Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “First Comes Love” as Want to Read:
First Comes Love
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

First Comes Love

(Love & Marriage #1)

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  46,125 ratings  ·  3,377 reviews
In this dazzling new novel, Emily Giffin, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Something Borrowed, Where We Belong, and The One & Only introduces a pair of sisters who find themselves at a crossroads.
Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing; Meredith hardworking, tho
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published June 28th 2016 by Ballantine Books (first published February 1st 2016)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about First Comes Love, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Anayeli Lopez Yes, one character ends up being bisexual. But there is no storyline as to how the character made the realization.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  46,125 ratings  ·  3,377 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of First Comes Love
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
It's hard to read a book when you dislike the main characters so much. And I really didn't connect with Josie and Meredith.

Josie and Meredith are sisters who are still coping with their brother's death, 15 years later. Now, some stories that I categorize as "women's fiction" that involve sisters feature a sort of love/hate relationship. This is more like a hate/hate relationship. Josie and Meredith fight constantly, and for extremely petty reasons. Honestly, I was sick of their back and forth r
May 06, 2016 rated it did not like it
Short version: everyone in this book needs therapy.

Long version:

*Spoilers ahead. Because this book was so meh, I just don't care.*

I'm not really sure when Emily Giffin's characters crossed the line from being complex and realistic to whiny and unlikable, but the latter is absolutely on full display in First Comes Love.

​Giffin introduces us to Meredith and Josie, two sisters who have let their entire lives be defined by the early, stereotypical prologue death of their older brother. Since tha
Chelsea Humphrey
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Many thanks to Netgalley for my copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Yes, it may come as a shock but occasionally I DO take a break from my regular scheduled programming of blood, graphic violence, and disturbing content. Sometimes you just need to lighten the mood and feel girly for a hot minute, and this was the perfect read for that. I fell in love with Emily Giffin's strong characters (read stubborn and real), biting wit, and adult humor when I read Something Blue (even though I did
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it

Family trauma / family drama, sibling conflicts, personality conflicts, who we love and how we love and why we love those we love, everything that goes into family dynamics. The way something you said or did or thought about doing when you were five or ten or fifteen will be held against you or used to measure the person you should have become twenty, thirty years later. Life scars. How a seemingly strongly united family can come undone so that you’re left with lives lived as individuals, connec
Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

That's how I feel after reading First Comes Love. After being a big Emily Giffin fan for her first six novels, I was so disappointed in The One and Only. I was still hopeful for FCL though and bought my copy the day it was released. For the second time in a row though, I find myself disappointed.

Where to start? First off, Meredith is the least likeable character in a book I have read, ever. Maybe I'm exaggerating, but wow, what a negative,
First Comes Love is a standalone, women's fiction novel written by Emily Giffin. I have a love/hate relationship with much of Ms. Giffin's work. She acknowledges that real people in the real world are irreverently flawed and she reflects these types of characters (and their frustrating choices) in her stories. For me personally, this style doesn't offer me the escape I search for in reading. Alas, I almost always enjoy books about I dove in.

As the synopsis indicates, a family traged
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
4 Stars!

Grief is a mystery to be lived through, not a problem to be solved.

This novel centers around two sisters, Meredith and Josie Garland. The prologue opens the story with a family tragedy, but you learn a fair bit about the family in it. Josie is impulsive, a bit of a party girl. Meredith is more reserved, an introvert. They don't have the best relationship. Then the tragedy strikes.
Fast forward in time fifteen years later. Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties and their lives have
May 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars review to follow

Received from the Publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a fast read for me. Perfect for the summer months or for a plane ride. It is not too heavy but does deal with grief, relationships(husband/wife, sibling, friends, etc.).

The book opens with a family tragedy 15 years in the past. The book then fast forwards (15 years) to the future as we see Josie and Meredith, two sisters who are polar opposites navigating t
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Despite hearing praise for Emily Giffin’s books for years, First Comes Love is the first of her books I have read. It was great!

Reading the synopsis for this book, I assumed it would be an enjoyable, somewhat light, perfect for summer read. While enjoyable, and quick because I could barely put it down, the book opens on a tragic, somber note, and had a little more depth than I gave it credit for.

Sisters Josie and Meredith are left in the aftermath of a tragedy, experiencing their grief in very
Ahmad Sharabiani
First Comes Love, Emily Giffin
Meredith thought she'd done it all right, married the perfect man, had the perfect daughter, but as she grows increasingly restless, she can't help but wonder if she got the love part wrong. Josie has been happily single for years, but she wants a child. These sisters, whose relationship was strained by the tragic death of their older brother over a decade ago, now find that they need each other more than they realized.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز پانزدهم ماه نوامبر سال
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
I really enjoyed this book! Giffin's books have been a hit or a miss for me. Glad this was a hit. I have to say that I was engaged from beginning to end by Josie, Meredith, and the rest of the characters. Others have said the sisters were unrealistic but I beg to differ. Many themes in this novel than your usual fluff: different relationships, love, family, guilt, and survival through tragedy. Liked the Atlanta setting too. Hope her next book is just as good (or better).

