Monday, October 27, 2008
Review: Love the One You're With
Have you ever run into a former boyfriend or significant other and wondered what could have been? That's what happens to Ellen Dempsey 100 days after marrying her husband, Andy. Ellen, a successful photographer, runs into Leo, her intense first love that broke her heart and who happens to be a journalist. She is immediately taken off guard by the flood of emotions and thoughts filling her mind. She stops into a nearby diner to compose herself, and then suddenly her cell phone rings. It's Leo, wondering if that was her he just passed on the street and he ends up meeting up with her at the diner. They meet briefly, and Ellen quickly catches Leo up to the fact that she is married. They both go their separate ways, but for days after Ellen can't seem to get Leo out of her mind. She's perfectly happy with Andy and loves him, but she wonders what could have happened with Leo. She always had so much more passion with Leo and their romance was a whirlwind one. However with Andy, who happens to be her best friend Margot's brother, their relationship was always slower and more comfortable.
Then Leo calls her up with a job opportunity of a lifetime photographing a famous celebrity. Despite the fact that she knows she shouldn't do it out of respect and love for her husband, she can't pass the opportunity up. She accepts the offer assuming that Leo won't be there, only to find out that he's the one writing the article that the photograph's are for and that he will be at the photo shoot. Ellen continues to question her feelings towards Leo and her own guilt towards Andy, while trying to fight the chemistry between herself and Leo. This intermixed with Ellen's feeling of inadequacies in Andy's family only add to the problems in their relationship when Andy decides that they should move to Atlanta to be closer to his sister and his family. Andy and Margot come from a family with money and Ellen was raised poorer by her father in Pittsburgh and feels inadequate in her new family. Ellen agrees to the move hoping that it will solve her problems with Leo. She quickly realizes that the move is a mistake when she feels trapped and alone with nothing to do and nothing in common with their new friends. Her career was doing great in New York but she finds no drive to get work in Atlanta. Margot finds out about the article with Leo, and quickly becomes angry with Ellen. Margot was there during Ellen's relationship with Leo and subsequent break up and helped her to pick up the pieces of her life. Margot becomes angry that Ellen didn't tell her about the shoot and believes that it has to do with Ellen cheating on Andy. Then Leo calls offering Ellen another job opportunity doing photographs in New York for an article he is writing. This time when Margot finds out about the trip before Ellen leaves, she gives Ellen an ultimatum, either tell Andy or she will. Ellen tells Andy and he quickly becomes angry. He tells her that if she leaves for the photo shoot, not to bother coming back. What will Ellen do? Which man will she choose? The safe loving husband, or the man that she has amazing sexual chemistry with?
I give it a 7.5 out of 10. It was your typical chick lit. You could kind of see where the characters were going in the story and at one point I kind of got sick of Ellen's poor me thing. All in all it was a good book and made me question what I would do in this situation. If you like chick lit then you'd like this book.
From Publishers Weekly A chance encounter with an old flame in Giffin's bittersweet, sometimes mawkish fourth novel causes Ellen Dempsey to consider anew what could have been. Shortly after marrying Andy, Ellen runs into Leo, her intense first love. Leo, a moody writer, has secretly preoccupied Ellen ever since he broke her heart, so after seeing him again, Ellen wonders if her perfect life is truly what she wants or simply what she was expected to want. This scenario is complicated by Ellen's past: the early death of her mother and subsequent disintegration of her family have left Ellen insecure and saddled with unresolved feelings of guilt. These feelings intensify when Andy's career takes the newlyweds from Ellen's beloved New York City to suburban Atlanta. As Ellen's feelings of inadequacy and resentment grow, her marriage begins to crumble. The novel is sometimes bogged down by characters so rooted in type that they, and the story line, can only move in the most obvious trajectory. However, Giffin's self-aware narrator and focus on troubled relationships will satisfy those looking for a light women's lit fix.