After reading (and loving) Julie Buxbaum's latest, After You, I decided to go back and read her debut novel, The Opposite of Love. I'll admit that I initially had my doubts, because I loved After You so much I was afraid that I wouldn't love this one as much. Luckily my fears were unfounded, as I loved her first novel almost as much as (if not more) than After You.
Emily Hexby is a successful attorney who seems to have it all. She has a great job, and a Doctor boyfriend, Andrew, who is about to propose. When she senses that Andrew is getting close to popping the big question she abruptly breaks it off with him, and can't even explain to people why. The best explaination that she can come up with, and this she only admits to herself, is that inside she is a mess, and she has nothing of herself to give in a marriage with Andrew. After she breaks it off with him, things go rapidly downhill for her. Her beloved Grandpa Jack, the glue who holds their family together, falls ill. Her scumbag of a boss hits on her while she's away at a conference with him. Her father is even more distant than usual. When she comes to the conclusion that she's made a mistake with Andrew and begs him to take her back, he tells her to stop contacting him- forever. Heartbroken, Emily must begin to pick up the pieces of her life and put it, as well as herself, back together.
I loved this book, and even cried towards the end (I rarely cry when reading books, but this particular scene was so darn touching!). I liked that when Emily realizes that she made a mistake in breaking things off with Andrew he doesn't jump to take her back, forcing Emily to take a hard look at her life and begin to put things back together without him to fall back on. It is in this process that Emily finally finds herself and without Andrew's rejection this would not have happened. I loved the characters in the book and wanted to be friends with all of them, especially with the feisty yet comforting Ruth, a friend of the family's. Julie Buxbaum is one heck of a talented writer, and I, for one, can't wait to read what she comes up with next.