Favorite Quote: "...not
Zsa Zsa
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
The four stars is for the moral lesson, otherwise it is a well written story about siblings, a nice one and a judgmental bitchy one who we were supposed to also root for because the story was told from both of their point of views, but if there’s one thing that’s worse than a judgmental person, is a judgmental person with a shitty life.
It’s been way too long since I’ve read an Emily Giffin book. It’s her knack for exploring the complicated relationship and her cast of relatable characters that have landed her on my list of favorite authors. After so long, this book was a reminder of just how much I enjoy her writing. There’s a big part of me that wants to go back and reread some of her greats. Starting with Something Borrowed and Something Blue.

This story is centered around two very different sisters - Josie and Meredith. Thei
Love Fool
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Emotionally honest and utterly enthralling, First Comes Love is a story about family, friendship, and the courage to follow your own heart—wherever that may lead.

Maybe I'm being generous with giving this book four stars because I'm happy that Emily Giffin has wrote a better book than that horrible The One and Only. I enjoyed this book, it's not her best like Something Borrowed and Something Blue but she's slowly recovering from the one we should not speak about again (The One and Only). Sisters
Dec 15, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm not sure why, but couldn't really get into the story. It wasn't the flipping back and forth, I just couldn't connect. I still enjoyed it and felt that it was written well and had good character development. I just really enjoyed Something Borrowed much better... ...more
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Josie and Meredith are sisters, but they have little in common other than the fact that they share DNA. They both, along with their parents, are trying to deal with their grief surrounding their brother's untimely death. In addition to that, Josie is an elementary school teacher and feels like she is running out of time. She wants a family of her own, but feels the tick-tick-tock of her biological clock. Plus, she still can't get over Will, her last boyfriend, who ended it with her many years ag ...more
Dale Harcombe
Two sisters, Josie and Meredith. As different from each other as they can be. When tragedy hits their family and their brother Daniel is killed in a car accident, the rift between the sisters gets even wider. Meredith is married to Nolan and they have a young child, Harper. Josie is single and wants a baby even though no Mr Right seems to be on the horizon. The truth is, she is enamoured of her first love Will. But Will is married to Andrea and they have a young daughter. A popular teacher, Josi ...more
Apr 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Josie and Meredith are sisters the couldn't be more opposite of each other. Josie is the elder, but makes rash decisions, likes to party, and wonders whether she should look for a sperm donor as she's entering her late thirties. Meredith, more settled with a husband and an adorable daughter Harper finds herself wanting more from her lackluster life. Tragedy strikes and their family is never the same again. Secrets are kept and resentment builds until the end of the book when everything all falls ...more
Anna at A Wondrous Bookshelf
Jun 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
I feel the need to start this review by explaining how I managed to give this novel 4-stars when I completely disliked every character in this book. I am usually drawn to a good family drama, especially stories about siblings. So, the premise of this book was a huge selling point. Another reason that brought me to this novel was the author. I really enjoyed Emily Giffin’s Something Borrowed and Something Blue, and I was already familiar with her style of writing. Indeed, I think Giffin really sh ...more
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

A poignant women’s fiction that explores the impact of grief on siblings and their relationships. It was easy to read and get swept into this book. After Josie and Meredith lose their brother Daniel in a fatal car accident, they each carry on with their lives and grief in different ways. Fun loving Josie is single and pushing 40. She desperately wants a child but hasn’t been able to find Mr. Right. Meredith is now married to Nolan, Daniel’s best friend. She has given up her dream of bei
Gina *loves sunshine*
Jul 12, 2016 rated it did not like it
DNF @ 36% boo, I am sad to have given up. I just can't see this getting any better for me and everyone should really enjoy each and every story they pick up!! In another time I probably could have stuck with it because I was at least at the point where some air of mystery was starting - the how is this really going to end part? Problem is, the content is crap I hate - the problems, the dumb lying, the old boyfriend feelings, marrying for the wrong reasons, not seeing answers that are right in fr ...more
PacaLipstick Gramma
Mar 31, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: goodreads-win, author
I won an ARC from a Goodreads Giveaway.

