When you get married, you never anticipate separating or divorcing. You hear of couples going through tough times and think “that will never happen to us… we’re good. We’re strong.” But, does it always work out that way? In the case of Lauren and Ryan they have discovered that they aren’t as strong as they think and after being together for eleven years, they decide to take a break. For one year, they will live separately, they will not see each other and they will not speak to one another. They can date other people, they can sleep with other people and then after a year, they will decide whether or not they should continue to be married.
After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid follows Lauren throughout the year that she is separated from her husband as she goes through the motions of experiencing the heartbreak of an empty house; the frustration of not being able to pick up the phone and call him; the torture of thinking about him being with someone else; and then finally, the acceptance of needing to take the time for herself and learning who Lauren is without Ryan.
After the year is up, will they go their separate ways or will they decide to stay married and give life together another try?
First, let’s talk about the fact that this was Taylor Jenkins Reid’s FIRST book. Good grief, if she could write this well in 2014, no wonder she is a rock-star (see what I did there) now. She is an immensely gifted woman; by far, my favorite author out there. I plan to read every one of her books and I’m sure they will all be spectacular.
I appreciate every page of this story. It was heartbreaking, uplifting, and humorous; all of the things that make up life. It was such a real book. The events that occurred between Lauren and Ryan could happen to any of us. I’m just recently out of the newlywed period, (we’ve been married a year and a half) and I can see what happened in After I Do actually happening if you don’t try hard enough.
“All you have to do is never give up.”
I loved the banter in Laurens’ head—it made me laugh (out loud) on multiple occasions. “I stole a Capri Sun from the grocery store when I was eleven. I swear she’s never forgiven me.” There were countless one-liners from Lauren, like this, that were just brilliantly said. I’m sure there are countless people out there who think their parents are hanging onto that ONE thing that did when they were a child.
Finally, the last 30 pages of this book were just… wow. They were filled with more meaningful quotes than most books have in 500 pages. I was actually laughing and crying at the same damn time. I had to stop every few seconds and write down something that I wanted to remember. It was all just brilliant.
“Maybe what matters is that when you need someone, they are the one you need. Maybe needing someone isn’t about not being able to do it without them. Maybe needing someone is about it being easier if they are by your side.”
If you are a fan of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo or Daisy Jones & the Six, I insist that you go out, buy this book and start reading. If you have never heard of Taylor Jenkins Reid, please go out and purchase After I Do. You will not be disappointed.
Thank you again, Taylor Jenkins Reid, for writing another five-star novel.