First Comes Love
by Emily Giffin
I listened to the Audiobook version.
Tragedy impact us all in different ways. This story follows a family fifteen years post accident. First Comes Love focuses mostly on two polar-opposite sisters and how they reacted to the event and are coping with the loss then, and today.
What I Did Like
I enjoyed the beginning of the book. The bit of tension and issues requiring resolution were very intriguing. I thought the character development up front really painted clear images in my mind.
What I Didn’t Like
Emily Giffin has been one of my favorite authors for the last five years or so. A few of her latest books have been… off, shall we say, of her normal writing style and character type.
This story seemed somewhat unrealistic. Josie’s immaturity and flippant attitudes toward so many issues is one example. Especially pregnancy; her decision to go about motherhood completely alone is extremely unlikely. “How hard can it be?!” Well Josie, you’re about to embark on the hardest thing you’ve ever done. it also should not go without mention she never thought about or mentioned anything past having a baby. It was all about having a baby. Babies don’t stay babies.
Repeatedly, Meredith’s responses seemed unrealistic too. Generally, mothers aren’t going to literally run away from their families for weeks at a time to sort things out. Painted as totally opposite of her sister, she seems to agree right away when it comes to Sophie’s (properly adjusted) reflection of Daniel and her current lifestyle. Meredith’s response to Josie’s big secret was terribly annoying and unrealistic as well. Coming from someone who has experienced tragedy, this fiery hatred toward her sister, rather than compassion about what she’d been carrying around truly irritated me – especially when a short time later, they kiss and make up.
Lastly, there were a lot of threads started, but were left unfinished. Whatever happened with Will and Josie’s intense feelings for him? Was that phone conversation supposed to heal her?? What about dad’s drinking and his new girlfriend? Gabe’s new girlfriend was a bone of contention for a bit there too… all of these seemed to just… disappear… and never be woven into the storyline.
So, what was the ultimate lesson or theme in First Comes Love? I’m not really sure. This is what bothers me the most.
Should You Read It?
Nah. Skip it. There are other stories that cover greif better. Looking for Alaska would be one that comes to mind right away. I’ve enjoyed other of Emily Giffin books, but this one just didn’t do it for me.
Emily Giffin is from Chicago, Illinois. After graduating she practiced litigation in New York but retired and began writing in 2004. All We Ever Wanted is her ninth novel. Visit her website to learn more at:
Are you an Emily Giffin fan? Have you read this book? If so, what did you think? Let me know if the comments below.