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Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing; Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes their family, their different responses to the event splinter their delicate bond.

Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths. Josie, a first grade teacher, is single—and this close to swearing off dating for good. What she wants more than the right guy, however, is to become a mother—a feeling that is heightened when her ex-boyfriend’s daughter ends up in her class. Determined to have the future she’s always wanted, Josie decides to take matters into her own hands.

On the outside, Meredith is the model daughter with the perfect life. A successful attorney, she’s married to a wonderful man, and together they’re raising a beautiful four-year-old daughter. Yet lately, Meredith feels dissatisfied and restless, secretly wondering if she chose the life that was expected of her rather than the one she truly desired.

As the anniversary of their tragedy looms and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them, but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover they need each other more than they knew . . . and that in the recipe for true happiness, love always comes first.

My Review:

Emily Giffin does not disappoint. I know that whenever I pick up one of her novels, I will be pulled into the drama in the characters’ lives and love every second of it.

In First Comes Love, Josie and Meredith are two sisters who are in very different places in their lives. Josie appears to be floundering as a single woman fed up with the dating scene and desperate to have a baby, where Meredith is settled in marriage and motherhood, yet they are both still haunted by the death of their brother. As the anniversary of Daniel’s death comes close, they are both rethinking what they remember from that night and what his death means in their present lives.

I enjoyed the alternating points of view between Josie and Meredith. Emily Giffin masterfully shows us the ambiguities of the sisters’ relationships by seeing the story through both of their eyes. She delves into what it means to be family and how sisters love each other even when they don’t always like each other. This would be a great book to read while sitting on the beach with your own sister.

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for an advanced copy of the book in exchange for my thoughts.