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The First Husband

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  7,139 ratings  ·  711 reviews
A savvy, page-turning novel about a woman torn between her husband and the man she thought she'd marry.

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.
Hardcover, 246 pages
Published May 12th 2011 by Viking (first published April 19th 2011)
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Average rating 3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,139 ratings  ·  711 reviews

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Sometimes you don’t know it. What you have been waiting your whole life for. You don’t know it until it is happening.

An intrinsically witty tale of love, marriage and self-discovery that reiterates the best things in life can often be found in the unexpected.

For this reader, The First Husband presented itself as one of those rarities—an assuming novel that managed to capture my heart and leave a lasting mark. The dynamic storytelling, relatable bouts of self-reflection, and endearing charact
Jul 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed

This book felt like it just followed a formula: girl and boy in love; live together; move towards marriage; boy dumps girl for another; girl meets new boy within weeks of being dumped; girl marries new boy; old boy re-enters her life; and wants her back. This all leads Annie to re-evaluate her life, her career and her choice in men.

Even though entertaining, I didn't find anything special about it. None of the characters had any depth or background or insight as to who they really are w
Jun 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
Paint by the numbers tale inside a bunch of half put together thoughts inside a set of structures the author seems to have changed her mind about a number of times, populated by puppets of characters that dance around the main character and strike poses and say lines as appropriate to the pantomime of hackery they are unlucky enough to have been created to take part in. I bet it'll become a movie. ...more
Have you ever read a romance where you were intrigued yet rolling your eyes in exasperation? Impressed yet cautious? The First Husband was a compelling social drama that was thought-provoking. At other moments, it felt like an onslaught of complex emotions. It was about relationships and the right -or wrong- words: a meaningful discussion, an intimation, rumors, advice or silence. It was about careers and choices. I believe most readers will sit on only one side of the literary seesaw. You will ...more
Colleen Turner
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I first reviewed this book for the blog!

When The First Husband opens we find Annie Adams completely content in her life: she gets to tour the world writing her rather successful travel column; her long term boyfriend, Nick, is beginning to taste success as a film director; her much-loved dog, Mila, is keeping her feet warm. What could go wrong? In the next breath her world begins to unravel: Nick announces he is leaving her for the possibility of a better life with a better wom
Jun 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The First Husband was an okay kind of book. It was super cliche and everything but in the end it was all meh?

In this book, you will meet Annie Adams and learn about her love life. First she meets Nick and later falls in love with them. They are engaged until he suddenly ends it because he wants to pursue someone from his past. Now before I carry on talking more about this book... WTF NICK? Who does that? I hated him at that point because I'm thinking WTF and she is probably thinking WTF. Heck t
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
I thought this author had a lovely, deft writing style, but I found it impossible to care about the romantic troubles of a hot travel writer with two hot men battling over her and a hot best friend (with a hot toddler!) who gladly drops everything to jet across the planet to be by her side. Her "problems" would be unattainable daydreams for 99.9999999% of the rest of humanity, with that .0000001 consisting of Heidi Klum, Ryan Gosling, and the Pekingese that just won Best In Show. ...more
Apr 13, 2021 rated it liked it
I am a vegan and this book was going "cheesy" on me!

This familiar tale of "guy dumps gal, gal moves on, guy returns" shouldn't feel old, but it did here.

Although the book was well written and had an easy and consistent flow, I had a difficult time identifying with the book's self-absorbed protagonist Annie. POSSIBLE SPOILER: Also, I had a hard time believing that Annie would quickly marry the first guy she met on a rebound after dating her former boyfriend for five years. And, finally, the exces
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2012, ebook
Books about troubled, indecisive relationships can usually take one of two paths, it seems. Either they're gritty and realistic -- portraying a candid glance into an easily-relatable scenario that lets the reader feel oddly comforted that she is not alone in her own screwed-up relationships of life. Or, they decide instead to be cutesy and optimistic -- presenting fables of pink wisdom, spurring the reader to decide that she too may triumph on the other side of this yellow-brick path.

