Friday 20 May 2022

Book ~ "After I Do" (2014) Taylor Jenkins Reid

From Goodreads ~ When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.

Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?

Lauren and Ryan have been together since they were 19.  Eleven years later, they have been married for six years and aren't happy together anymore.  They decide to take a year apart from each other to have some space and grow and see if they can come back together more happily and healthily.  Lauren will keep the house and their dog.  They agree that there will be no contact with each other at all.

It takes Lauren a while to get used to being alone and she realizes how much of her life Ryan was a part of (both good and bad) ... she's close with her family and a work colleague but that seems to be it.  It's a few months before she lets her family, who loves Ryan as one of their own, know that she and Ryan have split up.  After she discovers Ryan has moved on, she tries to do the same.

I thought this story was okay.  It's written in first person perspective in Lauren's voice.  For the most part, I liked the characters.  With the grandmother saying for years she has cancer, I wondered about her mental capacity but no one seemed concerned.  It was a surprise when she actually had it together to give Lauren advice, which I found to be a weird conflict.  As a head's up, there is swearing and adult activity.

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