First Comes Love by Emily Giffin is the story of two sisters who are trying to live their lives with the memory of the tragic death of their brother. As the anniversary of his death approaches, these women must confront their role in the accident and in the events which followed. The story is told alternating between the sister’s perspectives. Josie is a first grade teacher who is confronted with her life as the daughter of her ex-fiancé is in her new class. Meredith is married to Nolan for 7 years and mother of 4 year old, Harper. Josie feels something is missing from her life and she realizes that she desperately wants a child. She considers a sperm donor to the dismay of Meredith. Meredith comes to terms that her choices in her life, her marriage and where to go in the future. Will the sisters be able to come together and discuss the night their brother died? Will Josie and Meredith be able to find what is missing in their lives?
I have mixed feelings about First Comes Love. First, I enjoyed the dramatic story. How one tragic event shaped the lives of those left behind. However, I feel it’s a bit cliché that the family is torn about by the loss of a family member. When I’ve seen in my personal life, some families pulled tighter together after a tragedy. Second, there is a joke made by a character about gluten-free individuals. As an individual who is gluten free and struggles with the diet every day, I am sick and tired of the jokes. If you never have had to live with the diet, knowing that everything you eats needs to be checked and rechecked to make sure it’s safe, you can’t joke about it! You don’t see jokes about people with diabetes or lactose intolerance or any other food allergy! Why is gluten free individuals fair game? Third, there is a line in the book which I can relate to completely. Meredith sees a counselor, who tells her “Grief is a mystery to be lived through, not a problem to be solved.” I love this because grief becomes a part of life which has no solution, it has no end. You learn to live with it and move on but grief will always be there. Overall, if you are a fan of Emily Giffin, you will most likely enjoy First Comes Love. However, if you haven’t read Ms. Giffin’s books, I recommend you skip First Comes Love.
First Comes Love
will be available June 28, 2016
at major book retailers