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The First Time

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  2,022 Ratings  ·  183 Reviews
Expanding the scope of her storytelling as never before, "New York Times" bestselling author Joy Fielding delivers the novel that will captivate her devoted fans and win her countless new readers: an exquisitely tender and richly textured love story of astonishing emotional force.

Behind the shiny facade of her seemingly idyllic life in Chicago, Mattie Hart feels as if sh

Paperback, 512 pages
Published January 1st 2003 by Pocket Star (first published 1999)
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Feb 21, 2009 Allison rated it really liked it
My GR friend Brandie was so kind to send me this book! I liked it a lot, and I thought the author did a wonderful job of describing someone with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. I guess it wasn't AS much of a shot between the eyes as her other books, so for me it was a little lacking - but still really, really good.
Jun 24, 2008 Tanya rated it it was amazing
This was the first time I read a Joy Fielding book. Having an uncle with Lou Gherig's, I was crying through half the book realizing all he would have to endure with this terrible disease.

The love story is beautiful and unique. It was a fast read and one that I thought about quite a bit after finishing.
Aug 13, 2007 Stephanie rated it really liked it
I didn't know this book existed until I came across it in my local library. A very touching love story about a married couple who, after some devastating news, fall in love for the first time. Dealing with some very sensitive issues, J.F. takes a good look at what makes relationships work and what makes them fall apart.
Jan 06, 2014 Marisa rated it it was amazing
This was the most wrenching story about love family, life. I was in tears, I laughter I loved the characters. I don't think I can take another story with such true to life issues and survive without a meltdown. To emotional for me. Loved it, loved Mattie, even loved Jake, it took awhile but it truly loved Jakes character, evan Cynthia Broome redeems herself for me
Oct 18, 2014 Jessi rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books, and I have read an innumerable amount of book, and have cried the majority of the way through each time. When the author introduces the characters, there are many you instantly scorn, however, she slowly draws you in to each of their personas and at the end you love them all. I felt like I was grieving for real people.
Stephany G
Jul 27, 2011 Stephany G rated it it was ok
What a sad sad story. I've never read this author before, but have one other book of hers to read. This one had a little too much detail and inner dialogue for my taste but the story itself was good but made me cry like a baby.
Sep 18, 2014 Melissa rated it it was ok
Woman diagnosed with ALS. Husband had many affairs, they were never in love but got married because she was pregnant. They learn to fall in love for the first time. Kind of dry and emotionless, I didn't really care about the characters.
Cármen Veloso
Jul 13, 2013 Cármen Veloso rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Absolutely beautiful. A very original and outstanding story told in such a touching way. It's almost ironic how ending in the expected way can be so unexpected and not clichê.
Jan 01, 2016 Sue rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Formula book. Very predictable. Couldn't bond with any of the characters.
Apr 02, 2012 Ns rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The First Time was such an emotional story. Just emotionally addicting. I can't count how many times I cried and the moments when I needed to step back and collect myself.

The characters came to life and moved me. Their imperfections are not just in the past but in the present, with every action and decision making them real. It's a story about a couple trapped in a loveless marriage and instead of finding personal and marital fulfillment, Jake and Mattie Hart are strangers to one another. They s
Dec 08, 2012 Inga rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Von außen betracht hat Mattie Hart alles: Den gut aussehenden Ehemann Jake (erfolgreicher Anwalt), die fast perfekte Tochter und das Haus mit Pool, in dem sie sich mit schönen Dingen umgibt.

Doch der Schein trügt: Die Ehepartner leiden beide unter traumatischen Kindheitserlebnissen und Jake betrügt Mattie. Als Mattie einen Neuanfang machen will, kommt die fürchterliche Diagnose einer Krankheit hinzu, die nach und nach ihre Muskeln unbrauchbar machen wird, so dass sie nur noch kurze Zeit zu leben
Ayu Wirdha
Aug 31, 2014 Ayu Wirdha rated it liked it
Ini buku udah lama bacanya tp sebelum kenal GR jd baru sekarang di review.

Sebenernya ini novel bagus banget, cara membuat alurnya, konfliknya berasa banget sampe hari ini (bertahun2 kemudian) saya masih merasakan rasa sedih itu.

Bagi saya ttp tdk rela tokoh utamanya meninggal (walaupun dgn damai) & sdh ikhlas jika suaminya bakalan married dgn selingkuhannya. Sebaik2nya selingkuhan ttp aja dia selingkuh & itu tdk dpt dimaafkan secepat itu. Aplg si selingkuhan cewek itu bener2 ngejar2 Jake,
Buku percintaan lagi. Buku ini aku dapatkan dari diskon menarik di Gramedia Palembang pada November 2009. Aku kasih 4 bintang untuk karya Joy Fielding.

For The first time merupakan buku drama keluarga yang berjalan sangat membosankan apalagi bagian tengah, karena Joy Fielding menulisnya dengan monoton, tapi setelah disabarin untuk terus membaca ternyata buku ini sangat indah.

Sebenarnya aku tipikal cewek melankolis, yang akan termehek2 membaca kisah cinta yang menyentuh. Dan aku menangis sekali un
Rhonda Rae Baker
Aug 17, 2009 Rhonda Rae Baker rated it really liked it
Emotionally charged novel...loved it!

There were so many things that I related to and the characters were true to life...(-:

I couldn't believe all the things happening in this story and as things moved along it was harder and harder to put the book down. So not to spoil the story, I won't tell you what happens but if you've struggled in marriage and wonder if there is any chance of'll be inspired by this one. It simply had my heart pumping faster and faster!

