It’s raining off and on here in Brooklyn. We have cardinals and blue jays that like to ride out storms on long, leafy branches that bounce in the wind. On nice days they tend to perch all lackadaisical on power lines or fire escape rails. It’s on the cooler, gloomy days that they come to life. They start to follow each other in circles and I know I’ve got 10 minutes to bring the lavender in off the fire escape before it pours. And some days it takes me a whole 10 minutes because I climb out the window and forget why I’m out there until the birds take their place and fat drops ripple over the neighbor’s koi pond.
Some days you adore Brooklyn. Others you need an escape. It was on one of these needy days that I picked up a friend’s copy of Laura Dave’s “The First Husband“. The protagonist is a travel writer so I thought this would be fun candy, like reese’s pieces, but it’s more like a peanut chew. Candy translation: somebody else’s cup of tea.
The story starts off when successful travel writer extraordinaire Annie Adams gets dumped by her long term boyfriend. She takes 10 days to mope in her LA apartment before putting on her lucky yellow dress and going out for a midnight drink where she meets Griffin, the rebound guy. Her friend advises Annie to be the opposite of herself for a while. So she does: instead of dating a rebound she marries him.
From here the rest was fairly predictable and at page 60 I found myself still waiting for the story to start. Annie describes the best part of a new relationship like a trip:
…in the beginning, we get to believe that this time we’re going to get it exactly right.
This book kind of wins you over by the end. The plot feels contrived and Griffin is far too perfect in a sweet masculine nice guy madly in love with her way. But I did appreciate what the book was sort of about, taking root in a single place with a drama-free love. The dialogue is well done. Maybe it was just the flat pacing that felt off.
The references to world travel peppered throughout didn’t add anything to the story for me, but I did love this quote she included from Hemingway:
Never go on trips with anyone you don’t love.
To be fair, here’s another review from I’mSoFunny, who probably likes peanut chews.