"The One and Only" by Emily Giffin
Thirty-three-year-old Shea Rigsby has dedicated her entire life to her hometown and its college football team. In Walker, Texas, the team is everything and it is no different to Shea. Her best friend is the daughter of Walker’s legendary head coach, Clive Carr, and she works in the university athletic department, ensuring her life revolves around football.
But when Walker loses its matriarch, Clive’s wife Connie, the upcoming season takes on greater meaning. As Shea’s comfortable world is changed forever, she begins to explore if there is more for her beyond Walker. But she soon discovers that the people and things she has placed her trust in aren’t what they seem. And when feelings surface that she knows will change things forever, she has to decide if she will finally follow her heart.
The One and Only is Emily Giffin’s latest novel, a story about finding your passion and what means the most to you in life.
I have been such a fan of Giffin’s ever since my sister gave me her copy of Something Borrowed and since then I have read every book she has written. So of course, I had to pick this one up as soon as it came out.
The book blends football and romance into one, giving readers a glimpse into what life is like in a small-town that revolves around football. I imagine that fans of Friday Night Lights will see it as the show on paper (I didn’t watch the show but from seeing commercials this is how I imagine it.) The book is a little heavy on the sports so if you’re not a fan, you may find it a little much, however it does serve the purpose of showing just what the culture of a sports town is.
I really liked the character of Shea. It was very easy to see why she was so in love with football and why she dedicated her life to it. She is a character that is completely relatable, someone that you can actually see knowing in real life. And it is her journey of self-discovery that keeps this book plugging forward.
Unfortunately, the rest of the book was a bit bland for me. It took a while for the story to get going and I felt like there was a very slow build up to not much. There is nothing jaw-dropping or shocking, though it feels as though that was attempted and just didn't work out that way. My excitement to read the book dropped significantly as time went on, which is upsetting considering how good her other books have been.
Unfortunately, I have to say that this is not one of my favourite books by Giffin. Which doesn’t make it a terrible novel. It just seems like such a departure from what she usually writes. If you are a fan of Emily Giffin’s, I would say that you should still give it a read, you may enjoy it more than I did. If you’re not familiar with her work, I wouldn’t start here unless you are a big college football fan.
I received a copy of this book courtesy of Random House of Canada. The opinions expressed above are purely my own.