I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Washington Square Press on July 1, 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Marriage, Romance
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository
Also by this author: Maybe in Another Life, One True Loves: A Novel
From the author of Forever, Interrupted—hailed by Sarah Jio as "moving, gorgeous, and at times heart-wrenching"—comes a breathtaking new novel about modern marriage, the depth of family ties, and the year that one remarkable heroine spends exploring both.
When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.
Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?
This is a love story about what happens when the love fades. It’s about staying in love, seizing love, forsaking love, and committing to love with everything you’ve got. And above all, After I Do is the story of a couple caught up in an old game—and searching for a new road to happily ever after.
We all want to read books that make us feel all the emotions. After I Do made me laugh, cry, and feel anguish.
Both Lauren and Ryan are strong-willed people, but sometimes it’s really hard to keep a marriage strong. They do the best thing they can think of without getting a divorce. I think Lauren learns the most. She becomes closer to her family, and learns that she can maybe be happy without Ryan. Lauren is so strong in some areas, and completely lost in others. I think that can be expected when you are no longer in the same house as someone you’ve spent most of your adult years with. Lauren struggles with how she feels, and has to work through some emotional issues just to not feel bitter.
I love that Lauren has such a strong family connection. Her siblings and mom drive her crazy sometimes, but she loves them fiercely. I also like that each person supports her, but can also give her their opinion on what they think she should do. I do think that Lauren’s biggest hurdle is thinking she is a failure for having a rough go at marriage. It’s not easy, and she begins to understand that. Just because things aren’t working out the way you thought they would doesn’t make you failure.
There are definitely some emotional parts. When she starts missing Ryan is a big one. I bawled in some areas. What I loved was the humor between Lauren and her brother and sister. They may not have the same relationship choices, but the 3 of them together had me laughing at many times.
Such a great book, and I can’t say enough how much I loved it!