Many people have told me that they have a love/hate relationship with Emily Giffin and her characters so I tried to start this book with an open mind. This is the first book I have read (so far) by Giffin and I understand the love/hate relationship.
Love the One You?re With explores the question of ?What if?? Specifically pertaining to past relationships. Almost everyone always has a ?What if?? moment about a former relationship. ?What if we didn?t break up?? ?What if we worked things out?? ?Would we still be together? Married? With children?? The answer to this question may not always be positive. ?What if I stayed with (insert name) and continued to do drugs/drink/party/abuse/etc?..would I be alive? In jail??
The main character, Ellen, struggles with this question the whole book. A little too long if you ask me. And if you didn?t ask, oh well. I?m still telling you.
The problem that I have with the character is she makes this moment/doubt/question go on for too long??like the whole damn book.
It all starts with her running into her old ex, Leo. An ex she hasn?t seen in many many moons. They briefly meet for some coffee to catch up and what should have been the end of this reunion is only the beginning.
Ellen starts to relive the intense, hot and steamy relationship she had with Leo. Soon after she starts to wonder what would have happened if they had worked things out. This makes Ellen start to question her marriage with her husband, Andy (who happens to be the brother of her best friend, Margot).
Ellen has other ordeals from her past that are a constant focus in the book: death of a mother at a young age, father marrying another woman and starting a new life with her, pessimistic (but still there for her) sister, and never knowing or having the feeling of a wholesome family.
She starts to factor these misfortunes into her relationship and wonders if she married Andy because of the way his life looked from the outside: wealthy, parents are still married (and in love), family gatherings during the holidays, playing board games together, a general closeness (even to the knucklehead son, James), the mother loved by all, the doting husband and family man; all strong sentiments of ?The Perfect Family.?
The more she starts to question her life, the more she hates it. These new feelings cause her to act without caution and very little care.
In the end, Ellen makes a decision. Who/What does she choose? Well, you will have to read it for yourself.