I think this may be my all time favorite Emily Giffin book, which is saying a lot as I’ve loved so many of her books! It’s loosely inspired by the Kennedy family (specifically: John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette). Told from alternating narratives, it follows Joe Kingsley and Cate Cooper from childhood through a chance encounter when they meet and fall in love. Joe is rebellious and free spirited (think: adventurous womanizer with a heart of gold). Cate has more of a fairytale arc. She grew up with just her mom (and a revolving door of boyfriends), and when her mom falls in love with an abusive man… Cate’s life just gets harder and she’s basically on her own. She finds herself dropping out of high school to pursue a modeling career (anything to get away from her stepfather), slowly building a life for herself and even becoming the face of Calvin Klein. Even with her newly glamorous life and her face all over billboards, she constantly feels like an outsider… never telling anyone about her past, keeping men at arms length. I tore through this in just a couple days. It was extremely fun to read: part fairy tale, part Carolyn Bessette fan fiction (Bessette’s background is very different from Cate’s but there are still plenty of similarities). This would be the perfect beach read or summer book club pick… I think there would be so much to talk about!
Author: Emily Giffin