I started working from home for my -real life job- as of Monday morning and in two short days, I’ve suddenly become much more aware of all the time I have. Working in Leeds is absolutely great; but I waste a lot of time on my commute. I leave the house at 7.30 for a 9am start and get back at 6.15 after finishing at 5. Now? Not an issue and I have been filling all this extra time with reading books. I know that people around me will be doing the same thing, so my book reviews will be much more regular than they were.
A book I read prior to the coronavirus outbreak was After I do by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Taylor Reid Jenkins has thrust herself into the literary world in the last few years – her novels Daisy Jones and the Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo becoming massive successes. I’ve read Daisy Jones and have the audiobook of Evelyn Hugo on my radar, but in February I read another of her books, one that’s not quite on everyone’s radar and to be quite honest… it really should be.
After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid focuses on the relationship between Lauren and Ryan, a married couple who are going through a rough patch. After a particularly challenging argument involving a lost car after a sport’s game, the couple decide, quite unconventionally, to have a break from their marriage – for one whole year, everything out there is fair game. They are allowed to form new relationships, test boundaries and explore themselves; the only thing that is off the table is contact between them – that’s an absolute no-go. We follow the story from Lauren’s perspective for the most part, with letters from Ryan intermittently placed, as she learns about the true meaning of a marriage and takes guidance from those around her in the toughest year of her life so far, for a whole multitude of reasons not limited to her sabbatical from her husband.
I do honestly believe I’ve found a new favourite author in Taylor Reid Jenkins – I loved the writing style of Daisy Jones but wasn’t the biggest fan of it. That definitely wasn’t the case as far as After I Do was concerned – I fell in love not only with the writing style but also with the characters and their tales, the relationships formed in the story and how the entire tale was executed. It made me really question the true values of marriage and whether an experiment like this is the best way to test its boundaries. Most of all, I found myself laughing and, on more than one occasion, absolutely sobbing my heart out at a beautifully executed and passionate story of love, forgiveness and self-discovery.
A story to read again and again – and I definitely will.
After I do by Taylor Jenkins Reid can be purchased in all the usual places.