Author: Emily Giffin
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, 2004
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Rachel White is the consummate good girl. A hard-working attorney at a large Manhattan law firm and a diligent maid of honor to her charmed best friend Darcy, Rachel has always played by all the rules. Since grade school, she has watched Darcy shine, quietly accepting the sidekick role in their lopsided friendship. But that suddenly changes the night of her thirtieth birthday when Rachel finally confesses her feelings to Darcy’s fiancé, and is both horrified and thrilled to discover that he feels the same way. As the wedding date draws near, events spiral out of control, and Rachel knows she must make a choice between her heart and conscience. In so doing, she discovers that the lines between right and wrong can be blurry, endings aren’t always neat, and sometimes you have to risk everything to be true to yourself.
Spoiler Alert. I can’t possibly review this one without spoiling the end. So if you haven’t read it or seen the movie, and don’t want to know how it ends, I advise you to not read any further.
This was a doozy. Rachel is a little boring at first. She’s a totally cookie-cutter lawyer. Her friend Darcy is fun and exciting and spontaneous. No wonder she’s engaged to Rachel’s dream guy, right? However, as the story progresses, we see that Rachel isn’t so cookie-cutter, and maybe Darcy isn’t so fun.
I was very conflicted while reading this novel. On the one hand, I don’t like Darcy’s character at all. So I don’t really feel badly for her. And I really like Rachel, so it was fairly easy for me to write off the man-stealing on her part. But on the other hand, what Rachel and Dex do to Darcy is completely appalling! Morally, it’s absolutely unforgivable. Yet the whole time Rachel and Dex are sneaking around, Darcy is sneaking around with Marcus. It was all quite confusing. So the main conflict in myself comes down to, when did I start rooting for the cheaters??
You have Rachel and Darcy; best friends since grade school. Rachel goes to law school and falls in love with Dex, but she’s friend-zoned next to Darcy, her exciting and outspoken bestie. While this is almost understandable, it’s clear that Dex and Rachel are perfect for one another. But things progress and Dex and Darcy get engaged. Only then does Rachel decide it’s time to confess her love for Dex, and of course he reciprocates the feelings. So they do a deplorable thing (and continue to do a deplorable thing), but it’s hard to feel anything but sorry for them because it’s obvious that they love one another. The whole while, Darcy is being a whiney, bossy, arrogant meanie. And not only is she a meanie, but we later learn that she’s cheating on Dex with his best friend, Marcus. Basically, it’s a huge love-pentagon. (There is a brief aside between Rachel and her good friend, Ethan, which never amounts to anything, but adds another twist to this very twisted love story.)
Aside from this book teaching me that I’m morally inept, I’d say it’s just average. I’d recommend watching the movie over reading the book. Get the story out of the way in two hours rather than a few days. And I am NOT usually a person who chooses movies over books, so that counts for a lot.
The Whole Shebang: 3/5