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Book Review: The One & Only by Emily Giffin

The One and Only

About the book:
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.


My book review:
Football fans, this book is for you!

Character, plot, tension –  much of it wraps around the game of football in an interesting choice of setting and topic by a women’s fiction writer with a wide female reader base.

As I read, I was impressed with the amount of football knowledge the author brought to the story and enjoyed watching how this writer took a topic and then wrapped story telling devices around that topic. I read feeling this novel would: (1) absolutely captivate the specialized market of readers living in a sportscentric culture; and (2) please diehard fans of Emily Giffin because, let’s face it, we all love Emily Giffin.

You’ll find all the nuances you’ve come to love and expect from an Emily Giffin novel: a main character facing a tough decision and a love triangle tightly woven and closely pressed to the main character.

I found the choice of characters in the love triangle a courageous collection of characters for the writer to tackle because this particular love triangle is wrought with social taboos (a recent widow, a father-figure, betraying the trust of a best friend). But I think Giffin struck a balance in both authenticity and plausibility for the characters and I sense she was careful, as she always is, with writing while keeping the reader in mind as she explores love that comes at a price and with the risk of upsetting a social order.

Whether or not you, the reader, enjoy the game of football – know this: football is necessary to the growth of the main character, Shea, and what she needs to learn about life. Her love of the game helps her to see the world in a new way and to grow from her experience.

Emily Giffin is one of my favorite writers. I read everything she writes the week it is released. Five stars.

Buy the book: 
Amazon Paperback
Amazon Kindle

About the author:
Emily Giffin is the author of six New York Times bestselling novels: Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Baby Proof, Love the One You’re With, Heart of the Matter, and Where We Belong. A graduate of Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law, she now lives in Atlanta lives with her husband and three young children.

Connect with the author:


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