Listened: August 2016
In her eagerly awaited new novel, beloved New York Times bestselling author Emily Giffin returns with an extraordinary story of love and loyalty—and an unconventional heroine struggling to reconcile both.
Thirty-three-year-old Shea Rigsby has spent her entire life in Walker, Texas—a small college town that lives and dies by football, a passion she unabashedly shares. Raised alongside her best friend, Lucy, the daughter of Walker’s legendary head coach, Clive Carr, Shea was too devoted to her hometown team to leave. Instead she stayed in Walker for college, even taking a job in the university athletic department after graduation, where she has remained for more than a decade.
But when an unexpected tragedy strikes the tight-knit Walker community, Shea’s comfortable world is upended, and she begins to wonder if the life she’s chosen is really enough for her. As she finally gives up her safety net to set out on an unexpected path, Shea discovers unsettling truths about the people and things she has always trusted most—and is forced to confront her deepest desires, fears, and secrets.
Thoughtful, funny, and brilliantly observed, The One & Only is a luminous novel about finding your passion, following your heart, and, most of all, believing in something bigger than yourself . . . the one and only thing that truly makes life worth living.
There are a few authors that I had been reading well before I even started book blogging, authors like Sophie Kinsella, Neil Gaiman, Jennifer Weiner, and Emily Giffin. I still look forward to new books by these authors, though I’m happy I found a few more (okay, plenty more!) to fill in the gaps between new releases for these authors. Of course, since I’ve added so many more authors to my favourites list, that means that sometimes new titles get lost on my shelves until I can finally get around to reading them.
This is one of those titles. I remember looking forward to reading Emily’s new book, but it wasn’t until I was on a mission to read the books on my shelves (that is, the books I’ve bought in years previous to this one) that I finally got to reading this one, though I didn’t “read” it – instead I saw the library’s audiobook was available, which worked for me, since audiobooks really help me read the books on my shelves! And this is just the kind of book I like to listen to.
I was glad that I had time to listen to this book in a few large chunks because it has to do with football and I’m really not a football person. I would say that you don’t necessarily need to know anything about football to read this book, but I will say that I didn’t pay too much attention to any of the game details when they came up.
This was kind of a weird book for me. It still had that lighter, chick-lit feel to it, but it wasn’t my favourite by Giffin. A few things just felt strange to me, even though I know it’s fiction, and I’m sure such things would happen, some of the pieces just seemed haphazardly thrown in without too much thought to what had happened elsewhere in the story. I know that’s totally vague, but I don’t want to give away what happened and it was one of the bigger things that bugged me.
I liked the story well enough, it was a decent listen, but like I said, not my favourite. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Shea’s character at times – I felt she was a little wishy washy with her heart and not totally up front with people. And Lucy, on the other hand, was just way too blunt and up front for my liking. I liked parts of the drama and cringed at other parts. Honestly, I really wanted to love this book, but I’ll have to keep that for some of her earlier books. I’m glad I have her newest on my shelf and will have to give that one a try to see if it redeems this book.