Title: The One That I Want: A Novel
Author: Allison Winn Scotch
Release Date: June 1, 2010
Publisher: Shaye Areheart Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Tilly Farmer thinks she has it all. She married her high school sweetheart, Tyler, and is the guidance counselor at the same high school she attended, living in the town she grew up in. But when an encounter with an old classmate leaves her with visions of a future she doesn’t want, she begins to question her interpretations of happiness and understand what she really wants out of life.
I’m a huge fan of Allison Winn Scotch’s previous novels, Time of My Life and The Department of Lost and Found, and I’ve been following the development of The One That I Want through Allison’s Twitter account and blog. As a result, I’ve wanted to read this book pretty much since Allison started writing it, and my expectations were sky high. I am not surprised at all that Allison not only met, but surpassed my expectations with this lovely novel.
I could go on about Tilly Farmer for pages, but I’ll try to keep my thoughts on her succinct. She was an incredibly written, complicated, and multifaceted character. On the surface, she thought she was happy. She plastered a smile on her face every morning and went to work, trying to fix the lives of others while ignoring what was right in front of her. She knew there was an undercurrent of unhappiness between her and Tyler, and thus fixated on getting pregnant because she thought that would solve everything. After all, she was happy. Really.
I loved dissecting Tilly’s character as the book progressed. At times, she captivated me, frustrated me, made me feel sorry for her, made me sympathize with her, and in the end, taught me a lot about myself. She was wise beyond her years at the same time she had no idea what happiness really was. I loved watching her grow and change into an entirely new woman. She really took ownership of herself and her life, understanding that hiding from your unhappiness isn’t the same as being happy. Just because you refuse to acknowledge it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
While I understood Tilly had a lot to learn about herself and life, I also really appreciated her as a character. She was so dedicated to her family, taking responsibility for her two sisters. She tried to protect them from the harshness of life, wanting them to only experience the good in the world. When things went wrong for her family, she wanted to fix everything. She gave her alcoholic father chance after chance, firmly believing that everyone deserves to try again.
I really enjoyed The One That I Want. It’s well written, easy to read, and the characters are wonderfully complex and very layered. Allison Winn Scotch is an amazing author, cloaking serious lessons and deep realizations within her fun and enjoyable storylines. At this point, I will read anything and everything she writes, and already cannot wait for her next novel.