Monday, July 2, 2012

The First Husband by Laura Dave

5 Star

Annie Adams is days away from her thirty-second birthday and thinks she has finally found some happiness. She visits the world's most interesting places for her syndicated travel column and she's happily cohabiting with her movie director boyfriend Nick in Los Angeles. But when Nick comes home from a meeting with his therapist (aka "futures counselor") and announces that he's taking a break from their relationship so he can pursue a woman from his past, the place Annie had come to call home is shattered. Reeling, Annie stumbles into her neighborhood bar and finds Griffin-a grounded, charming chef who seems to be everything Annie didn't know she was looking for. Within three months, Griffin is Annie's husband and Annie finds herself trying to restart her life in rural Massachusetts.

Lydia - 5 Star

The First Husband was my first Laura Dave novel and I will definitely seek out her previous two novels and anything else she writes in the future. The First Husband is real, relatable and thoughtful. Not just about romance, and boyfriends and finding a husband, Annie Adams struggles to find her place in life, what she wants to remain the same and what she wants to be different. This is the real power behind this novel and makes it an incredibly compelling read.

Love is messy. Annie Adams finds this out the hard way with a blindside break-up, dealing with her best friend who is her ex's sister and then she vaults into a rebound fling which turns her into wife within three months. There are no easy answers except taking a step back for an introspective look - which is ridiculously difficult when you're stuck in the middle of it. But Annie muddles through, confronts herself and slowly begins to figure things out.

Annie is immediately likeable (as are all the other characters in this novel) and you can't help but rooting for her. Immediately after her break-up she stumbles out to a bar and meets sexy chef, Griffin who sweeps her off her feet. Beginning a romance so soon after her busted relationship weighs on everyone's minds and even more so when Annie and Griffin are suddenly married three months later. The cross country honeymoon over, the two descend on Griffin's family home in a small town where she is immediately apprised of the complicated life he left behind.

Annie's journey is more self discovery than finding a man, which appeals most to me with chick lit these days. I'm not as interested in the shopping, shoes and complaints about finding a man. I want more substance, a woman who needs to discover what she wants in life, who has obstacles other than love to overcome, whose growth is believable and realistic. And The First Husband hits them all. It even left me guessing and I wanted to make sure everything worked out perfectly for Annie and I was never sure it would.

The First Husband is a sweet, romantic story with enough comedy, and is full of heart. A poignant look at marriage, how well we know someone, especially after such a short time, and how quickly the facade crumbles after 'I do', The First Husband is a quick, compelling and delightful read. I can't wait for the movie adaptation!

Thank you to Penguin USA for our review copy!

Connect with Laura Dave here:

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