It’s been two years since Emily Giffin’s last novel Where We Belong was released, and fans are overdue. The One & Only is sure to fill the void this summer with a story that pits passion against loyalty.
At just over 410 pages (not small pages and not large type, either), The One & Only was a book that initially made me take a deep breath: Here we go! At the end, the breath I let out was one of contentment. Don’t be daunted by its volume compared to other chick lit books out there. This novel is one I’d be happy to lug with me for the few beach trips it’s sure to last any reader. The pages pass with an ease that shouldn’t have been surprising. Emily Giffin is, after all, known for her way with words, but it’s by far the characters that will grip you in this latest chick lit tale.
The story is told from the perspective of Shea Rigsby, a girl who has lived in her whole life in the small town of Walker, Texas, where everyone is football-obsessed, including Shea. Tragedy strikes the town, and it’s just the catalyst Shea needs to finally spring herself from the comforting bubble of her hometown. She embarks on an unexpected path and discovers secrets that make her confront her deepest desires and fears along the way.
This is a book that I would recommend to any woman as it delves into issues that are prevalent to all of us in a charming and thought-provoking manner that also had me giggling a few times along the way. Of course, there’s also some great romance thrown in there, which any woman can enjoy.
If football isn’t your thing than this may not be the book for you, but those who understand the passion behind the sport will appreciate the way Giffin weaves the game throughout the story. I’m definitely not a football fanatic, but still enjoyed the rhetoric and the atmosphere of the game. The book reminded me of the television show Friday Night Lights, with all the drama and intrigue. Still, Giffin is able to capture the football brain and cater it to a female audience, which gives the novel a unique perspective.
Heads up! Slight spoiler alert for the following paragraph, but we think it’s important readers know some significant information about potentially sensitive subject matter before delving into this book.
A warning to those who may pick up the novel: It covers some pretty emotional topics, which the initial summary alludes to but doesn’t describe fully. Without giving too much away, there are topics of sexual abuse and domestic violence that arise in this story. That being said, the novel handles the subject matter with grace. Again, we don’t want to spoil the book so we’ll leave it at that.
It is definitely a novel that will resonate with readers. The One & Only doesn’t feel heavy or depressing, which is a testament to Giffin’s writing because it does cover some very real and heartbreaking moments.
The One & Only marks Giffin’s seventh book. She is most notably known for her novel Something Borrowed, which was made into a movie in 2011 starring Kate Hudson.
The One & Only hits shelves May 20, just in time for those summer camp and patio days to begin. Treat yourself to an afternoon with a glass of lemonade and this book. You won’t be disappointed.