This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner
Published by Simon and Schuster on August 11, 2015
Genres: Fiction, Literary, Contemporary Women, Family Life
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An unforgettable story about true love, real life, and second chances…
Rachel Blum and Andy Landis are just eight years old when they meet one night in an ER waiting room. Born with a congenital heart defect, Rachel is a veteran of hospitals, and she’s intrigued by the boy who shows up alone with a broken arm. He tells her his name. She tells him a story. After Andy’s taken back to a doctor and Rachel’s sent back to her bed, they think they’ll never see each other again.
Rachel grows up in an affluent Florida suburb, the popular and protected daughter of two doting parents. Andy grows up poor in Philadelphia with a single mom and a rare talent for running.
Yet, over the next three decades, Andy and Rachel will meet again and again—linked by chance, history, and the memory of the first time they met, a night that changed the course of both of their lives.
A sweeping, warmhearted, and intimate tale, Who Do You Love is an extraordinary novel about the passage of time, the way people change and change each other, and how the measure of a life is who you love.
♦ I always enjoy Jennifer Weiner’s books. Are they chick lit? Yes, but upgraded chick lit. They are books you can read again and again and still weep, root and love the characters every time. Who Do You Love is a story set over the course of thirty years with chapters alternating between the two main characters, Rachel and Andy. Sometimes only a brief period of time passes and other times a jump of 5 years or more occurs. Somehow this works, the sense of continuity remains and you can gather what has happened during the jumps quickly. I have seen this compared to The Fault in Our Stars and When Harry Met Sally and feel neither comparison quite fit for me, while both the compared are good, this stands alone. The historical happenings that pepper this novel give it a feeling of being grounded in reality, especially the description of 9/11. I know that I am predisposed to like anything by Jennifer Weiner, but I always enjoy when the book in question is smart, funny and heartfelt. Weiner has a way of making improbable situations feel real and convincing and this book is no exception. I was so involved in the characters’ lives that when my husband asked why “I was going backwards in the book” I replied that I had to re-read a particularly good part before I could go on. Chalk up another in the win column for Weiner and Who Do You Love.
◊ Favorite Lines from chapter Rachel 1985 – “She hadn’t said goodbye to me. She hadn’t told me enough about what it was like, when you knew you weren’t going to get better. She hadn’t told me if it had hurt.”
¤ Biggest Cliché – Third party breakup. When one calls and is told by a third party that the other is out with someone they hate, they give up and don’t try to reach out again. I hate the third (or fourth) party breakup.
Δ If you could reconnect with your first love what would you say?