The One & Only
written by Emily Giffin
published by Ballantine Books/Random House
release date: May 20, 2014
Why did I pick this book: The One & Only is the part of the Summer Reading Challenge hosted by BookSparks. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)
Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book. It kept me hooked from beginning to end. I didn’t want to put it down.
Shea Rigsby isn’t your average woman. She is a die-hard Walker Broncos fan. She knows football like most people know the back of their hands. It’s not a “here are a few talking points that I ripped from the headlines” knowledge; it’s a “I memorized every Sports Illustrated article ever written and I could call most of the plays and be right” type of knowledge. I liked Shea from the beginning.
Lucy kind of rubbed me the wrong way. She is Shea’s best friend, but she’s going through a hard time. She just lost her mom, and she is realizing that she isn’t that close to her dad, the infamous Coach Carr. Lucy also realizes that Shea has a closer relationship with her dad than she does. Coach Carr is your stereotypical good-guy coach. I liked him from the beginning. But I was surprised by a few things. Ryan James — hotshot quarterback for the Cowboys, Walker alum — is back in town and after Shea. He definitely rubbed me the wrong way, but he had some good moments, too. There’s a story there.
There was only one story line–Shea’s dad, his wife, and their daughter–that seemed like it didn’t really belong. I didn’t quite see how it fit into the big picture. I got the point with Shea’s dad, and he fit in well with the story. But the wife and daughter were distractions in an otherwise great story.
The One & Only was another great read from Ms. Giffin. I will definitely buy a hard copy of this book to add to her other books sitting on my shelves. The story makes you happy, sad, giddy, excited, stressed, angry, you name it. All of this and great football moments as well. It was as if I were watching the plays instead of reading them. I felt like I was there rooting for the Walker Broncos along with Shea.
Would I recommend it: Absolutely! Ms. Giffin is an always buy author for me.
About the book: Thirty-three-year-old Shea Rigsby has spent her entire life in Walker, Texas—a small college town that lives and dies by football, a passion she unabashedly shares. Raised alongside her best friend, Lucy, the daughter of Walker’s legendary head coach, Clive Carr, Shea was too devoted to her hometown team to leave. Instead she stayed in Walker for college, even taking a job in the university athletic department after graduation, where she has remained for more than a decade.
But when an unexpected tragedy strikes the tight-knit Walker community, Shea’s comfortable world is upended, and she begins to wonder if the life she’s chosen is really enough for her. As she finally gives up her safety net to set out on an unexpected path, Shea discovers unsettling truths about the people
and things she has always trusted most—and is forced to confront her deepest desires, fears, and secrets.
Thoughtful, funny, and brilliantly observed, The One & Only is a luminous novel about finding your passion, following your heart, and, most of all, believing in something bigger than yourself . . . the one and only thing that truly makes life worth living.
About the author: Emily Giffin is the author of six New York Times bestselling novels: Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Baby Proof, Love the One You’re With, Heart of the Matter, and Where We Belong. A graduate of Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law, she now lives in Atlanta lives with her husband and three young children.