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One True Loves

Fiction | Novel
352 pages
5.3” x 8.2” Paperback
Also available in ebook and audio formats
ISBN 978-1476776903
First Edition
Review Copy: Kindle Mobi
Washington Square Press
New York, New York, USA
Available HERE
Review by Nicole Tone

Are our lives pre-determined? Is there one person we’re meant to be with? These are questions Taylor Jenkins Reid has been exploring in her novels over the past few years. Her most recent release, One True Loves, Reid explores not just the idea of “one true love” as the title suggests, but the idea that we live multiple lives within our own singular lifetime.

I think that perhaps everyone has a moment that splits their life in two. When you look back on your own timeline, there’s a sharp spike somewhere along the way, some event that changed you, changed your life, more than the others.
(Loc. 147)

Emma Blair has lived two perfect lives. The first was with her high school sweetheart, Jesse, who was supposed to have died when his helicopter crashes in the Pacific Ocean. The second life begins after Jesse’s death. What’s presented as a second chance at love as the summary suggests isn’t a chance; it’s a complete change in what Emma thought she wanted. It’s not just that she moves on in her love life; she lives a completely new life compared to what she had with Jesse.

But that’s where things start to go sideways.

When you lose someone you love, it’s hard to imagine that you’ll ever feel better. That, one day, you’ll manage to be in a good mood simply because the weather is nice or the barista at the coffee shop on the corner remembered your order.
(Loc. 1075)

Emma’s dead husband is found alive. Suddenly, Emma has this new life, a new fiancé, and one foot back into her previous life: a life with her husband in California, a life as a writer, as a traveler, as someone without roots except for the ring on her finger. She’s grieved for the death of her husband, yes, but now she has to decide which life she must grieve: her old one, or her new one.

Do you ever get over loss? Or do you just find a box within yourself, big enough to hold it? Do you just stuff it in there, push it down, and snap the lid on it? Do you just work, every day, to keep the box shut?
(Loc. 2886)

This isn’t just a typical story of what-ifs and choosing between two men. Reid goes deeper than that. Emma is forced to figure out what life she really wants, what life she really belongs in. For those of us struggling with figuring out what’s best for us—in love, in our careers, in our lives—One True Loves is a must-read.

Nicole Tone has her BA in Creative Writing and Literature from Southern New Hampshire University and is working toward her MFA in Creative Writing at Chatham University. In her free time, she is an editorial intern for REUTS Publications and the Industry News Coordinator for the Women Fiction Writers Association. You can follow her on Twitter at @nicoleatone or visit her website at nicoleatone.com.

• This review was requested by Alternating Current at the interest of the reviewer. The reviewer does not have a personal relationship with the author or publisher. • Permalink • Tag: The Volt •

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