I’ve read enough Taylor Jenkins Reid to know two things: that I will be having a hard time putting the book down to go to sleep and that I will not be disappointed. I’m trying to spread out getting through her bibliography because I don’t want to rush and have nothing left to reliably go back to, but it had been a while, so here we are. One True Loves puts its main character in the middle of an impossible situation—and I know we’ll be brought on an emotional journey with Jenkins Reid at the helm.
In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.
On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.
Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.
That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.
Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?
Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.
Gosh, I loved this story. Emma is put in an impossible situation when the husband she thought was dead resurfaces after three years—she’s fallen in love again, she’s started a new life, and…she doesn’t know what to do. I couldn’t imagine what it would feel like to love two people to your core and what would happen if I had to choose, but Jenkins Reid does a great job of bringing readers on the whole journey with Emma. You, as a reader, fall in love with both Jesse and Sam yourself and you wrack your brain to see what it is you would do in her shoes.
The author mentions in the acknowledgments that she wrote about the place she grew up (or that she spent a lot of time since her grandmother lived there) and you can tell she’s writing the setting from a place of knowledge. You understand why Emma loves it, but also why she was drawn to leave it and explore the world, too.
I mean, all I can really say is that I got caught up in the story and was happy to go on the journey. And I just learned that there’s going to be a movie starring Simu Liu as Sam (such. good. casting!), so I’m even happier that I got to read the book before it comes to the big screen.
I don’t think that true love means your only love. I think true love means loving truly. Loving purely. Loving wholly.” —Taylor Jenkins Reid, One True Loves
Thank you to Mario Gogh on Unsplash for the featured photo.