It is a while since I have read any Jennifer Weiner books and I’m not really sure why as I have really enjoyed her other books. She has a style of writing that draws you into her characters’ lives and makes you really care about them. This book tells of Andy and Rachel who meet in a hospital A&E department as young children, then keep meeting each other throughout the next thirty years or so. The storyline reminded me a bit of one of my favourite films, When Harry Met Sally – you feel sure that the main characters are destined to be together but it just never quite seems to happen.
I found Who Do You Love to be more thought-provoking than other books I’ve read by this author, which have had a lot of humour in them. To me it was looking at what was really important in life. Rachel has had quite a privileged upbringing with affluent parents and lots of chances in life. By contrast, Andy has been brought up by his mother in a poor neighbourhood with lots of social problems. He is mixed race which has left him feeling lonely, not really fitting in with either the white kids or the black kids in his area. He has a great talent for running and has ambitions to be an Olympic gold medallist. At times Rachel was quite unlikeable, which is unusual for a lead character in a romantic novel. She sets far too much store in superficial appearances and possessions while at college and this leads to the first of many breakdowns in her relationship with Andy. Andy makes mistakes too though especially when his running career seems to be heading towards an end
So this book is very much about whether their love can triumph despite their differences and the difficulties they face. It’s about second and third and even fourth chances. A universal question perhaps for us all – can true love survive all that life can throw at it? I very much enjoyed the book, even reading it as I walked to my exercise class today, as I was nearly finished and really wanted to find out the ending!
My thanks to the publishers Simon & Schuster UK, for providing a review copy via Netgalley. Who Do You Love was published on 27th August and you can order a copy here: Who Do You Love
Rachel Blum and Andy Landis are eight years old when they meet late one night in an ER waiting room. Born with a congenital heart defect, Rachel is a veteran of hospitals, and she’s intrigued by the boy who shows up all alone with a broken arm. He tells her his name. She tells him a story. After Andy’s taken back to the emergency room and Rachel’s sent back to her bed, they think they’ll never see each other again. Rachel, the beloved, popular, and protected daughter of two doting parents, grows up wanting for nothing in a fancy Florida suburb. Andy grows up poor in Philadelphia with a single mom and a rare talent that will let him become one of the best runners of his generation. Over the course of three decades, through high school and college, marriages and divorces, from the pinnacles of victory and the heartbreak of defeat, Andy and Rachel will find each other again and again, until they are finally given a chance to decide whether love can surmount difference and distance and if they’ve been running toward each other all along.