Title: The First Husband
Author: Laura Dave
Release Date: May 12, 2011
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Annie Adams thinks she’s finally found happiness. She is a travel columnist and enjoys traveling for work. She has been dating her boyfriend, Nick, for five years now, and their relationship is stable and happy, or so Annie thinks. But when Nick, an actor who has just gotten his big break, comes home and tells Annie that he needs some time apart, she is blindsided. What’s more, he insinuates that a (female) childhood friend of his is responsible. Shattered by the breakup, Annie wallows for awhile until she decides to take her best friend’s advice and stop acting like Annie Adams. But what Annie doesn’t realize is she may not be the person she thinks she is, and when she meets Griffin, she isn’t sure if they are perfectly matched or perfectly mismatched.
I absolutely loved Laura Dave’s last book, The Divorce Party. Dave blew me away with her beautiful writing and amazing poignancy. When I heard she had a new book coming out, I didn’t even need to know what it was about to know that I absolutely had to read it as soon as possible.
I cannot describe in words how much I loved the character of Annie. She was so incredibly broken, but it took the breakup with Nick for her to realize it. After Nick left, Annie wasn’t sure of anything anymore. Who was she? What did she want out of life, and who did she want to spend it with? I thought it rang so true that Annie thought she knew exactly what she wanted out of life. Then, all of a sudden, her life goes through an upheaval and she doesn’t recognize herself. The question is, has Annie Adams been the person she has become all along?
I also really appreciated the reflections on love in The First Husband. I am a firm believer in the idea that relationships involve a lot of work. Things aren’t going to be perfect, and if you expect them to be, you will be in for a huge shock. While Annie doesn’t expect things to be perfect with Griffin, she is taken aback by how difficult they are. I appreciated her despair and really felt for her frustrations. I completely understood her doubts about their relationship. At the same time, though, I loved the overall message of the book – it’s all about being who you are in a relationship, being able to be yourself. And if you don’t quite know who you are, like Annie, it’s about having that freedom to find yourself, and knowing your partner will be happy with what you discover. It’s a beautiful and empowering message, delivered in Dave’s typical style.
Once again, Laura Dave’s writing simply took my breath away. She writes with such grace and wisdom, and it gives the entire book a very literary feel. I absolutely love her way with words and would be willing to read a book of hers just for the prose. The fact that all her books are dependably good only makes me that much more of a fan of hers.
The First Husband is a sweet and moving story about one woman’s search for herself. It was a wonderful read, quick yet profound, and I loved the way it made me reflect after it was over. If you’re a fan of women’s fiction and beautiful writing, I can’t recommend this book highly enough.