Thursday, May 5, 2011

Author Spotlight: Emily Giffin

Every once in a while, you find an author whose words you immediately fall in love with. For me, that happened the first time I ever read Emily Giffin.

If you’ve never read any of Emily’s books, you may want to stop reading this blog right now, go to the nearest bookstore, and buy Something Borrowed. Or Baby Proof. Or everything she’s ever written.

What makes Emily Giffin an author of such great substance is that all of her works purposely defy any formulaic norm, placing sympathetic, fully human characters in questionable, sometimes unethical situations.

What happens when you fall in love with your best friend’s fiancée?
What happens when a married couple vows that they never want kids, then one of them changes their mind?
What if you’re in love with your husband, then run into the ex you loved just as much?

Giffin poses questions that an author of lesser skill may construct as trite, and builds emotional, real, memorable stories that her readers can get lost in. And maybe cry over on the train. And on a plane. And on the beach.

Listen, don’t judge me until you’ve read the books.

Every character that Giffin creates is interesting, complicated and unique. You come to know these people and understand them completely - even when they’re making bad decisions. In the end, you want things to somehow work out for everybody, which can get complicated when what will result in a happy ending for one character may result in heartbreak for another. Each of her five novels leaves you guessing until the last page, and without fail, she supplies a pitch perfect ending that only she could write.

Tomorrow brings the much-anticipated cinematic release of Something Borrowed, a film adaptation of her first novel, starring Ginnifer Goodwin and Kate Hudson. (Brilliant casting, if you ask me.) If the movie lives up to the book (which I’m hearing and hoping it does), you can expect so much more than a traditional, predictable rom-com. The novel on which it’s based leaves you emotionally invested, emotionally conflicted, and rooting for people in situations you never thought you’d be rooting for. If the movie does well, the hope is that the book’s follow-up, Something Blue, will be adapted as well - and as much as I loved the first novel, I think I loved the sequel even more.

In other words, get your butt to the movies this weekend to see Something Borrowed!!!

I’m also hearing that if you stay through the closing credits, there’s a treat at the end - so don’t leave until it’s over! And don’t be one of those annoying people who stands up to leave, then realizes something’s going on and stays standing right in front of the screen, blocking the view for all of us who are actually still seated. I hate that.

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