Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Love the One You're With (by Emily Giffin)

A chicklit book for sure. I brought this along with me on a recent trip when I forgot to pack any books. I was bereft without a fluffy paperback! Not nearly as good as Guernsey (see below) and really not as good as the other Giffin books I've read. Her characters and settings are a little two-dimensional here. Basically the central conflict is a woman named Ellen trying to decide if she should cheat on her husband with an old flame.

On the one hand, I get the feeling that Giffin is trying to make sure Ellen remains sympathetic by stacking the deck against her so the cheating would be "understandable." On the other hand, you just want Ellen to make a damned decision already, either way, rather than agonizing through 90% of the book.

As an exploration of marriage, it made me think warm loving thoughts about my husband, but then, earlier today I was reading the love sonnets of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and those were arguably even more effective. So skip this, and go read some EBB! You won't be sorry.

Sonnet 21 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Say over again, and yet once over again,
That thou dost love me. Though the word repeated
Should seem a “cuckoo-song,” as thou dost treat it.
Remember, never to the hill or plain,
Valley and wood, without her cuckoo-strain
Comes the fresh Spring in all her green completed.
Beloved, I, amid the darkness greeted
By a doubtful spirit-voice, in that doubt’s pain
Cry, “Speak once more—thou lovest!” Who can fear
Too many stars, though each in heaven shall roll,
Too many flowers, though each shall crown the year?
Say thou dost love me, love me, love me—toll
The silver iterance!—only minding, Dear,
To love me also in silence with thy soul.

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