In a nutshell? Ugh. I am so sick and tired of reading about emotionally immature characters, absolute selfishishness, inability to move on after a tragic event in their lives, and fail to recognize that others do (and fault them because they have). The blame game they play, major control and inflexibility of characters. Seriously, you are in counseling for years, and you still haven't learned that if what you're doing isn't working, God forbid, should you c
Aug 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
I'm sorry but, no. The narration of this book was great as always Emily Giffin is a superb storyteller. It's the plot I have a problem with, from page one to the end I just found myself shaking my head no.
Someone may argue that this book is made of "real" people, in "real" situations, but I disagree. The stream of badness and drama has no end. It's like a reverse "Happily Ever After" story where everything instead of being filtered in pink positiveness is filtered in black drama. Long are gone t
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
I was given a free copy of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is the story of two incredibly unlikeable sisters; a shallow characterization of the relationship between two sisters after the death of their brother. Giffin shares a skeletal story of two self involved women who constantly attack one another. Both grated on my nerves. Promising storylines are introduced ...then fade away with little fanfare. The one between Josie and her former flame, Will, was particularly
Jun 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Emily Giffin still is a must read author for me. First Comes Love is so good in so many ways. A great Book Club book filled with lots of important questions about life, forgiveness and love.
Laurence R.
May 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've been a fan of Emily Giffin's ever since I read Something Borrowed - which I know is a controversial novel - so I was very excited to read her most recent novel, since I must say that I haven't read that many books from her. I might not be part of the targeted audience for this particular novel (and I wasn't either for Something Borrowed, especially since I read it when I was about 14), but it still interested me, so when I finally got my hands on it, I couldn't resist picking it up. I wasn' ...more
Carol Brill
May 19, 2016 rated it liked it
I can always count on Emily Griffin for an easy, engaging read, relatable, flawed characters, and realistic conflicts. The point of view alternates between Sisters Josie and Meredith. Meredith is the responsible one, a lawyer, wife and mother. She seems to have it all but isn't happy with her marriage or job. The only thing she knows for sure is that her four year old daughter is the best part of her life.
Josie a couple of years older, is a first grade teacher, living with her best male friend G
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A raw, compelling, and emotionally honest portrait of sisterhood. With a master storyteller's easy eloquence, Giffin shines a searing spotlight on family, forgiveness, and the bonds that unite us. Hilarious and poignant by turns, this novel resonates long after finishing. ...more
Judy D Collins
A special thank you to Random House and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Talented Emily Giffin returns following (2014) The One and Only with another gripping tale FIRST COMES LOVE --the powerful bonds of family, and at the heart, being true to yourself. When you live for others, one day the bitterness will surface, and rear its ugly head.

An avid fan of Giffin (having read all her books, starting with her first to the latest), of sisters, marriage, motherhood, family, s
Apr 29, 2018 rated it liked it
First Comes Love was a really cute read. It is about two sisters, Josie and Meredith Garland, who are trying to find happiness. About 15 years ago their brother Daniel died in a car accident and they are still trying to cope with his unexpected death.

With the anniversary of their brothers death coming up, Josie and Meredith decides it's about to time to grow up and say goodbye to their brother. Not forever, but they need to start moving on from that terrible day sooner rather than later.

I reall
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Chick Lit Book Club: First Comes Love: September Chit Chat 10 67 Oct 05, 2016 04:40PM  
Book reviews! 1 7 Aug 26, 2016 01:48PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #100 First Comes Love by Emily Giffin 1 7 Aug 07, 2016 12:54PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Emily Giffin: A Biography
  • Twice Burned (Love is Messy, #2)
  • Battle Scars (Love is Messy Duet, #2)
  • Big Summer
  • Troubles in Paradise (Paradise, #3)
  • Cheap Trick
  • Rock Bottom (Dawson Family, #6)
  • Fight Dirty
  • 28 Summers
  • Bad Things (Love is Messy, #3)
  • End Game (Dawson Family, #2)
  • The Rumor
  • Cheat Codes (Dawson Family, #1)
  • Hot Mess (Love is Messy, #1)
  • What Happens in Paradise (Paradise, #2)
  • Beautiful Day
  • Who Do You Love
  • Here's to Us
See similar books…
See top shelves…

EMILY GIFFIN is a graduate of Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law. The #1 New York Times bestselling author of nine novels, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Baby Proof, Love the One You're With, Heart of the Matter, Where We Belong, The One & Only, First Comes Love, and All We Ever Wanted, she currently lives in Atlanta with her husband, three children, and two d

Other books in the series

Love & Marriage (2 books)
  • Then Comes Marriage (Love & Marriage, #2)

Articles featuring this book

  The United States of America is an awfully big place. Sensibly, we chopped it into states a long time ago. This simplifies...
444 likes · 155 comments
“But there is one constant, one thing you can always count on: that not only does love come first, but at the end, it is the only thing that remains.” 11 likes
“Grief is a mystery to be lived through, not a problem to be solved,” 8 likes
More quotes…