Reader's Comments
 First Comes Love by Emily Giffin -Book Club Reading Guide

First Comes Love

by Emily Giffin

PBR Book Review:

There are a lot of interwoven themes in this book, which combined with the many layers and complexities of human relationships, give the story depth. I really enjoy books about family drama and Emily Giffin nails family dynamics in this book. She takes grief, guilt, pain, love and forgiveness and combines it with ordinary daily life and creates a compelling interesting story. Josie and Meredith are sisters who both suffered the same trauma – the death of their brother. But they are total opposites in the way they live and the way they process grief. There are some unanswered questions surrounding Daniel’s death and also some secrets, which keep the momentum going. And the author also explores different kinds of love in this book. All combined a fantastic vacation or beach read.


Book Club Talking Points:

An emotional read covering the topics of friendship, love, forgiveness, guilt, letting go and second chances. Grief can be destructive in nature, and some navigate this better than other; it can create strong bonds between people or tear them apart. The struggles of being in relationships will also make for some good conversation as well as the damaging effects of keeping secrets. The author also presents different kinds of love

Buy From Amazon.com

*Author Website: http://www.emilygiffin.com/first-comes-love/

*Discussion Questions



1. Did you identify more with Josie or Meredith? Why? Did that change over the course of the novel?

2. Josie almost writes off her relationship with Pete because she doesn’t feel enough of a spark, but he argues that chemistry can develop over time. Do you agree with him? Do you think the de-velopment of the relationship between these two characters felt realistic?

3. Nolan tells Meredith that he initially decided to hide the truth about the night Daniel died because it wouldn’t have helped anyone. Would you have done the same in his position? When is keeping such a big secret from a loved one justifiable?

4. Daniel’s death is a source of great guilt for many of the characters in this novel. Compare and contrast the different ways that guilt manifests itself in their choices. How do you think Meredith’s and Josie’s lives might be different if Daniel were still alive?

5. Discuss the theme of motherhood in the novel. What does being a mother mean to Meredith, to Josie, and to Elaine? What does it mean to you?

6. Many of the characters in the novel struggle with the idea that the life they’re living doesn’t necessarily look like the one they might have imagined or hoped for themselves. Have you ever felt this way? Using examples either from the book or from your own experience, discuss how that feeling can be both a negative and a positive force.

7. What do you think allows Josie to finally get over her feelings for Will, after holding on to them for so many years?

8. Imagine for a moment that your best friend or sister tells you she is having a baby on her own, as Josie decides to. How would you react? What would you say to her? What would you want to hear, if you were the one making that decision?

9. Why do you think Meredith decides not to leave Nolan right away? Would you have made the same choice in her position?

10. At the very end of the book, Josie thinks to herself that love and forgiveness “are often one and the same.” Do you agree or disagree with that sentiment? What are some examples of forgiveness being given over the course of the novel?

11. Meredith struggles with the idea of taking time for herself, worrying that both her family and her career won’t survive without her. Do you think this is a common fear for women today? What do you think of Amy’s argument that “If you end up happier . . . this could really be a gift to Harper in the long run” (page 232)?

12. This novel doesn’t end with a “happily ever after”—-both Meredith and Josie make their decisions, but the reader doesn’t know what the ultimate outcome for each will be. Why do you think the author chose to end the novel where she does? What do you imagine happens next for these characters?

(Discussion Questions by Publisher)


Book Summary
418 pages | ISBN: 0345546946 | Publisher: Ballantine Books | June 28, 2016 | Sold by Penguin Random House
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A pair of sisters find themselves at a crossroads in this dazzling new novel from the author of Something Borrowed, Where We Belong, and The One & Only. First Comes Love is a story about family, friendship, and the courage to follow your own heart—wherever that may lead.

Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious, relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing, Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes, their delicate bond splinters.

Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths. Josie, a first grade teacher, is single—and this close to swearing off dating for good. What she wants more than the right guy, however, is to become a mother—a feeling that is heightened when her ex-boyfriend’s daughter is assigned to her class. Determined to have the future she’s always wanted, Josie decides to take matters into her own hands.

On the outside, Meredith is the model daughter with the perfect life. A successful attorney, she’s married to a wonderful man, and together they’re raising a beautiful four-year-old daughter. Yet lately Meredith feels dissatisfied and restless, secretly wondering if she chose the life that was expected of her rather than the one she truly desired.

As the anniversary of their tragedy looms, and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover that they need each other more than they knew—and that in the search for true happiness, love always comes first.

 
Looking for more reading suggestions?
Visit Our Blog
Browse A Little
Sign Up For Our Free Newsletter
Member Log in
PBR book reviews and Reading guides for book clubs
Sign Up For Our Free Newsletter
Reading & Lifestyle Planner Printable
10 Books I Can't Stop Recommending