One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid – Achingly beautiful and introspective


In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.

After finishing this book, I held it against my chest and felt it burrow deeply into my aching, love-filled heart; I expect this book will stay with me for the rest of my life. Like Reid’s other splendid books, One True Loves is sincere in its introspection and unforgettably profound.

One True Loves is about Emma and her impossible decision to choose between two loves: Jesse, her high school sweetheart and husband, or Sam, her old friend and fiance. To call this book a mere ‘love triangle’ would be to undermine the sensitivity and honesty that this book possesses. Far from shallow and emotionally manipulative, One True Loves features two wonderfully complex men that love in different ways, earnest relationships filled with unconditional and unquestionable love, and a heartfelt meditation of Emma’s decision. It is a story that delves into the past, probes the present, and contemplates the future to present a complete and rounded illustration of Emma’s life.

I gave up on that dream and went out and found a new one. And in doing so, I’m ruining all of us.

You can’t be loyal to two people. You can’t yearn for two dreams.

The storytelling is flawless, but it is also raw, powerful, and emotionally charged. No emotion is too big or too small to capture and appreciate in this story. We witness Emma falling in love with the love of her life and the intimate history that they share – and what happens when the tragedy supposedly claims his life. I felt her soul, as it it were mine, splinter at the loss of Jesse. I felt all the shades of her grief and her despair. But then, to my surprise, when years passed for Emma I also felt her small but daring hope for happiness. There were the throes of confusion, anger, and, of course, heartbreak. Reid’s viscerally emotional writing shines through, intertwining with the senses and engaging you on a level beyond words. For a remarkable tale, One True Loves stays refreshingly down-to-earth in its emotional exploration.

In the end, One True Loves comes full circle and offers an answer to the question: what is true love? Rather than through a pursuit of an absolute truth, the book strives to answer its question through a turbulent and heartbreaking emotional journey filled with meaningful introspection and evocative moments. As always, Reid’s stunning portrayal of love and everything that comes with it – joy, heartbreak, fulfillment, pain, peace, wholeness – is absolutely wonderful. One True Loves also explores the importance of family, how relationships shape us, what are the important things in life, and how we are constantly changing and evolving as individuals. The results are breathtaking and very, very moving.

Good things don’t wait until you’re ready. Sometimes they come right before, when you’re almost there.

One True Loves rendered me speechless. It is a thoughtful examination on finding your feet after your world has shattered, what it means to rediscover yourself and grow, and what it means to have a true love. I loved this book deeply; I loved the journey and felt myself grow with Emma. It is achingly beautiful, and one of the most earnest portrayals of love I have ever read. An effortless favourite.

Rating: 4/5

Book Information
Book Name: One True Loves
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Format: eBook

One True Loves in:
Goodreads | Book Depository | FoylesMy review on Goodreads

If you know me, you will know that I am a big advocate of Taylor Jenkins Reid. I hope all of you read this delightful book and see why I love her books so much!

  • Have you read any of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books? Have you read One True Love? What did you think?
  • Do you think it is possible to have more than true love in our lifetime?
  • What does true love mean to you?

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