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Something Borrowed: A Novel Paperback – March 10, 2005

4.1 out of 5 stars 1,274 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Darcy & Rachel Series

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The Amazon Book Review
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Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Product Description
The smash-hit debut novel for every woman who has ever had a complicated love-hate friendship.
Rachel White is the consummate good girl. A hard-working attorney at a large Manhattan law firm and a diligent maid of honor to her charmed best friend Darcy, Rachel has always played by all the rules. Since grade school, she has watched Darcy shine, quietly accepting the sidekick role in their lopsided friendship. But that suddenly changes the night of her thirtieth birthday when Rachel finally confesses her feelings to Darcy's fiance, and is both horrified and thrilled to discover that he feels the same way. As the wedding date draws near, events spiral out of control, and Rachel knows she must make a choice between her heart and conscience. In so doing, she discovers that the lines between right and wrong can be blurry, endings aren't always neat, and sometimes you have to risk everything to be true to yourself.
This new tie-in edition will coincide with the release of the film, starring Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin and John Krasinski.

Amazon Exclusive: A Conversation Between Kristin Hannah and Emily Giffin

Emily Giffin (left) is the author of five New York Times bestselling novels, including Something Borrowed, which has been adapted as a major motion picture that will be in theaters in summer 2011. A graduate of Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law, she lives in Atlanta with her family.

Kristin Hannah (right) is the New York Times bestselling author of eighteen novels, including Winter Garden. She is a former lawyer turned writer and the mother of one son. She and her husband live in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii.

Kristin Hannah: Well, first, I have to say, Emily, that I am just the tiniest bit irritated with you. When I got the call to do this interview, I was thrilled, to say the least. It came at a really busy time for me--right after the holidays and we all know how crazy that is--and my work in progress was giving me fits. Then I picked up Heart of the Matter, and lost myself. No more writing, no more cooking, no getting my hair done or reading my email. Once I started the story I literally couldn't put it down. Brava, girlfriend, I say. Your characters are so real and compelling, and they always say exactly the right thing. With so much honest emotion, I just have to ask how much of your work comes from your own life?

Emily Giffin: It never fails to thrill me when someone responds to one of my novels--especially when it's another writer. Writers understand the alchemy involved in making up something from nothing. And I just finished your book, Night Road, and I found it so emotional, so moving, and so terrifying--especially since I have three young children who will someday be teenagers. In terms of how much does my work come from my own life, I would say that I'm absolutely inspired by people, places, conversations, relationships, and issues that I observe, and that the "what if" part of my novel is very much inspired by these things in my life. But the details of my plots and the specifics of my characters come from my own head. How about you, Kristin? I'll ask you the million-dollar question that every author gets asked: where do you get your ideas?

Kristin: Ah, the idea question. I don't want to sound coy, but the truth is, I don't quite know. It's the most magical part of the process for me. I'm a pretty analytical gal, and I approach writing in the same just-the-facts-ma'am way I approach most things. I need to find an issue that engages me on an intellectual level, and then I need to marry that curiosity with a kind of passion. I need to feel genuinely passionate about each story before I ever write a word, and I have to actually have something to say. It takes me at least a year to research and write a novel, and so I have to really adore each part of it--the characters, setting, story. Most of all, it has to make me feel something genuine. That's really the most important component. Usually it begins with a single "what if" question--what if you discovered your mother had a whole secret life about which you knew nothing (Winter Garden) or what if your husband were accused of a crime you believed he hadn't committed (True Colors)--and then I write and re-write until the characters seem as real to me as old friends.

Kristin: I'm amazed by how much we have in common. We're both moms, both lawyers, both lived in London for a time. You're like a younger, cooler version of me. How did you make the transition from lawyer to writer, and do you think you'll ever practice law again?

Emily: I would hardly say I'm cooler than you, Kristin! I hear you live in Hawaii part time! What is cooler than that? I made the transition from lawyer to writer because I was so miserable being a lawyer that I needed some escape from the day-to-day of it. And inventing stories was that escape. I can say, without hesitation, that I will never practice law again. Would you? What kind of law did you practice, and for how long? What did you find appealing (or discouraging) about law? Did you find that it gave you fodder for any of your novels?

Kristin: Honestly, I have met very few lawyers who don't say that what they really want to do is write. Like you, I can say with certainty that I will never practice law again. Not that anyone would want me to. But I still keep my Bar membership up...just in case this whole writing thing doesn't work out. And yes, in the past few years, I have finally begun to put some of that law school education to work for me. I find that I'm really enjoying adding legal issues to my work. Of course, I have to talk to real lawyers to make sure I'm getting it right...

Read more of the conversation between Emily Giffin and Kristin Hannah

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Jennifer Wiltsie's warm, emotionally expressive voice immediately draws listeners into Giffin's story and makes them sympathize with Rachel, whose growing attraction to her best friend's fiancé eventually develops into a guilt-ridden affair. Wiltsie handles the other characters deftly; Rachel's best friend, Darcy, is especially vivid (and hilariously shallow and self-centered), and Rachel and Dex's romance is portrayed with exceptional sensitivity. This is definitely one to bring along in the beach bag this summer. A St. Martin's hardcover. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (April 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312321198
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312321192
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,274 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mercedes J. VINE VOICE on January 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
OK, I normally HATE chick-lit books, and that was what I was expecting when I picked this up, but actually, I loved it! I read all the reviews before starting this, and seeing as how everyone raved about it, I gave it a shot. So glad I did.

