As you can probably guess by now, Emily Giffin is one of my favorite authors. So this week I have two more of her books to share with you! Baby Proof and Love the One You’re With are Ms. Giffin’s third and fourth novels. Like Something Borrowed and Something Blue, she takes on tough life situations with an interesting perspective. I hope my reviews do them justice and you give them a try!
Growing up, most girls dream of becoming a mom one day, but not Claudia. It was never in her plan. Now, as a successful book editor, she couldn’t be happier to have found her husband Ben, who shares her “no kids for me” philosophy…that is, until his biological clock starts ticking. She loves Ben, but a baby was never part of Claudia’s life plan so she moves out and ultimately agrees to a divorce.
Claudia begins to live the single life again living with her college roommate and starts a steamy love affair with her colleague, Richard. However, when she suspects Ben has found a new, young love interest to perhaps bear his children, Claudia begins to doubt her decision.
Like all of Giffin’s novels, Baby Proof tackles tough life decisions, and drives home the point that some decisions don’t have a right and wrong. “There are trade-offs and sacrifices” in life, and there comes a point when you have to realize nothing is perfect. We can have the best laid plans for our life, but sometimes, we have to change our plans.
As I said, I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book given the subject matter, but like always, Giffin intertwines a few subplots with her strong character development to make Baby Proof a page turner until the very end.
Love the One You’re With
When I hear the phrase “love the one you’re with,” I automatically think settling. I wasn’t sure what to expect with the plot of this book, but once again, Ms. Giffin didn’t disappoint me. In fact, Love the One You’re With is one of my favorite Emily Giffin books!
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 for. 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 Ms. 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.” Ms. 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?