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The One & Only [Hardcover]

Emily Giffin
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition 4.49  
Hardcover, Large Print 19.83  
Hardcover, 20 May 2014 --  
Paperback 6.99  
Audio, CD, Audiobook 27.69  
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Book Description

20 May 2014

Emily Giffin, the beloved author of such novels as Something Borrowed and Where We Belong, returns with an extraordinary story of love and loyalty—and an unconventional heroine struggling to reconcile both.

Thirty-three-year-old Shea Rigsby has spent her entire life in Walker, Texas—a small college town that lives and dies by football, a passion she unabashedly shares. Raised alongside her best friend, Lucy, the daughter of Walker’s legendary head coach, Clive Carr, Shea was too devoted to her hometown team to leave. Instead she stayed in Walker for college, even taking a job in the university athletic department after graduation, where she has remained for more than a decade.
But when an unexpected tragedy strikes the tight-knit Walker community, Shea’s comfortable world is upended, and she begins to wonder if the life she’s chosen is really enough for her. As she finally gives up her safety net to set out on an unexpected path, Shea discovers unsettling truths about the people and things she has always trusted most—and is forced to confront her deepest desires, fears, and secrets.
Thoughtful, funny, and brilliantly observed, The One & Only is a luminous novel about finding your passion, following your heart, and, most of all, believing in something bigger than yourself . . . the one and only thing that truly makes life worth living.

Praise for The One & Only
“[Giffin’s] protagonists . . . live full, interesting lives outside the purely personal realm—[none] more so than Shea Rigsby, the funny, flawed, but sympathetic central character in . . . The One & Only.”The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“[The One & Only] is a book you can glide through this summer. Find a shady spot, get a cool drink, and just luxuriate in the joy of a book well written.”The Huffington Post
“Giffin knows a thing or two about writing a page turner.”Southern Living
“Brace yourself for a tearjerker: A tale of friendship and loyalty in a small, football-crazed Texas town shows how quickly things can change when tragedy challenges all that the characters hold dear.”InStyle
The One & Only is one to read.”—Associated Press
Something Borrowed’s author weaves a complex romance.”Us Weekly
Praise for Emily Giffin
“Emily Giffin ranks as a grand master. . . . She has traversed the slippery slopes of true love, lost love, marriage, motherhood, betrayal, forgiveness and redemption that have led her to be called ‘a modern-day Jane Austen.’ ”—Chicago Sun-Times
“Giffin’s writing is true, smart, and heartfelt.”Entertainment Weekly
“A dependably down-to-earth, girlfriendly storyteller.”—The New York Times
“Giffin’s talent lies in taking relatable situations and injecting enough wit and suspense to make them feel fresh.”—People
“When it comes to writing stories that resonate with real women, bestselling author Emily Giffin has hit her stride.”—San Francisco Chronicle

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (20 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345546881
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345546883
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.3 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 216,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Emily Giffin graduated from Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law. She practiced law in New York City for several years before moving to London, where she began writing full time. She now lives in Atlanta with her husband, two sons and a daughter.

Author photo: Jerry Bauer

Product Description


A modern-day Jane Austen. (Vanity Fair)

A dependably down-to-earth storyteller. (New York Times)

Giffin's writing is true, smart, and heartfelt. (Entertainment Weekly)

I absolutely loved it . . . I could not put it down. (Marian Keyes on Something Borrowed)

Giffin's talent lies in taking relatable situations and injecting enough wit and suspense to make them feel fresh. (People)

Here's a heroine you'll root for and a book you won't want to put down. I loved it! (Lauren Weisberger, author of The Devil Wears Prada on Something Borrowed)

Emily Giffin ranks as a grand master . . . She has traversed the slippery slopes of true love, lost love, marriage, motherhood, betrayal, forgiveness and redemption that have led her to be called 'a modern-day Jane Austen'. (Chicago Sun Times)

When it comes to writing stories that resonate with real women, bestselling author Emily Giffin has hit her stride. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Emily Giffin writes with both insight and empathy. (Candis) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

The Number One New York Times bestseller: What if the only person in the world for you

is the one person you can't have?

