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Love The One You're With    by Emily Giffin order for
Love The One You're With
by Emily Giffin
Order:  USA  Can
Griffin, 2009 (2009)

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* * *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Thirty year old Ellen Graham seems to have it all. Andy, her husband, is a successful lawyer, and brother to her best friend Margot. They live in a beautiful apartment in Manhattan, and Ellen is busy with her freelance photography work. Andy is from Atlanta, and the Graham family has welcomed Ellen into their life as one of their own. She feels comforted by this as her mother died when she was just a young girl.

One rainy day while crossing a busy New York street, Ellen's life is threatened. Ellen sees Leo, her old boyfriend from eight years ago who left her and broke her heart. In an instant Ellen feels the old attraction to him and wonders why. Their relationship was passionate but rocky, and after the breakup Andy filled the void and helped her heal.

Leo is a writer and reporter and he gets in touch with Ellen. They begin a secret relationship, calling each other and e-mailing. Ellen can't help wondering, "what if?" about Leo. Leo asks Ellen to take pictures for one of his upcoming articles and Ellen accepts without talking about it to Andy. Ellen wants to stay true to her husband but finds Leo is hard to resist.

Ellen and Andy move to Atlanta and Ellen's feelings for Leo intensify. She wants to be happy in Atlanta but misses the big city and all her friends. She now feels smothered by the Graham family and their controlling ways. She accepts another offer to meet Leo for a photo shoot on Coney Island and decides to face Andy with the truth. Tension builds between Ellen and Andy. He issues Ellen an ultimatum, but Ellen feels she has let others make choices in her life for long enough.

How do you know if you found the one? Can you really Love The One You're With and forget about the one that got away? This is a great story that touches on love and loyalty, and explores the difficulty of being true to yourself while in a marriage. At times funny, but very thought provoking and satisfying, this is Giffin at her best.

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