Taylor Jenkins Reid
What It’s About:
Things have been falling apart for Hannah Martin. She’s 29 years old and has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She recently ended an affair with a married man and has been city hopping ever since she left college. Simultaneously, her family lives all the way in London. Deciding she needs change, she moves back to her hometown in LA and takes up the guest room at her best friend Gabby’s house.
Upon Hannah’s arrival, Gabby throws a mini party at a bar in celebration, Gabby invites all their old friends, including Hannah’s ex-boyfriend, Ethan, who she considers to be the one that got away. At the end of the night, Ethan and Gabby both ask Hannah what she wants to do — go home with Gabby or have Ethan drop her off later so that they can spend more time together.
In concurrent storylines, Hannah’s life unfolds dramatically with each of these decisions she makes. It changes things forever not just for herself, but those around her as well.
This was my first Taylor Jenkins Reid novel, and I quite enjoyed it. The book alternates chapters between the two story lines once Hannah has to make the decision to go home with Gabby or stay with Ethan. Instead of reading it chapter by chapter, I read each story line in one go so that I wouldn’t get confused. But I’m curious to know how it would read if I were to have read it as it was written. I know that the author connected a lot of scenarios as the story went on and panned out each situation differently.
The concept of the novel was what interested me the most. I couldn’t help but marvel at how different Hannah’s life became depending upon whether she decided to stay out or go home that night. What was even more fascinating was that her decision also changed outcomes for other people in her life. The author showed that everyone’s lives are connected and each decision made could alter so many different things.
After finishing the book, I sat and reflected a bit. I started thinking about how my life would be had I done something different whenever I made a big decision. Every choice has its consequences, after all.
There were two epilogues, one for each storyline. They were both similar in the sense that they were held during the same event, but certain situations were different. And in both epilogues, the author brings up a theory called the multiverse theory, which is a hypothetical set of finite and infinite possible universes – including the one we live in. I’d heard about this theory before, and it was nice to read a story that had its own take on the concept. The novel showed that some things aren’t always meant to be and so much of our life revolves around chance.
Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author, essayist and TV writer from Acton, Massachusetts. She now lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alex, and their dog, Rabbit.