JudgyK's Reviews > The First Husband

The First Husband by Laura Dave
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's review
May 30, 2012

really liked it
Read on May 27, 2012

I really enjoyed reading The First Husband. A lot.

Annie’s long-time boyfriend breaks up with her, out of the blue, which sends her reeling. A few days into the breakup, she follows her BFF’s advice and puts on a fun dress and goes out for drinks. Well, she tries to. Instead, she falls asleep, and wakes up 5 minutes before last call. Luckily, she still went out and met a guy filling in at the empty bar. While he closed up, he made her a drink and they began talking. A drink turned into a one-night stand turned into a series of dates. Next thing you know, Annie has married Griffin, her rebound guy, and moved from Southern California to rural Massachusetts in January.

Naturally, everyone who knows her thinks she’s nuts. Everyone who knows Griffin thinks he’s nuts as well. Annie finds herself living in a tiny town, sharing Griffin’s home with his brother and two nephews. She quickly realizes that her husband’s entire life was in this town before he met her, and it’s still there, including ex-girlfriends. It appears that Annie is Griffin’s rebound as much as he is hers.

The First Husband is about the decision to make a marriage work or not. The ongoing, ever-present choice that married folks have to make: do you stick around through all sorts of stuff that you didn’t sign up for, or do you cut your losses and get out? Annie and Griffin’s marriage is challenged early on, both into their knowing each other and into the marriage. They don’t have the complications that many people do: years of entwined lives, shared bank accounts, children, real estate. It would be easy for them to walk away.

I really liked Annie. She made dumb mistakes, but wasn’t helpless or hopeless or any of those other things that chick lit characters can be. I’d like to be friends with her. I also liked Griffin. He was built as a real character too, not as fantasy guy. He was fleshed out and flawed, but still winsome. It was easy to see why Annie let herself get swept away. My only gripe was that every chapter began with an analogy to Annie’s job as a travel journalist. That bit hammered more than I’d like and wasn’t terribly subtle.

Highly enjoyable book. Great for a beach or airplane read, but also good for curling up with at home. Fluffy enough to work for vacation, but substantive enough to not make you gag.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of The First Husband and payment for my review from the BlogHer Book Club. All opinions are my own.

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