After I Do: A Novel Paperback – 24 Sep 2015
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Praise for After I Do:
“Written in a breezy, humorous style familiar to fans of Jane Green and Elin Hilderbrand, After I Do focuses on Lauren’s journey of self-discovery. The intriguing premise and well-drawn characters contribute to an emotionally uplifting and inspiring story.” (Booklist)
"Taylor Jenkins Reid offers an entirely fresh and new perspective on what can happen after the "happily ever after." With characters who feel like friends and a narrative that hooked me from the first page, After I Do takes an elegant and incisively emotional look at the endings and beginnings of love. Put this book at the top of your must read list!" (Jen Lancaster New York Times bestselling author)
“Taylor Jenkins Reid delivers a seductive twist on the timeless tale of a couple trying to rediscover love in a marriage brought low by the challenges of domestic togetherness. I fell in love with Ryan and Lauren from their passionate beginning, and I couldn’t stop reading as they followed their unlikely road to redemption. Touching, perceptive, funny, and achingly honest, After I Do will keep you hooked to the end, rooting for husbands and wives and the strength of true love.” (Beatriz Williams, New York Times bestselling author)
"As uplifting as it is brutally honest—a must-read." (Kirkus)
"Taylor Jenkins Reid writes with ruthless honesty, displaying an innate understanding of human emotion and creating characters and relationships so real I’m finding it impossible to let them go. After I Do is a raw, unflinching exploration of the realities of marriage, the delicate nature of love, and the enduring strength of family. Simultaneously funny and sad, heartbreaking and hopeful, Reid has crafted a story of love lost and found that is as timely as it is timeless." (Katja Millay author of The Sea of Tranquility)
Praise for Forever, Interrupted:
"Touching and powerful...Reid masterfully grabs hold of the heartstrings and doesn't let go. A stunning first novel." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
“A moving novel about life and death.” (Kirkus)
"You'll laugh, weep and fly through each crazy-readable page." (Redbook)
“Forever, Interrupted weaves a beautiful love story with a terrible tragedy. Told in alternating timelines, each chapter progresses sequentially from two different arcs: one of a blooming, forever love and another of overcoming a sudden, inexplicable loss. Each storyline moves effortlessly and seamlessly through the connected stages, while also emphasizing the strengthening of old friendships and the forging of new ones. Whether told in past or present voice, Reid’s debut is a superb read from start to finish!” (Romantic Times)
"Moving, gorgeous and, at times, heart-wrenching. Taylor Jenkins Reid writes with wit and true emotion that you can feel. Read it, savor it, share it." (Sarah Jio New York Times bestselling author of The Violets of March)
About the Author
Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author and essayist from Acton, Massachusetts. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alex, and her dog, Rabbit. You can follow her on Twitter @TJenkinsReid.See all Product description
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The book is told from Lauren's POV but we do get to read unsent emails from Ryan to Lauren that give us an insight into how Ryan felt when things were going wrong. At first it seemed to me like there wasn't much of a reason to their marriage breakdown but through the emails we realise that the main problem was resentment on both their parts.
First read for me by this author. I had seen lots of 5 star reviews for this book and whilst it's a bit of a departure from the type of novel I normally read (eg. there is no sex in this book!) I did enjoy it but felt some of the characters weren't fleshed out enough and the ending seemed a bit rushed (and a tad predictable). They do both date other people. Ryan's we only hear about through his emails but Lauren dates David who is also separated (his wife was unfaithful) so because they realise they both still have feelings for their partners they are friends who then become F-buddies. I'm not sure I liked the fact they both slept with other people in their year apart and it all seemed a bit glossed over near the end.
I also wasn't really convinced by the year apart with no contact. It seemed a bit extreme and I also thought it unrealistic they would never have bumped into each other in that time when they lived so close together. I quite enjoyed the story but if I'm honest it wasn't quite what I was expecting.
Thank you to Net-galley for providing this in exchange for an honest review.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
They decide to take a year apart, with no contact with one another.
There are so many layers to the relationship that are peeled off and revealed by the author. To the bitter decision to separate, they both say they feel they still love one another but they just can't live with one another.
I've been married for a long time now (more than 25 years) but I was divorced earlier in my life. I understand what it takes to keep a marriage together and how one comes apart. The author really hits the nail on the head. When she wrote about them coming apart, I kept saying to my self as I read, " YES...that is exactly how it can happen."
During their year separation Ryan and Lauren both come to realize that life did not turn out the way they wanted partly because they did not tell the other person what they wanted and partly because they never thought about "marriage" being different from "courting." An example of this is that Lauren hated going to Lakers games and Ryan got tickets often. Instead of speaking up and even suggesting that she only go to an occasional game, she went but harbored some resentment. It never occurred to Ryan (nor did he ask) whether she liked going to the games or not.
In the course of the novel, Lauren's family members also experience some relationship changes and you'll find some surprises.
If you feel the ending is a bit too neat and "rose colored glasses." I can't really disagree with you. But this is a story that is very well written and filled with hope. It will make you laugh and make you cry and warm your heart. It would make a great movie.
If you haven't read the author's other book (FOREVER, INTERRUPTED) don't miss it. Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author who I will follow. Hope she is working on another novel!
I really don't want to recap the story, but I will tell you that what Lauren and Ryan go through was so very real. It's so easy to become disconnected and complacent in a marriage. To me, that's what happened to Ryan and Lauren. They became so wrapped up their every day lives that they truly forgot about honoring each other and their marriage. It was sad to read about how things began to crumble, but again, so real. They didn't have problems that happened over night. It was a series of miscommunication, lack of interest in each other, and they simply forgot all the reasons they fell in love in the first place. I think when life sets in and the rose colored glasses come off, it's hard to keep a marriage, or any relationship alive. You have to deal with the pesty little things like hygiene habits, laziness, snoring, farting, and other unpleasantries. The little things continued to build for Lauren and then it become a bigger issue.
Even though it was hard to read at times, seeing this couple go through something so challenging was really rewarding for me in the end. I won't tell you if they make it or not as a couple, but I will tell you that they learned so much about themselves throughout their separation. Another thing that hit me hard while reading this one is, that the couples who can make it through hard times, may not always be "in love". Sure, they love each other, but I think in long term relationships/marriages, there are times that you aren't necessarily in love with your partner. It's finding ways to fall in love again that helps to make it last.
Overall, I can say without a doubt that this is one of my best books of the year. Yes, it reached me personally, but I also felt that there were some really great messages throughout the book for everyone. It truly has something for every reader; self discovery, heart ache, falling in love, and family complexities. Seriously...read this book!