One True Loves

- Taylor Jenkins Reid


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.



I am finishing up dinner with my family and my fiancé when my husband calls.


solid, good read:
After DNFing Forever, Interrupted, I looked at the next TJR on my TBR (thanks, Libby) and got very worried. Published only three years later, another dead husband after a short marriage, was I just experiencing déjà vu? Nevertheless, I persisted and was rewarded.

While I can’t say I was a massive fan of these characters, the narrative itself is much more captivating, and you have to keep reading because there’s no way you can find out Jesse is still alive (not a spoiler, happens in the first sentence) and not stick around to figure out who Emma picks.

Jesse and Emma are two typical teenagers who turn into two typical people in their twenties. They want to get as far away from home as possible because their parents are wrong about everything, and only they know what’s right for them. I will admit that Jesse’s parents do seem a little out there, but Emma’s seem pretty normal. It explains how easily Emma returns home and embraces the life they hoped for her after Jesse’s disappearance (and after a period of severe grief). To be fair to her parents, if my parents were trying to pass down a bookstore to me, I don’t think I would’ve ever left home either.

Sam is by far the most human, the most emotionally captivating character. He’s so generous, trying to be so understanding of the impossible situation Emma finds herself in. He wants to do the right thing but doesn’t want to lose his partner and the life they’ve planned together. His attempts to stay strong and how he has to change his mind and his decisions show how honest he is and ring true to what someone in this situation would be feeling.

"I feel naked. Like I'm raw. Or like I'm..." The way he's trying to find the words to describe how he feels makes him look like he wants to jump out of his skin. He's jittery and chaotic in his movements. And then he stops. "I feel like my entire body is an open wound and I'm standing next to someone that may or may not pour salt all over me."

I look at him, look into his eyes, and I know that whatever pain he's admitting to is a drop in the bucket compared to how he feels.

TJR’s writing in One True Loves far surpasses what I found in Forever, Interrupted. It is mature, emotionally complex, and so impossible to put down. I read One True Loves in one sitting, and nothing could’ve distracted me from finding out what would happen in the end. I’m feeling much more optimistic moving forward with TJR.



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