Now, if I t
May 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The First Husband by Laura Dave is a funny, romantic adventure that follows travel writer Annie Adams. This woman seems to have it all: an exciting job, a great boyfriend, and a faithful dog named Mila. But when an unexpected turn in her relationship comes up, Annie is lost, but quickly finds comfort in the arms of a chef named Griffin.

Anyone that loves romantic comedies will absolutely be absorbed in this book. This was a very quick read for me, not because of the page count, but because I sim
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“With Nick, you had freedom.” Freedom. There was that word again. I had organized my life to hold on to it, hadn’t I? Everyone seemed to think so. Everyone—myself included—seemed to think I needed the possibility of going anywhere at any time, of infinite openness. But I was starting to wonder if maybe I had missed what freedom really looked like. Maybe it had less to do with always having a way out. Maybe it had something more to do with finding the way deeper in.

Wow. This was a really good
Apr 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The 411 by Maria:

I am not at all surprised that this book was picked up for movie rights by Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. As someone who has very little time to read and usually takes a week to read a book, this was done in 1.5 days.

You like Annie from page 1. She is blindsided by her boyfriend who suddenly decides they need a break. Forcing herself to go out one night and break her depression she meets Griffin, who you will also like immediately.

Annie finds herself suddenly happily
Meredith Schorr
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book surprisingly unpredictable. I really wasn't sure which direction the author would take until the end. (I was pleased with the ending!) Laura Dave is a great writer with an easy, breezy writing style that I enjoy. This was my second book and won't be my last. ...more
Jan 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, read-2011
Loved this book! It had a main character I could relate to. It had romance and humor. It was impossible to put down. Going on my favorites list. Wonderful book.
Samantha March
May 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Annie Adams is almost thirty-two and quite happy with her life. She writes a successful travel column that takes her all over the world, has enough money to enjoy life, and lives with her boyfriend, movie director Nick, in Los Angeles. But Annie’s seemingly happy life is put on hold when Nick announces one night that he needs a break from Annie- to pursue another woman. Annie is rightly shaken, and stumbles through her haze into a neighborhood bar- where everything changes. She meets Griffin, a ...more
Jaime Arkin
I started and finished this book on the same day. I couldn't put it down!

What do you do when you return from a work trip (Annie is a travel writer) to your boyfriend of five years telling you that his therapist says he needs to be apart from you? Her best friend (and ex BF's sister) tells her to be the opposite of you... and so she does.

A whirlwind romance with Griffin is what happens and I absolutely swooned over him. He seemed to be everything that Nick wasn't. When they first meet he says th
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

My thoughts: There are so many reasons why I liked this novel. I think the top reasons is that it gets into all the messy realities of marriage. The honeymoon is over when Annie and Griffin arrive at Griffin's (and now also Annie's) home and find Griffin's brother who is quirky, funny, cowardly, and insightful. In fact, Jesse is, perhaps, my favorite character for delivering witty yet deep truisms. Also present in the story is that the past might be past but the people are still present
So I loved 800 Grapes! But then a friend read it, hated it, and asked me if I only liked it because of the winery. I wasn't sure. I did go on a Pinot noir kick after reading it. I actually didn't remember anything about the plot except the wine. So. I started this book hoping that I would like it, even with no wine as the plot. I did not. It was fine. I felt like the men were fairly flat characters. I didn't really like any of the characters. Everyone behaved badly. I was happy when it was over. ...more
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult, read-2017, romance
This one caught me by surprise! I really enjoyed Annie's story. Her voice just seemed to resonate with me in a way that I felt her frustrations, hopes, uncertainty and happiness. Read this one so quickly that I was sort of bummed when it was over. ...more
Chloe (Always Booked)
Unfortunately, I agree with other reviewers that this book is just a little dull. This is the typical story of boy dumps girl, girl moves on, boy comes back but instead of dating relationships these are marriages. I didn’t feel like I ever really got to know our main character so then the chemistry and investment in the couples was missing as well. I was happy with the ending but more because I knew I should be, not because I felt a connection.

