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First Comes Love

A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A pair of sisters find themselves at a crossroads in this dazzling new novel from the author of Something Borrowed, Where We Belong, and The One & Only. First Comes Love is a story about family, friendship, and the courage to follow your own heart—wherever that may lead.

Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious, relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing, Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes, their delicate bond splinters.

Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths. Josie, a first grade teacher, is single—and this close to swearing off dating for good. What she wants more than the right guy, however, is to become a mother—a feeling that is heightened when her ex-boyfriend’s daughter is assigned to her class. Determined to have the future she’s always wanted, Josie decides to take matters into her own hands.

On the outside, Meredith is the model daughter with the perfect life. A successful attorney, she’s married to a wonderful man, and together they’re raising a beautiful four-year-old daughter. Yet lately Meredith feels dissatisfied and restless, secretly wondering if she chose the life that was expected of her rather than the one she truly desired.

As the anniversary of their tragedy looms, and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover that they need each other more than they knew—and that in the search for true happiness, love always comes first.

Praise for First Comes Love

“An engaging story of sisterly love . . . Illuminating and engrossing.”—People
“[Emily] Giffin delivers another emotionally honest work. . . .  First Comes Love is a heart-stirring novel about the many layers of sibling rivalry.”Associated Press
First Comes Love brings [Giffin] back with a vengeance. Tales of sisters have been at the core of other great novels, but Giffin turns that relationship upside down and makes her view a fascinating one.”Huffington Post

“Moving and complex, [First Comes Love] proves [that Emily Giffin is] still at the top of her game.”Booklist

“Giffin juggles Josie’s quest for motherhood and Meredith’s internal conflicts deftly. . . . Giffin paints a realistic portrait of the troubled and complex relationship between a pair of sisters.”Kirkus Reviews

“This is Giffin at her finest—a fantastic, memorable story.”—Publishers Weekly
First Comes Love is an un-put-down-able, smart, and thoughtful novel that will make you think about the nature of family and how our past informs our present.”PopSugar

“Giffin’s talent is pretty much unparalleled when it comes to the modern woman’s story about life, love and family.”Redbook

“[A] well-written family drama.”—Real Simple

“Fans will be entertained by the author’s humor and satisfied by her storytelling”—Atlanta Journal-Constitution

From the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

May 30, 2016 – Fans of Giffin's will find much to love in her chronicle of the rocky relationship between two disparate sisters 15 years after the death of their older brother, Daniel. Meredith is now a lawyer who's always felt that she's needed to make sacrifices in order to keep her fragile parents happy. She's been married to Daniel's childhood best friend, Nolan, for almost seven years, though she's long doubted their love for each other. Josie is content as a first grade teacher but longs to be a mother herself, though at 37 she's thinking about giving up on dating and having a kid on her own through a donor. Her decision is spurred by having in her class the daughter of a former flame, which also triggers memories of his role in the night that Daniel died. Meredith views Josie as self-centered and immature, while Josie sees her sister as tightly wound and judgmental. Chapters alternate from each sister's point of view, convincing the reader to see things from both perspectives. In her lead-up to the book's climax and big secret, Giffin manages to explore numerous themes about this sibling relationship: holding on to the past, expectations, and forgiveness. This is Giffin at her finest a fantastic, memorable story.

Customer Reviews


I love all her books and this one did not disappoint.

...and then comes marriage....and then

[ I received this book last summer as part of a Read It Forward giveaway promotion from Ballantine Books, and am way behind in this read/review which I do voluntarily. How I received it has no influence on what I have written]

"Grief is a mystery to be lived through, not a problem to be solved"

Two sisters, Josephine and Meredith live in Atlanta where they grew up. Everything was so good until their brother Daniel is killed on his birthday in a car accident. It becomes a tragically defining moment, changing absolutely everything in the family as they all drift apart. Josie becomes a primary schoolteacher, Meredith a lawyer and after divorcing, Mom becomes a real estate agent and Dad goes deeper into alcoholism. Everybody loses.

Maybe not loses. Maybe just live up to different expectations. They each mourn in their own ways, some good, some not so much. But their choices have brought others into their lives: husband, children, different couplings along the way, for better and for worse. Meredith comes to crossroads in her marriage. Josie makes decisions and finally follows through with them. The dance of maturity brings pain and joy as they deal with not being stuck.

This book has begun its second big push as it goes into paperback and I really don't want to give any more of the plot away. I felt this, my first Griffin book, was a very satisfyingly read that kept me wondering what might happen next. It also felt real, it really could, or maybe even has happened. This will not be my last book by this author. Four 1/2 stars

If I could give less I would!!

What was I thinking, buying this? The worst compilation, of whiny, self-centered writing I've read- I could not even finish it. The characters are shallow, one dimensional and down right boring. They complain about everything and there is no story line. If you are into white supremacy, and first world problems, this is your book. Yes- I am also wondering how this ended up on my reading list. Oh by the way the way she devalues rescue dogs is despicable.

First Comes Love
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: Jun 28, 2016
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 416 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings