Saturday, 9 January 2016

After I Do - Taylor Jenkins Reid

“Big gestures are easy. Making fun of someone who’s only trying to help you, that’s family.”

I actually finished After I Do a while ago, life just happened and prevented me from writing about it. Actually, life happened and prevented me from doing anything I should have been doing, bleh. Anyway, I finally got around to doing so, bit by bit! Sorry sorry, I promise I’ll be better this year, read more books and talk about them more. Anyway! 

Lauren and Ryan have been together for eleven years, the adorable high school sweethearts they are, but they can no longer stand each other. Everything that used to be endearing turns annoying, and they find themselves constantly arguing about the smallest little things. This is why they decide to stay separated for a year, zero contact whatsoever, discover themselves outside of their marriage and maybe find what they once had. I actually picked up the book because of the theme – it’s about a marriage falling apart, after all. How often do you read a book like this?

The story is told mostly through Lauren’s eyes, with small insights offered on Ryan’s feelings occasionally. This is clear from the start – it’s a book about her, not really them. Lauren is lost but hopeful, lonely but not alone, and during the story she discovers that there is no one perfect way to have a happy marriage, but everyone must find their own way. I think this was a very precious lesson, and I love how it’s taught through so many different people – Lauren herself, her mother, sister, best friend, brother, some lady writing advice columns.

The style of the book is very earnest and realistic. It’s humorous, but it also understands that life is not, and will not be a fairy tale. I found it very interesting in its own right, though the book doesn’t necessarily offer any brilliant insights on life beyond its subject. This isn’t a bad thing per se, but finding a quote that sounds sharp and witty outside of the provided context proved to be more difficult than it should have. The quote I ended up with was because it made me happy - it's just like my own family, after all.

I would be lying if I claimed that I didn’t enjoy After I Do, didn’t giggle with Lauren sometimes and shake my head in disbelief when going through her struggles with her. It wasn’t exactly deep, dark or bittersweet, but it was beautiful in its own right. It wasn’t a life-changing book, but sometimes I’m reminded of the time I spent with it, and it’s like an old goofy friend with whom I’m always happy to enjoy a cup of tea but not an intellectual conversation. It’s a book I can recommend if you enjoy a light but earnest story about finding yourself, among love and other things. I'm not actively looking to read more of Taylor Jenkins Reid's works, but if I run into one... well, I wouldn't mind that.

I'm pretty sure you'll hear me talk about Siiri Enoranta's Surunhauras, lasinterävä next! I'm trying to finish it before I leave Finland again ^^ Do look forward to that because a) I've really, really liked it so far b) I have so much to say about it and c) I haven't shut up about it since I started reading it, ha.

No comments:

Post a Comment