One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid presents the heartbreaking reality of difficult choices. Can true love be found twice? And what happens when a woman who thought her first love gone and on the brink of moving her life forward with a new one, finds herself having to decide between her past and her future?
Emma Blair has finally managed to stitch her life back together. After the death of her husband Jesse in a tragic helicopter accident, Emma moves back home and takes over her parent’s bookstore. She reconnects with Sam, an old friend from school who she knows has always carried a torch for her. In Sam Emma finds an unpredictable second chance and when he finally proposes. She believes there is no one luckier than her. She has found true love again and she certain that her happiness with Sam will be forever.
But unexpectedly her husband is found. Three years after he was declared dead, Jesse comes home with plenty of survivor’s trauma but also with the desire to be with his wife and continue their life together as it was meant to be.
But it’s not that simple. Emma is engaged to Sam now and she is unquestionably in love with him. But she also loves Jesse; her husband, her first true love, her high school sweetheart. The man that she spent the first months after his disappearance looking for with her binoculars in a sliver of ocean, unwilling to believe that he was gone.
Taylor Jenkins Reid takes a plot that could easily be as frivolous or flippant as a Danielle Steele “made-for-t.v.” adaptation, and turns it on its axis. Like Emma, we are utterly and hopelessly confused about what she should do. Where should her loyalty lie? With her husband, who after going through his personal hell has come back to her? The man who showed her how to step away from her family’s expectations of her and become her own person, and live her life bound with adventure and certain unpredictability? Her first true love, who knew her so well until the day he vanished, but now knows nothing about the woman she’s become?
Or should she forsake Jesse and stay with Sam? The boy who has loved her since they were teenagers, the man who knows her now. A man more domesticated and far more homebody, who has given her a chance to love again but who also might be standing in the way of who Emma is really meant to be with?
One True Loves is cleverly written, with an easy prose and a dynamic wit that takes a bit of nail-biting angst out of the difficult choice that we know Emma has to make. With One True Loves, Jenkins Read suggests that perhaps there is no such thing as just one true love in anyone’s life. Maybe there is the very real possibility of more than one for all us, and this doesn’t make the ones we leave behind any less important or true.