Published by Washington Square Press on July 1, 2014
Genres: Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Love & Romance, Women's Fiction
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?
This is a love story about what happens when the love fades. It’s about staying in love, seizing love, forsaking love, and committing to love with everything you’ve got. And above all, After I Do is the story of a couple caught up in an old game—and searching for a new road to happily ever after.
What an amazing book to start of my book club this year! Oh my goodness! I had been wanting to read this book for some time and after it made our February 2015 book club pick, I immediately started reading and fell in love.
When we got together to discuss the book, it was obvious that the other book club girls thought the same thing. We talked about how much we cried while reading, how much we love Taylor Jenkins Reid’s writing style, and how much we wanted to devour any other books written by her. With me being the only married gal in the book club, it was fun to be able to offer my personal thoughts and experiences in my marriage to the other ladies, as well as hear their thoughts and responses to what took place in After I Do.
If you’re married, no matter how many years you have under your belt, or your single and embracing it, this is a book I highly recommend. With our fourth wedding anniversary just a few months away, it really opened my eyes and made me want to never let resentment get in the way of my marriage and the relationship I have with my husband. My eyes were opened and my heart broken as I took this journey with Lauren and Ryan. I never want to let my marriage get to the point where I need to take a year away from my husband, but the journey these two go on in the story was amazing. Everything about this book is completely believable and people can relate to it in one way or another. It’s so honest and that’s truly what captured my attention about this book. I got to know Lauren in and outside of her marriage & she changed (for the better) so much with each turn of the page.
There were multiple times throughout my reading experience where I had to stop, put the book down, take a deep breath, and wipe away the tears that ran down my face. The harsh reality of two people admitting that they didn’t love each other anymore and making the decision to live apart for an entire year…oh my heart! It broke for them, it broke for their marriage, and all of the happy times throughout their early relationship, but the more I read, the more I understood that they were doing what they thought was best for them and because they weren’t ready to just give it up entirely.
I also adored the secondary characters that had a strong presence in Lauren’s life. She had so many influence in her life that I think, ultimately, gave her a well rounded picture of what her life could be life in various scenarios. She had her grandmother who had a happy marriage with her now deceased grandfather; her mom who was divorced, but dating; her sister who’s content & happy being single; and her brother who finds himself falling in love & having big life changes in the blink of an eye. She also had the influence of a good friend who in her own marriage, may have complained about her wife & the responsibilities of two small children, but wouldn’t trade it for the world. Lauren had so many people supporting her, that she eventually learned to love herself a little more. Each character in this book played an important part & I feel the way this story is told is perfect in every single way.
I can’t express just how much I loved this book without spilling every detail, so I must stop & just encourage you to read it. It’s phenomenal & even though heartbreaking, it’s also uplifting and encouraging in many ways.
Taylor Jenkins Reid, you, my friend, are a phenomenal writer & one of my new favorite authors.
five out of five stars