Had To Be You by Juliet Chatham
Release Date: 08/05/14
Summary from Goodreads:
When Rory Finn first left behind the familiarity of her quiet, picturesque hometown to pursue a professional career in the city after college, her intention was to focus on the future—until a jarring bit of unwelcome news forces her to face the past. What if her first love could actually still be the true love of her life? There’s just one little problem with the timing of this revelation. He is about to marry someone else.
As she embarks upon an impulsive, desperate bid to win him back, her mission turns into an unexpected and emotional journey of rediscovery. With both humour and heartbreak, the story itself transitions from past to present, exploring a small history of love from its tentative beginnings to what may just turned out to be its final bittersweet end.
Denial is more than just a river in Egypt as Rory Finn is brutally reminded when she receives the wedding invitation in the mail. She then AFO (against friend’s orders) finds herself returning to the small Massachusetts town where she grew up. Rory is determined to tell her childhood sweetheart Matt O’Shea how she feels about him once and for all before it is too late.
Told in alternating flashbacks and POV’s Rory and Matt’s story unfolds depicting a very lopsided love affair against the backdrop of endless summers on the coast. Someone should have told Matt you should never marry your rebound girl but Amanda is all the things that Rory is not consistent, dependable and most compelling of all she wants to be with Matt. Something Matt could never be sure of in his relationship with his first love. Rory’s arrival in town sends Matt’s carefully ordered life into a tailspin.
Had To Be You was an emotional read I found myself vacillating between wanting to wring Rory’s neck and sympathizing with her plight however much it was of her own creation. Equally frustrating was Matt who was deluded about the state of his own emotions. The vividly descriptive quality of Chatham’s writing made me long to revisit coastal Massachusetts in the sultry days of summer. Unabashedly similar, yet completely different from My Best Friend’s Wedding I found myself reading Had To Be You in an agony of suspense as to whether Rory will end up alone at Matt’s wedding with only her regrets for company.
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