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars one word: dull 8 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had high hopes for this book, but I have to be honest there is no real story, I kept waiting for something to happen. I truly feel like I've just spent hours reading in my life that I can't get back.
Shea is dull. Her whole story is football and not feeling good enough. Her best friend is irritating and has no redeaming features. Every person in this story is one dimensional. I had no particular feelings for anyone.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Huh? 19 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I can't think of much to say about this book except "it happened." There were frequent lulls in the middle where the story completely lost interest; I'd have stopped reading if my friend didn't want to know what happened in the end. And the end was quite backwards, and quite underwhelming. Not even sure if I was supposed to be happy or what.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kudos 22 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I am glad I got to read this work. It is a brilliant piece of art that is well-written and with a superbly constructed story line. The characterization is excellent too and reminds me of Tanya in Splendid Comets. It is also informative. I like to come away from reading a book more informed. Kudos.
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1.0 out of 5 stars One Star 20 July 2014
By beebee
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Adored previous books. This was strange. Central relationship didn't convince.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.2 out of 5 stars  1,280 reviews
236 of 292 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Rare Miss for Emily Giffin 22 May 2014
By belleTX - Published on
The cover is not the only thing different about this book. It lacks the quality, realistic characters, and masterful character development that fans of Emily Giffin's work have come to expect. I have enjoyed Giffin's other books and bought this the day it came out. I found it to be a major disappointment, and I had to force myself to finish it. What makes Giffin's books so enjoyable is that the characters and situations are usually pretty relatable. Even if you haven't personally had their experiences, you could have, or you almost did, or you know someone who has. I could not relate to this book or its characters at all - and I'm roughly the same age as the main character, from Texas, and very familiar with Texas football culture.

Shea is easily the worst protagonist Giffin has ever created. She's boring and one dimensional. What does she enjoy other than football and its players? We don't really know. Shea loves to spout off random football statistics and facts, and there are entire pages that consist of nothing but namedropping football players, sports terminology, and statistics. We get it. These people like football. If I wanted to read page after page of Heisman Trophy winners, I'd pick up Sports Illustrated. I was half expecting to see footnotes inserted by Giffin that said, "LOOK!! I did my research!! FOOTBALL STATS. TEXAS. SPORTS WRITERS!!!"

The storylines and romantic relationships are baffling. Despite the way that Shea casually puts down groupies throughout the book, all three of her boyfriends are associated with the local football team. And none of these men have anything remotely in common other than their association with the football team... but she's not a groupie.

Her first boyfriend is an idiot and a loser who really serves no purpose other than to set up the main love interest, which I could see coming from the first chapter but hoped I was wrong about because it was so perverse. The second boyfriend is a celebrity who is inexplicably infatuated with Shea and, also inexplicably, completely changes his personality halfway through the book to create a contrived hero/rescue sequence for Shea and her final love interest: the man who has been a father figure to her for her entire life.

Why is Coach interested in Shea like this having basically helped raise her? When did he start having feelings for her? Shea's obsession with Coach Carr and his reciprocation of her feelings felt so inappropriate and bizarre. I just couldn't root for these characters. The book is full of Texas/Dallas cliches and namedropping (Camp Waldemar and Highland Park - Snobby Socialites! SMU - Rich Kids! Hockaday - Rich Girls! Rice - Smart! UT - Hook em Horns! Texas - barbecued ribs solve any problem!!) Maybe non-Texans will not be bothered by this, but as someone who grew up in Texas, I found myself rolling my eyes. Between that, the nonsensical relationships, and the pages and pages of "look how much I know about sports!!" filler, it was a struggle to get through the book and a bit of a relief when it was over.
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read 5 Jun 2014
By DC - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was very involved with the characters. This book was a real page turner for me! If you've enjoyed other books by this author, you'll enjoy this one, also.
21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great read from Ms. Giffin. 2 Jun 2014
By The Every Free Chance Reader - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book. It kept me hooked from beginning to end. I didn’t want to put it down.

Shea Rigsby isn’t your average woman. She is a die-hard Walker Broncos fan. She knows football like most people know the back of their hands. It’s not a “here are a few talking points that I ripped from the headlines” knowledge; it’s a “I memorized every Sports Illustrated article ever written and I could call most of the plays and be right” type of knowledge. I liked Shea from the beginning.

Lucy kind of rubbed me the wrong way. She is Shea’s best friend, but she’s going through a hard time. She just lost her mom, and she is realizing that she isn’t that close to her dad, the infamous Coach Carr. Lucy also realizes that Shea has a closer relationship with her dad than she does. Coach Carr is your stereotypical good-guy coach. I liked him from the beginning. But I was surprised by a few things. Ryan James — hotshot quarterback for the Cowboys, Walker alum — is back in town and after Shea. He definitely rubbed me the wrong way, but he had some good moments, too. There’s a story there.

There was only one story line–Shea’s dad, his wife, and their daughter–that seemed like it didn’t really belong. I didn’t quite see how it fit into the big picture. I got the point with Shea’s dad, and he fit in well with the story. But the wife and daughter were distractions in an otherwise great story.

The One & Only was another great read from Ms. Giffin. I will definitely buy a hard copy of this book to add to her other books sitting on my shelves. The story makes you happy, sad, giddy, excited, stressed, angry, you name it. All of this and great football moments as well. It was as if I were watching the plays instead of reading them. I felt like I was there rooting for the Walker Broncos along with Shea.

Would I recommend it: Absolutely! Ms. Giffin is an always buy author for me.

(I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
53 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Giffin throws a hail mary pass, but still scores... 1 Jun 2014
By Mel - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Emily Giffin's seventh book is quite possibly her best, but not for the reasons you would think. I say this after being absolutely sure her best was her last book, Where We Belong. The One and Only is arguably her best book though because it manages to be successful at all things stories must be successful at when they are unconventional....and frankly at times, uncomfortable...

The One and Only tells the story of 33-year-old Shea Rigsby, who born in the small town of Walker, Texas, appears to have only one singular passion: college football. In a circle-of-life scenario, the novel ironically begins with a funeral and ends hopefully with a National Championship game. Along the way, Shea must break her rut of complacency and realize that Walker football is not the one and only thing she cares about. This book is about "the things that endure in defeat, and even death. The things that make football like life -- and life like a game of football."

I'm not gonna lie. I didn't think I could love this book, but its unexpected-ness made me love it more. And truthfully, there will be people who will dismiss this book and not even try to let it into their hearts because of its unconventional love story. I've even seen people call it "incestuous" (cringe). I can see where they're coming from... Like them, I read the first 30% of this book feeling, at times, uncomfortable. And all the football jargon takes some getting used to for those who don't know or love the game, but I hung in there because this is Emily Giffin! Her books are a standard pre-order purchase for me, and frankly, I paid almost $12 for this Kindle book! I have read Giffin since her first novel, and like Something Borrowed, this book has some obstacles the reader must overcome in order to still like it, but I recognize that Giffin really took a chance here; she went outside the chick lit formula and made it work. As she often reminds us in her stories, people and things are not black and white or simple or conventional. This book's true success is that its author convinces us to care even when we might not agree. She changed my mind. I couldn't put this book down . I cared and sympathized with every character, even minor characters, including the "bad guy."

I gasped, laughed, and cried through the last half of this book. And by the time the big championship game arrived, I was worked up into a lather of anticipation and worry. Like the great Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Giffin makes you care about a sport you had no previous interest in. (SEP is famous for rom coms with sports contexts.) Despite my anxiety, I didn't want it to end. I wanted to keep being friends with these flawed and real people. I will even miss them...

This book has it all: great characters, a distinct setting, believable conflict(s), dramatic irony, secrets and suspense, a woo-hoo climax, and ultimately, universal themes...for the unconventional and conventional alike.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick Read 18 Jun 2014
By LISA - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book as it was a quick read but it was very predictable and you kind of figured out what was going to happen very early on. As other wrote about to many football references, I thought it was just fine as clearly that was a big part of the book.
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