First Comes Love
By: Emily Giffin
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Source: ARC copy from Random House
Goodreads Summary: Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing; Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes their family, their different responses to the event splinter their delicate bond.
Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths. Josie, a first grade teacher, is single—and this close to swearing off dating for good. What she wants more than the right guy, however, is to become a mother—a feeling that is heightened when her ex-boyfriend’s daughter ends up in her class. Determined to have the future she’s always wanted, Josie decides to take matters into her own hands.
On the outside, Meredith is the model daughter with the perfect life. A successful attorney, she’s married to a wonderful man, and together they’re raising a beautiful four-year-old daughter. Yet lately, Meredith feels dissatisfied and restless, secretly wondering if she chose the life that was expected of her rather than the one she truly desired.
As the anniversary of their tragedy looms and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them, but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover they need each other more than they knew . . . and that in the recipe for true happiness, love always comes first.
If you know anything about me, or you have been reading my blog posts, you know that I LOVE Emily Giffin! I have read three of her books before this one, and each one is funny, heartwarming, heart wrenching, and overall fantastic. So, when I heard that First Comes Love was coming out this year, I decided to be bold and request a review copy from the publisher. My jaw hit the floor when they actually sent me a beautiful ARC in the mail!! So here we go with the review!
First Comes Love tells of two sisters – Josie and Meredith – who have had to endure a tragic past and are coming to terms with it nearly 15 years later. These sisters are the typical sisters – very different, but are family in the end. Their relationship reminded me a lot of mine with my own sister. Maybe my sister and I didn’t fight quite like they did, but there are always sibling squabbles. And then there’s the fact that growing up brings them back together (as it has my sister and I).
Meredith is the determined, self sacrificial, serious sister, while Josie is the carefree, self satisfying, and bubbly sister. Perfect personalities to make the story compelling. Giffin’s devotion to developing each character fully yet independently was amazing. I can’t remember the last time I felt that the characters in a novel were so real and relatable.
Contrasted with their family tragedies are the trials that both sisters are going through in their present lives as well. Even the way they react to and handle certain situations just conveys the deep character development in this novel. There are twists and turns along the way, and just enough conflict to keep you interested and invested to read further.
Overall, I thought First Comes Love was one of the best adult contemporary stories I have read in a long time. There were so many things to love about this book – the humor, friendships, families, tragedies, conflicts, and resolutions. I can’t give this book enough praise! I’m also dying for a sequel! While the ending was satisfying, I’m dying to see where these characters a couple of years down the road!
Rating: 5 Stars
First Comes Love releases today! Be sure to pick up your copy – it’s an amazing read!