Rachel and Darcy have been best friends since their childhood in Indiana. Now they are both living in NYC and Rachel has just turned 30...and also just slept with Darcy's fiance. When I first started reading peoples reviews, I couldn't believe how they all rooted for Rachel and Dex...but after getting deeper and deeper into the book, I was doing the same thing! I actually grew to despise Darcy. She was so incredibly immature for a woman of 29 yrs. How Rachel managed to stay friends with her all that time was beyond me, but I loved the character of Rachel.

She's so down-to-earth, and I found myself saying a bunch of times, 'I know EXACTLY what she means!!', or, 'I've been there, and that's just what I was thinking to'. The ending was also really good. Half of it was a complete surprise, and I was very satisfied with the other half. I'm really looking forward to 'Something Blue' coming out this summer. Hopefully it will continue the saga of this very entertaining group of people. I definitely recommend!!
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Format: Paperback
Rachel is a bored attorney at a crossroads in her life. She is not happy with her job, has not had a significant romance in quite awhile, and her best friend Darcy (who has always been somewhat of a nemesis), is about to get married to her former classmate, Dex. After a drunken 30th birthday fiesta, Dex and Rachel sleep together.

Thinking it was just a one night stand, Rachel tries to pretend that it did not happen. But Dex won't let it rest and soon, they are in the throws of a passionate affair, stealing every moment they can to be together (including time at their Hamptons time-share), all the while assisting Darcy with planning her wedding.

It is hard at first to sympathize with what Rachel and Dex are doing, but since Darcy is not exactly the nicest gal (she even stole Rachel's first crush, Ethan, in the fifth grade), but soon the reader is caught up in the relationship and hoping it will turn out in the end. Rachel, who tends to be more of a doormat, is presented as the polar opposite of Darcy in both looks, drive, and personality, and her struggles with her guilt and fear of ruining her friendship with Darcy are drawn so well.

It is a rollicking trip through the past and present and Rachel tries to decide her future, with or without Dex and Darcy, and author Giffin keeps us guessing until the end. I particularly loved the pop culture from the 80's. I thought the end was a bit abrupt - not enough of a catfight and in a sense we were left guessing. Perhaps we will get some closure in the sequel, "Something Blue."
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I knew that I was getting into a book about disloyalty and infidelity when I decided to read it. However, I found the author trying to pass off Dexter as a romantic hero with Rachel and her friends gushing at how courageous he was when he broke off his engagement with the best friend of the girl he's sleeping with as an obvious misnomer and a little manipulative on the author's behalf. Because really, their reaction should have been "Finally!"

I know that cheating happens, and their immorality was not the problem I had with the book. However, let's just call things as they are. It's one thing for Rachel to think of Dex as courageous, but her level-headed friends realistically would have said "Thank goodness he came to his senses" rather than being impressed. I hate it when authors throw little things like that in to get the reader to still like and side with the main characters. I thought this book was supposed to be about there being a gray area.

But to make matters worse, in case the reader had any remorse for Darcy - Rachel's best friend of 25 years and Dexter's fiance - the author made sure to rid the guilt completely by having Darcy admit that not only is she also having an affair, but with Mark, Dexter's friend from college and Darcy's two-time substitute for when she needed someone to take Dexter off her mind. But because Darcy & Mark's affair happened a month into Dexter and Rachel's relationship, when they were already exchanging I Love Yous, the author decides that maybe she allowed too much gray area for the audience to still feel sorry for Darcy...after all, Darcy's affair happened around the time she felt insecure because Dexter had been distant and not having sex with her anymore.
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Something Borrowed is about a woman who on her 30th Birthday gets drunk, does the unthinkable and sleeps with her best friend's fiance'. Oops, you mean that doesn't happen all the time? As if that is not bad enough, she and the friend's fiance' decide they have feelings for each other (while sober) and start an affair behind the best friend's back.

Now, with that mentioned I must say I really disliked this book. I truly do not consider myself prudish in any way, but I strongly disagree with the reviewers who state you find yourself rooting for the deceptive couple. They are having an affair behind her best friend's back! It really doesn't matter if the best friend is an awful, selfish jerk. That is the great thing about friends, YOU CHOOSE THEM! If she is that bad why continue to be friends with her? The basis for this is the "heroine" in Something Borrowed is somewhat of a pushover and a supposed good person who can't be mean to her best friend and tell her where to go. But it's ok to sleep with her fiance'? I just don't get it.

Again, I don't think myself close mined or prudish but the author just did not create a sympathetic enough heroine for me to say it was alright for her to cheat with her best friend's fiance'. And if it is true love (which of course the author had to spin it as if they were completely in love with each other), CALL OFF THE WEDDING! Dex (Mr. Cheater - the hero) takes forever to make the decision to call off the wedding.

There were so many different ways this book could have been plotted to make a more agreeable and acceptable situation. Make the fiance' that of her worst enemy (which I guess Darcy would have fallen under the category of frenemy).
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