Rated Reads

Love the One You’re With

by Emily Giffin

Rated: High

Ellen Dempsey finds herself in a situation that probably a large number of happily married women encounter at one time or another: she runs into an old love and can’t help reflecting on the “what ifs.”

It’s that common feeling of older life that intrigued me. How would the author approach it? Would it be acceptable, satisfying?Good question. Ellen’s chance run-in with her first real love shakes her even as she is completely, absolutely in love with her new husband. Andy — and their marriage — are just about perfect. But seeing Leo makes her wonder, makes her worry about how she handled things before; about what was wrong with her then. Would things have been different with time?

In the novel, of course, Ellen ends up having more meetings with Leo, innocent ones, naturally. But innocent meetings turn into a little more. It’s at that point that my curiosity about how the novel would handle such a subject became dampened. Ellen takes just a few too many risks to hurt her solid, happy marriage, choices I wouldn’t make and can’t approve of. All ends well for everyone, but I can’t say I felt comfortable with the middle. Another bestseller that panders to the crowd and its less-than-ideal instincts.

Rated: High for sexual situations with some details; about 10 occurrences of strong language and at least double that number of moderate and mild language.

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for about 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

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  • Love the One You’re With
  • by Emily Giffin
  • Rated: High
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Reviewer: