This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Book Review: Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin

This is the book choice for this month's book club. It's supposedly under the category of "chick lit", something we haven't tried for in book club.

The cool tidbit is that Emily Giffin went to Wake Forest University, with one of our book club members (like, she knows her). I love supporting local (how many times have I said this already) so I was thrilled to be reading from a local author (even though she lives in Atlanta, GA now).

I enjoyed the book and it definitely felt like one of those "summer by the beach" books.

Ellen Dempsey is the narrator of this novel. She is happily married to an amazing guy, with an amazing family, who amazingly loves her. Her husband, in fact, is the brother of her very best friend, Margot.

Margot and her family are very wealthy Southerners from Atlanta. Ellen grew up in working class Pittsburgh. And although Giffin tries to portray Emily as not interested in money, she seems to take no issue to having it and using it, except with a 'i don't really care about this' attitude. I don't buy into that (in reality). If you truly aren't interested in wealth and showcasing it, you wouldn't live in a mansion or have silver frames strewn around the house.

Just from this part of the novel, it made me wonder if the author knows the difference in being humble and rich or _acting_ humble while rich. My tone doesn't come across here so I'll just have to say it: ACTING humble while rich is pitiful. Don't bother. It's transparent.

So Ellen Dempsey is a newlywed who happens to pass by the first love of her life. And then? They meet up - Ellen and Leo - and suddenly, Ellen is confused about her feelings for her new husband and her past love.

This becomes the story. A bit of whining and indecision and forced "I love Andy (her husband) and will not think about Leo." This goes on and on.

And while I enjoyed the book, it was just too typical. Woman confused. Bad boy ex who has commitment problems suddenly wants his woman back. She then sees how bad her great life is with the rich people -- how she has settled for this life vs. pursuing her dreams. And soon, she decides to see Leo and it looks like she is about to leave the good life for her ideal life and then? Leo is now the dick and Andy comes to the rescue.

Sigh. It just wrapped up so nicely. And everyone lived happily ever after. Except maybe Leo. But I would love, for once, to read something different. How about how you have two perfect men and now you have to choose? And you choose infidelity? And now what?

But I guess, that doesn't sell as much as wrapping a big bow on your story.

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