit and suspense to make them feel fresh. The cat-and-mouse game between Ellen and Leo lights up these pages, their flirtation as dangerously addictive as a high-speed car chase.” ―People
“Giffin is a dependably down-to-earth, girlfriendly storyteller.” ―New York Times
“Giffin excels at creating complex characters and stories that ask us to explore what we really want from our lives. LOVE THE ONE YOU'RE WITH skillfully explores the secret workings of a young woman's heart, and the often painful consequences of one's actions.” ―The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Giffin's fluid storytelling and appealing characters give her novels a warm, inviting air, and her fourth is no exception. Giffin's snappy prose makes Ellen's dilemma compelling, once again proving she's at the top of the pack.” ―Booklist
“Though it's easy to resent Ellen for taking her ideal life for granted, Giffin's vivid depictions of Ellen's steamy past with Leo help you commiserate with this realistically insecure woman.” ―Entertainment Weekly
“Giffin's books are funny, sensitive and truthful depictions of female friendships and the complexities of marriage and motherhood.” ―Atlanta Peach
“Ellen's conflicting thoughts and emotions ring true from page one through the book's teary (well, at least for this reader) conclusion.” ―Ft. Worth Star-Telegram
“Giffin's book is instantly relatable. Few don't wonder how their lives would be different if they had turned left rather than right at life's big forks. Her writing is realistic and entertaining.” ―Charlotte Observer
“I so loved Emily Giffin's last three books that I almost didn't want to crack her latest effort, for fear it would be the Superman IV of the author's literary opus. Mercifully, the new book not only lives up to its elegantly constructed predecessors, it arguably surpasses them in style, maturity, emotion and overall relatability. An achingly honest look at the notion of love as the sum of our choices as opposed to the contents of our vows.” ―Edmonton Journal
“Giffin's books are smart, sad and witty . . . Giffin is bold enough to allow a mainstream heroine to be happily married while still maintaining her curiosity about the road (or the guy) not taken, let alone considering infidelity. And she's able to show the strains that these considerations take on family, friends and husband . . . It's the difference between appealing to a mass audience and a reader who wants her ideals challenged rather than affirmed, often intentionally ending in ambiguity and compromise.” ―National Post
“Who hasn't fantasized about what might have happened if? Giffin does an excellent job of letting us live that one out vicariously while telling us a story that is so modern, multi-layered and moving that you'll feel a little sad when it comes to a close.” ―Gentry magazine
“Giffin is a masterful storyteller and manages to infuse energy, freshness and suspense into what could have been yet another predictable 'woman-at-a-crossroads' story. (Giffin could, in fact, teach some literary authors a few things about how to write compelling plots with strong motors.) The best thing about this book is Giffin doesn't play it safe or shy away from allowing her heroine to explore lust, infidelity and the road not taken.” ―The Globe and Mail
“This sweet tale satisfies through well-drawn characters who are forced to make some tough real-life decisions.” ―Star
“Love that's clouded by the memory of an old romantic relationship is the subject of Emily Giffin's aptly titled LOVE THE ONE YOU'RE WITH. Readers will follow Ellen with fascination and trepidation as she enters the dangerous waters of what might have been--or still could be.” ―Hartford Courant
“LOVE THE ONE YOU'RE WITH is a delicious novel for anyone ever caught between what is right and what is irresistible.” ―Bookpage
“Giffin delivers another relatable and multifaceted heroine who may behave unexpectedly but will ultimately find her true path.” ―Library Journal
“Giffin's fourth novel demonstrate much depth as she explores the conflicts that arise between passion and common sense.” ―Kansas City Star
“For anyone who has wondered about the path not taken. Thought-provoking . . . and perfect for an afternoon in the sun.” ―New York Resident
“Giffin has a remarkable gift for taking banal relationship issues and infusing them with life through her characters. LOVE THE ONE YOU'RE WITH is Giffin's most moving book yet. The romantic tension hangs off the pages like webs, trapping the characters as they attempt to live conventional lives. As always, Giffin's writing will leave you fully satiated.” ―Woodbury magazine
“Emily Giffin delivers the characters and stories we love in her fourth novel.” ―OK! magazine
“Giffin's characters are all quite likable, and this book is full of fun New York details and musings on the human condition that are more insightful than many books.” ―Minneapolis Star-Tribune
About the Author
Emily Giffin is the author of several New York Times bestselling novels, including Something Borrowed, which has been adapted as a major motion picture. A graduate of Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law, she lives in Atlanta with her family.
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Not long after her wedding, Ellen has a chance encounter with a past love, Leo, and afterward, she's left wondering whether her life with her husband Andy is truly what she wants or if it's what she has decided to settle with. When Ellen and Andy move from New York City to the suburbs of Atlanta for Andy's career, her internal battle intensifies with resentment. As Ellen's marriage begins to fall apart, she's forced to choose between the life she has with Andy and the life she thought she lost long ago with Leo.
What I loved most about this book even more so than the other three books I read by Emily Giffin, was how real it was. Whether or not you've been in the same situation as Ellen or not, I think most readers will be able to identify with her internal battle. We all know what's "right," but sometimes we can't help but wonder "what if." The "what if" may not be better and we know that, but yet we still wonder. As Giffin so poignantly says "it's simply human nature to have an occasional, fleeting interest in someone whom you once loved." But is pure human curiosity enough to take a leap of faith?
Love isn't straightforward. "Things are seldom as neat and tidy as that starry-eyed anecdote" shared with family and friends. Love isn't a constant fairy tale painted with romance day in and day out; it's a "choice to commit to something, someone, no matter what the obstacles or temptations stand in the way." Giffin illustrates this so well with her innate ability to characterize raw human emotion as she tempts her heroine and poses the age old ethical question: do you stray or do you love the one you're with?
Like Ms. Giffin's other novels, this book is well written and an enjoyable read. I liked that she introduced one of the characters, Hilary, from Something Borrowed as a tangential reference to her earlier work. Ellen is overall an enjoyable character to spend a couple of hundred pages with, even if you do occasionally wonder if she's lost her marbles--I mean, who agrees to move 800 miles on a whim? However, most of the other characters in this novel are total types, so it makes it really hard to get invested and root for them. Andy is "Mr. Perfect" Southerner, Leo is the "hunky artist", and Ellen's best friend Margot is the southern debutante. Even Ellen's sister--the sarcastic voice of reason--is typecast as a typical flight attendant. The novel would have been much more enjoyable if these characters had been a bit more rounded, making them real people instead of caricatures.
Overall, Love the One You're With was an enjoyable summer read. It was a quick read but still funny and smart (as is Ms. Giffin's way). I would recommend this to anyone looking for some good summer chick lit fun. But be warned, this is not the best there is.