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Must-read: The First Husband by Laura Dave

When your life falls apart, how do you respond? In The First Husband, Annie Adams must face this situation and her actions make her question everything about her life.

The First Husband

A wonderful job, a smart, handsome live-in boyfriend and a very cute dog — what more could Annie Adams possibly want from life? She has a relationship but also her independence, as she travels all over the world as a popular travel writer. Unfortunately, her boyfriend, Nick, has a therapist who doesn’t share the same rosy view of their life together as Annie does. In fact, Nick’s therapist has convinced him that what he really needs is a break from his relationship with Annie so that he can pursue a woman from his past.

The correct response to the man you think may be your permanent mate turning your life upside down is, of course, to mope. After she has spent some time wallowing in self-pity, Annie digs her most magical yellow dress out of the closet and heads out for a drink. It is here that Annie happens to meet Griffin, a charming and thoughtful chef from Massachusetts who is in LA for the next three months. The three months of his stay turn into a whirlwind romance for Annie and Griffin — at the end of which he proposes. Accepting, Annie leaves her life in LA and returns to a small town in Massachusetts during the winter (without even a proper coat) as Griffin’s wife. Once there, however, she realizes just how little she actually knows Griffin and finds herself wondering if this relationship is the real thing or whether the marriage is simply a rebound. Does she even belong in this new life? If not, does she still belong in her old life?

As a person who has become complacent and fails to recognize the signs of her life changing — even falling apart — Annie is an immensely relatable character. So many of us, after all, ignore mounting problems until they become so bad that they can no longer be ignored. Nor is it uncommon to throw oneself quickly into something completely new and different after painful change, without thought as to whether the decision is really a good one. Can such a decision ever be based on something real? Is it necessarily a rebound and a mistake? These questions guide Annie’s life throughout the course of The First Husband and as such make her a complex character that seems realistic and familiar. She could be your best friend — or even you.

Pick up Laura Dave’s The First Husband and before you know it you’ll find yourself completely lost in Annie’s life and world.

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