Review: First Comes Love by Emily Giffin

First Comes Love by Emily Giffin
Published by Hodder & Stoughton
Released 22nd September 2016
351 Pages

Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.

What happens when love, marriage and children don’t come in the expected order?

Fifteen years after the tragic death of their older brother splintered Josie and Meredith’s already fragile relationship, the two sisters are following very different paths.

Hardworking, reserved Meredith thought she’d done it all the right way round – married the perfect man, had the perfect daughter – but now she’s wondering if she got the love part wrong.

Impulsive and spirited Josie has been single for years. She wants a child so much that she’s preparing to head straight for the baby carriage all on her own.

As the anniversary of their tragedy looms and secrets from the past surface, Josie and Meredith must come to terms with their own choices. Perhaps they’ll find that they need each other more than they know..


Chick Lit doesn’t always have to be about romance and falling in love and finding a ‘Prince Charming’. Sometimes it can be about families and friendships and the bond between two people that isn’t in a romantic sense. This was certainly the case with First Comes Love, despite it’s ironic title. I had never heard of Emily Giffin before either, so I was looking forward to reading the work of an author who was very new to me within the Chick Lit genre.

Fifteen years ago, Daniel, the brother of sisters Meredith and Josie died in a terrible accident. Having an already fragile relationship, the tragedy worsened the relationship between the two sisters, who couldn’t be any different to each other. Meredith thought she had done her life the right way round, married, had children and got a stable job. But now she is thinking that she done it all wrong. Outgoing Josie has been a singleton for many years. However, she wants to be a mother so much that she’s preparing to go it alone. As the anniversary of Daniel’s death looms, the two sisters must start to come to terms with long kept secrets and their own choices regarding their lives.

The idea behind First Comes Love really did appeal to me. I love a story about family and relationships. However, I was rather disappointed as it fell a bit flat for me. I found it really hard to get into the story and at times did feel like giving up. The plot itself, I was really interested by, but the writing and the pacing just didn’t do it justice. It was very slow at times and although I do like a build up, it was just too much. I also found it to be rather predictable. I was almost guessing what was going to happen after every chapter. I love being left to guess so it was a downside for me. 

With characters, I found it really hard to connect with any of them if I’m being honest. There was no single character that I really loved and felt any affection for. They all seemed rather one dimensional. However, if I was going to pick a character that stood out even slightly I would choose Josie. Despite not really loving her, I did like her as a character. I like her outgoing attitude and the way she was determined to get what she wanted no matter what other people thought. 

Despite these negativity’s I feel that the book brought across a huge message about handling grief years on and the bond between two sisters. With grief you don’t really hear about how the loved ones of the deceased are coping years on, so it was rather unique to read about a family coping with grief fifteen years after the accident. Also, despite being totally different and having a strained relationship you knew that there would always be a bond between Meredith and Josie. It goes to show that no matter what there will always be a love and a bond between sisters no matter what.

First Comes Love was a slight disappointment for me and I really did want to enjoy it more than I did. However, I did find some positives regarding the themes plastered throughout the book and the fact that the ending did leave me feel somewhat satisfied. 


Author Bio

Emily Giffin is a graduate of Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law. After practising litigation at a Manhattan firm for several years, she moved to London to write full time. The author of seven New York Times bestselling novels, The One & Only, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Baby Proof, Love The One You’re With, Heart of the Matter, and Where We Belong, she lives in Atlanta with her husband and three children. 

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