An easy read but complic
Apr 10, 2009 Louise rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Another spellbinding stunner from Joy Fielding! I'm so glad I found this author.

"After sixteen years of marriage, Mattie Hart, discovers that her husband, Jake-a high profile Chicago attorney-is involved in yet another love affair. But a far greater crisis descends upon the Hart family after Jake leaves home. Mattie receives devastating news that will alter their lives. Wracked by guilt, Jake returns to the wife he has never really loved and the teenage daughter who wants nothing to do with him.
Apr 08, 2016 Wendy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I picked up this book as I enjoy reading Joy Fielding's thrillers. This book however, is not a thriller but a work of fiction. It's a love story that deals with a terminal illness and at times was quite depressing.

Mattie and her unfaithful husband Jake come to a crossroads in their marriage. Mattie is diagnosed with ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. As Mattie slowly dies, we follow the emotions of her dealing with her illness, her daughter's rebel
Feb 13, 2016 Nicole rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anne Marie
Jul 27, 2014 Anne Marie rated it really liked it
This was a powerful book. The main story was about Mattie, a wife and mother who finds out she has Lou Gehrig's disease. Even though her husband was planning on leaving Mattie for another woman and new life, he makes the right decision in staying and caring for Mattie, realizing he really loved her. I'm glad their daughter, Kim, has learned from her mistakes and has gotten closer to her dad and grandmother. I liked the true to life events in this book. Even though it was sad at times, in the end ...more
Lou Wilkinson
Feb 18, 2016 Lou Wilkinson rated it really liked it
I am a lover of Joy Fielding novels and thought I read all of them until I came across this at a garage sale. As usual she did not disappoint. A beautiful story about a marriage that falls apart as the wife realizes her husband again,is having an affair. As she begins to start a new chapter in her life,she gets gut wrenching news. The bonds that tie us in a marriage ,whatever the baggage we carry,prevail. This is a story that will bring you to tears and an ending that leaves you wondering,what w ...more
RhondaJ Nelson
Apr 23, 2014 RhondaJ Nelson rated it it was amazing
Wow. This is nothing like any of the other books by Joy Fielding that I've read. I thought I would read a couple chapters this morning but ended up reading the whole book in one sitting. I liked the main character Mattie and her daughter Kim, I didn't like Jake at the beginning but started to warm up to him after his traumatic childhood was revealed and he started trying harder to work on their marriage. I cried several times while reading this book.
A very well written, somewhat far-fetched, messed up story.

Mattie was the only character I liked, Kim was okay at times, and they both deserved better than Jake. While I did feel sorry for Mattie, it just seemed so unbelievable that this miraculous reconciliation could take place and even if it did it would be an infuriating waste of the time that had already passed.

All that being said, I cried far more than I expected to given that I didn't love the book.
Aug 12, 2014 Gen rated it really liked it
Shelves: fictional-drama
Absolutely heartbreaking, and a book I will probably never read again since it's forcing me to confront my own fears. This is actually testament to how beautifully this book was written. Once again, Joy Fielding delivers a powerful and evocative work of fiction whose characters are deeply compelling.
I LOVED this book. I really did but it is one of those books that I will never read again. I cried long and hard and thought about it for weeks afterward. Would I recommend it? Yes. To my worst enemy.
Sue Farrell
Aug 11, 2014 Sue Farrell rated it it was amazing
With all of this Facebook hoopla about the ALS ice bucket challenge, I recall I read a great book about this woman with ALS years ago. I have been trying to figure out the title all day and I finally found it on Google. I highly recommend it!
Mar 11, 2014 Jennie rated it it was ok
A touching story written well. First introduction to the author and I will be reading more of her novels. The story was emotionally driven and poignantly written. I did feel it was a bit predictable in places but due to the topic it was to be expected.
A Cayouette
Jun 13, 2014 A Cayouette rated it it was amazing
This is a very touching story about Jack and Mattie who had been married for 16 years. They fall in love for the first time after Mattie learned that she had Lou Guerig's disease. This book had me in tears.
Lois Duncan
Jun 09, 2011 Lois Duncan rated it really liked it
A beautifully written book about the most painful subject imaginable.
(If I say anything more it will be a "spoiler.")
Dec 19, 2016 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joy Fielding hat es mal wieder geschafft mit unseren Urängsten spielend eine eindrückliche, mitreißende und traurige Story zu schaffen. Sie beschreibt die Personen und ihre Gefühle so gut, dass man sich vollends in sie hineinversetzen kann. Ein wirklich lesens- und empfehlenswertes Buch, mit einer klaren Botschaft: Carpe Diem.
Dec 28, 2016 Pamela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quelle belle découverte <3 J'adore Joy Fielding! Je m'attendais un peu à un suspense, mais il s'agit d'un drame prenant et envoûtant. J'ai eu mal, j'ai pleuré. J'ai trouvé ce roman très beau et j'ai adoré ma lecture.
Nancy Simmons
Nov 10, 2016 Nancy Simmons rated it liked it
I was surprised by the subject matter. It could be nothing but depressing from about twenty pages to the end.
It is fairly well written, but I am too much a Pollyanna to recommend it.
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Joy Fielding (née Tepperman; born March 18, 1945) is a Canadian novelist and actress. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Born in Toronto, Ontario, she graduated from the University of Toronto in 1966, with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. As Joy Tepperman, she had a brief acting career, appearing in the film Winter Kept Us Warm (1965) and in an episode of Gunsmoke. She later changed her last n
More about Joy Fielding...

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