SPOILERS AHEAD: Annies husband dumps her so then sh
Sep 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my 2nd time to read The First Husband by Laura Dave, and I loved it every bit as much as the first time. It is a touching and sometimes bittersweet story of love and finding a place to truly belong. I really like the character of Annie, although there are times that she was frustrating. I loved everything about Griffin, and think he was a wonderful character. I enjoyed the storyline about their quick romance and them trying to make a life together. The First Husband captured my attentio ...more
Apr 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Annie Adams life is turned upside down when her boyfriend of many years tells her he is leaving her. He's reconnected to a woman from his past. Annie, thrown by the news, wanders into a bar and meets the lovely (and I will call him lovely) Griffin. He's working as a chef at the restaurant while the main chef is out on maternity leave. He's opening his own as-of-yet unnamed restaurant back in his hometown of Williamsburg (not to be confused with Williamstown), Massachusetts. Three months later, t ...more
Jun 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
Dave's novel feels just a little too formulaic for my liking. While the writing is good at times, it's also rife with typos. And contains at least a few glaring errors that seem to exist to tie things up at the end (newly minted PhDs are not offered associate professorships, ever, especially when they don't seem to have applied for the job in the first place). But more than all that, however, I just couldn't understand what was motivating Annie Adams, the protagonist. I know Dave was trying to b ...more
I picked The First Husband up on a whim. I purchased it when it was on sale, mainly because I enjoyed Hello, Sunshine. I'm so glad I did. I really enjoyed Hello, Sunshine, but I loved The First Husband. Annie is a the writer of Checking Out, a travel column that lets her travel all over the world. She has a great dog and a seemingly solid relationship with her movie director boyfriend, Nick. When Nick decides he wants a break, Annie's world gets shaken. Then she meets Griffin, a chef who is the ...more
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
I liked this. If you're looking for a pool-side read for the lingering days of summer, this is a light, quick chick-lit read with a very likable main character (who has some seriously cute men in her life to choose from, lucky ducky). I think I most connected to the fact that she's a travel writer and LOVES travel (all the side notes about travel throughout are really wonderful) and she lists off so many places she has been that I found myself taking notes...I really want to check out some of th ...more
May 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Annie Adams' favorite movie is Roman Holiday. She associates herself with the main female character, but everytime that she watches the movie something happens. Yet she keeps watching it. The last time that she tempts fate by watching it is when she is in her five year relationship with Nick, which she thinks is very secure. But after she watches the movie things change. Her whole world is challenged. What she thought was a perfect life and relationship is no more. She has to put the pieces back ...more
Karrie Kelly
Apr 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book…like, I took it with me everywhere because I just couldn’t put it down. I was reading it in line at Starbucks, on the elevator and VOLUNTARILY waited in the Firestone Tires' waiting room just so that I could continue reading – that’s how much I liked it.

Disclaimer: I love funny chick-lit/romance books and I have a longstanding dream of marrying a farm boy and living in some rural area so this book was right up my alley. Sigh……..

This book is definitely not going to change your
Mar 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Laura Dave is one of my favorite authors, and she delivered again here BIG TIME. I am also a big Jonathan Tropper fan, and he summed up The First Husband perfectly: "Positively shines with wisdom and intelligence. And what truly sets Dave apart is her ability to convey the contradictions and imperfections, the inherent impossibility of true love, and yet somehow still make you believe in it."

I will read this one again and again---
Apr 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I don't even know where to start with this amazing novel. I enjoyed it so much, from the very first page, that before I was half way through I was telling every reader I know to put it on their own Must Read list. When I finished I closed the book, held it tight, and told my husband that it was a great book, not a good book.

Smart, funny, poignant and sweet; The First Husband is an insightful and heartfelt look into the quest of finding oneself, ones home, and the one.
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Laura Dave is the bestselling author of several critically acclaimed novels including Eight Hundred Grapes and The First Husband. Her work has been published in eighteen countries, and five of her novels, including The Last Thing he Told Me, have been optioned for film and television. She resides in Santa Monica, California.

Her new novel, The Last Thing He Told Me, will be released on May 4th, 202

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