Book Review – The One & Only by Emily Giffin

I read The One and Only three years ago as soon as it was released, and I loved it!  If you’re a sports fan, more specifically a football or college football fan, you’ll relate to the underlying theme of The One & Only instantly.

Walker, Texas is a small college town whose residents live and breathe college football. The Walker Broncos are a cornerstone in the close-knit community, and Coach Clive Carr is just as important if not even more than the team itself.

Shea Rigsby spent her entire life – growing up, attending college, and working her first (and only) professional job – in Walker. Football – more specifically, Walker football – is in her blood. Her passion kept her in her small hometown, but at 33, after tragedy hits Walker, Shea begins to question if her life decisions are enough. As she expands her horizons, she discovers and is forced to come to terms with some unsettling truths about the people and team that had been a constant in her life.

I’ve always admired how Emily Giffin explores relationships. She flips the coin and allows the reader to see things from a point of view that may not be the popular opinion. But she gives that side of the story a voice – a legitimate voice – that proves nothing in life is black and white.

Like she has in her previous six novels, Emily Giffin examines human nature from an interesting perspective. She takes the game of football and transcends it into a metaphor for life. If you never played sports or have never been a sports fan, The One & Only may be difficult to relate to. I’m not from Texas. South Jersey isn’t even close, but I was an athlete in high school and I’m still a proud fan of both my high school and college alma maters so I had an instant connection to Walker and the impact the college football team had on the community.

As Ms. Giffin explains, it’s never the outcome of a particular game that truly causes so much emotion, but “everything that went into the victory. The effort. The passion. The faith…It’s about loyalty. It’s about commitment to the people you love…your family. Your friends. Your team. It’s about giving it your all and doing the very best you can with what you have, in every moment you’re in.” They’re “the things that make football like life – and life like a game of football.”

The One & Only on Amazon

As we head into fall, The One & Only is the perfect book to add to your reading list.  

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Source for image above is Amazon.

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