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First Comes Love
Cover of First Comes Love
First Comes Love
A Novel
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A pair of sisters find themselves at a crossroads in this dazzling new novel from the author of Something Borrowed, Where We Belong, and The One & Only. First...
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A pair of sisters find themselves at a crossroads in this dazzling new novel from the author of Something Borrowed, Where We Belong, and The One & Only. First...
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  • #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A pair of sisters find themselves at a crossroads in this dazzling new novel from the author of Something Borrowed, Where We Belong, and The One & Only. First Comes Love is a story about family, friendship, and the courage to follow your own heart—wherever that may lead.

    Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious, relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing, Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes, their delicate bond splinters.

    Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths. Josie, a first grade teacher, is single—and this close to swearing off dating for good. What she wants more than the right guy, however, is to become a mother—a feeling that is heightened when her ex-boyfriend’s daughter is assigned to her class. Determined to have the future she’s always wanted, Josie decides to take matters into her own hands.

    On the outside, Meredith is the model daughter with the perfect life. A successful attorney, she’s married to a wonderful man, and together they’re raising a beautiful four-year-old daughter. Yet lately Meredith feels dissatisfied and restless, secretly wondering if she chose the life that was expected of her rather than the one she truly desired.

    As the anniversary of their tragedy looms, and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover that they need each other more than they knew—and that in the search for true happiness, love always comes first.

    Praise for First Comes Love

    “An engaging story of sisterly love . . . Illuminating and engrossing.”—People
     
    “[Emily] Giffin delivers another emotionally honest work. . . . First Comes Love is a heart-stirring novel about the many layers of sibling rivalry.”Associated Press
     
    First Comes Love brings [Giffin] back with a vengeance. Tales of sisters have been at the core of other great novels, but Giffin turns that relationship upside down and makes her view a fascinating one.”Huffington Post

    “Moving and complex, [First Comes Love] proves [that Emily Giffin is] still at the top of her game.”Booklist

    “Giffin juggles Josie’s quest for motherhood and Meredith’s internal conflicts deftly. . . . Giffin paints a realistic portrait of the troubled and complex relationship between a pair of sisters.”Kirkus Reviews

    “This is Giffin at her finest—a fantastic, memorable story.”—Publishers Weekly
      
    First Comes Love is an un-put-down-able, smart, and thoughtful novel that will make you think about the nature of family and how our past informs our present.”PopSugar

    “Giffin’s talent is pretty much unparalleled when it comes to the modern woman’s story about life, love and family.”Redbook

    “[A] well-written family drama.”—Real Simple

    “Fans will be entertained by the author’s humor and satisfied by her storytelling”—Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Excerpts-

  • From the cover ***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected proof***

    Copyright © 2016 Emily Griffin 

    PROLOGUE

    Time is a tricky thing, Daniel said to his mother when he was still very young. When you wanted to savor something, it would speed by in a blur. When you wanted to get past something, it would drag on forever. Elaine Garland recorded the quote in her journal, because it was such an astute observation for an eight-year-old.


    Much later, she would go back and read the entry, and think to herself that memories were that way, too. When you wanted to forget, everything would return in raw, brutal focus. When you wanted to remember, the details would slip away like a dream at dawn. It was that way for all of them now, though it was something they seldom discussed, at least not with one another. Nearly fifteen years had passed, both slowly and suddenly.


    It happened the day after Daniel’s twenty-fifth birthday, and three days before Christmas. He was halfway through his third year of medical school at Yale, and had just returned home for the holidays following his clinical neuroscience rotation, bringing with him his girlfriend, Sophie, a beautiful, upper-crust Brit whom Daniel once called the most charming woman he’d ever met. The two had been dating for more than a year, but this was her first visit to Atlanta, as well as the first time meeting his parents and sisters. Everyone felt varying degrees of anxious, eager, hopeful. Elaine worried the most, both because she was the worrying kind and because Daniel didn’t have the best track record when it came to girls. His high school sweetheart had been clingy, his college girlfriend controlling.

    But within seconds of their arrival, she felt enormous relief, taking to Sophie at once. A keeper, Rob called her, clearly proud that his son not only was in medical school but also could land such an exquisite creature. Daniel’s sisters approved as well, Josie dazzled by Sophie’s style and beauty, openly admiring her expensive European clothes and shoes, while Meredith, who often accused her sister of being shallow, liked Sophie in spite of those trappings. Most important, they could all tell that she brought out the best in Daniel—which was saying a lot. He was, without a doubt, the shining star of their family.


    Sophie earned more points the following morning when she insisted that Daniel and Rob keep their long-standing father-son birthday-breakfast Waffle House tradition. She kissed him good- bye, pushed him out the door, then helped Elaine bake a chocolate cake from scratch, another Garland tradition.


    “What was Daniel like as a child?” she asked as she awkwardly stirred the batter, after confessing she was clueless in the kitchen.


    Elaine thought for a moment, then said he was exactly the same now as he’d always been. The classic, driven firstborn. A perfectionist. But also sensitive and sentimental, quirky and kind. “The only real difference is his temper,” she added with a laugh. “Thank goodness he grew out of that.”


    “Oh? He used to have a temper, did he?” Sophie asked.

    Elaine nodded, then told her favorite tantrum tale—the time Daniel hit his bedroom wall with a wooden bat after Josie scribbled pink crayon graffiti on his treasured Hank Aaron card. “You can still see the plaster where it was patched,” she said fondly.


    “Wait. Is this the baseball card he still carries in his wallet?” Sophie asked, her accent making everything she said sound so earnest.

    “That’s the...

About the Author-

  • Emily Giffin is the author of eight internationally bestselling novels: Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Baby Proof, Love the One You’re With, Heart of the Matter, Where We Belong, The One & Only, and First Comes Love. A graduate of Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law, she lives in Atlanta with her husband and three children.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 30, 2016
    Fans of Giffin’s will find much to love in her chronicle of the rocky relationship between two disparate sisters 15 years after the death of their older brother, Daniel. Meredith is now a lawyer who’s always felt that she’s needed to make sacrifices in order to keep her fragile parents happy. She’s been married to Daniel’s childhood best friend, Nolan, for almost seven years, though she’s long doubted their love for each other. Josie is content as a first grade teacher but longs to be a mother herself, though at 37 she’s thinking about giving up on dating and having a kid on her own through a donor. Her decision is spurred by having in her class the daughter of a former flame, which also triggers memories of his role in the night that Daniel died. Meredith views Josie as self-centered and immature, while Josie sees her sister as tightly wound and judgmental. Chapters alternate from each sister’s point of view, convincing the reader to see things from both perspectives. In her lead-up to the book’s climax and big secret, Giffin manages to explore numerous themes about this sibling relationship: holding on to the past, expectations, and forgiveness. This is Giffin at her finest—a fantastic, memorable story.

  • AudioFile Magazine Narrators Catherine Taber and Emily Foster give a compelling performance as two sisters struggle to move through a family tragedy that has impacted their lives and their fragile relationship with each other. Taber's high pitch and energetic voice define 37-year-old independent and headstrong Josie Garland, whose sweet tones and beauty make her a popular first-grade teacher but don't help her in her relationship with her sister, Meredith, portrayed by Foster. Foster's sultry, resonant voice establishes her role as the older, stable, and introverted sister, who is also navigating through her ideas about love, marriage, and family. Foster's and Taber's voices bring out the sisters' dynamic interplay as family secrets surface, creating a stirring listening experience. M.F. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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