“Maybe it doesn’t matter if you need someone during the everyday moments of your life. Maybe what matters is that when you need someone, they are the one you need.”
Originally published in 2014, After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid follows Lauren and Ryan whose marriage reaches the breaking point, so 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?
I’m an absolute sucker for a story about coming to a turning point in a marriage, whatever that may be, and about how you move forward and where you go from there. So this book completely pulled me in.
A beautifully honest portrayal of marriage, love and family, After I Do is far more than just a love story, it’s a story about what love means to us, why we fall in love, how love changes us, and who we are both with and without love.
Taylor Jenkins Reid always creates such authentic characters and Lauren and Ryan are both brilliantly developed. It was so interesting to see the story from both of their points of view, the way that they deal with their new situation, the ways that they still think about each other and, ultimately, their thought processes around what their relationship means to each other.
I related to the story at times – I think most of us will admit that we could make more effort in our relationships at times, with both spouses and family. But the dislike that these characters had for each other also took me aback slightly at first, as I suddenly began to worry that they wouldn’t find their way back to each other.
But the way this story progresses is done brilliantly. It’s heartwarming, reflective, touching, and overall just filled me a lot of emotion. Loved it!