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The One & Only: A Novel | [Emily Giffin]

The One & Only: A Novel

Thirty-three-year-old Shea Rigsby has spent her entire life in Walker, Texas - a small college town that lives and dies by football, a passion she unabashedly shares. Raised alongside her best friend, Lucy, the daughter of Walker’s legendary head coach, Clive Carr, Shea was too devoted to her hometown team to leave. Instead she stayed in Walker for college, even taking a job in the university athletic department after graduation, where she has remained for more than a decade.
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Publisher's Summary

In her eagerly awaited new novel, beloved New York Times best-selling author Emily Giffin returns with an extraordinary story of love and loyalty - and an unconventional heroine struggling to reconcile both.

Thirty-three-year-old Shea Rigsby has spent her entire life in Walker, Texas - a small college town that lives and dies by football, a passion she unabashedly shares. Raised alongside her best friend, Lucy, the daughter of Walker’s legendary head coach, Clive Carr, Shea was too devoted to her hometown team to leave. Instead she stayed in Walker for college, even taking a job in the university athletic department after graduation, where she has remained for more than a decade.

But when an unexpected tragedy strikes the tight-knit Walker community, Shea’s comfortable world is upended, and she begins to wonder if the life she’s chosen is really enough for her. As she finally gives up her safety net to set out on an unexpected path, Shea discovers unsettling truths about the people and things she has always trusted most - and is forced to confront her deepest desires, fears, and secrets.

Thoughtful, funny, and brilliantly observed, The One & Only is a luminous novel about finding your passion, following your heart, and, most of all, believing in something bigger than yourself...the one and only thing that truly makes life worth living.

©2014 Emily Giffin (P)2014 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"Giffin's writing is true, smart, and heartfelt." (Entertainment Weekly)

"A dependably down-to-earth, girl-friendly storyteller." (The New York Times)

"When it comes to writing stories that resonate with real women, best-selling author Emily Giffin has hit her stride." (San Francisco Chronicle)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (360 )
5 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.4 (328 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.7 (326 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    K G 05-26-14
    K G 05-26-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The narrator mispronounced "Giffin""
    What does Sofia Willingham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She mispronounced "Giffin" as "Griffin" as she was introducing the book. I also had a hard time getting pass her awful "Texas" southern drawl.


    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jen ravenna, OH, United States 05-24-14
    Jen ravenna, OH, United States 05-24-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a Christmas Tree and a Man Have In Common..."

    I am so glad I took a chance on this book because I greatly enjoyed it, especially the storyline. For me, Emily Griffin's books always have interesting scenarios that start out really good. Then she can't stop herself from herself. Her chic-lit bushwah cup just flows over at times, to the point that I start skipping over the endless monotonous conversations, repetitive banter and that tiresome pondering that chic-lit protagonists routinely do. This time the author was able to rein that in, much better. There is one point, though, in this book where Shea and the love of her life are stealing themselves away. As they are moving to another room, offhandedly he mentions that he needs to tell her something later. Now in real life, that would be the end of it till later. Shea, on the other hand, spends FOREVER wondering what he might say... an INSANE GREAT LENGTH........ I think a whole chapter was devoted to her pointless wondering... It felt like she got out a yellow legal pad to number the possibilities. I was screaming out loud at Ms Griffin once again for her wasting my time. Thankfully, she pulled it together and before long had me laughing out loud, guessing at the direction she was going, and physically crying. It's rare anymore that I physically cry over a book, like I did this time.

    I like where she ended this novel. I thought the author pointed the direction HER characters were going nicely, then allowed me the opportunity to wonder a scenarios of my own. I don't need to see May/November go to ugly in January.

    The lives of the characters in this book revolve around football, thus this book is about football. If you do not have a general knowledge of collegiate football and the game in general, you may not enjoy this book. The other thing that will make or break this book for you is to ask yourself if you can enjoy a story about an unconventional nontraditional relationship.

    I rarely am critical of the narrator, but I would be lax if I did not mention Sofia Willingham's performance. It's distractingly irksome to the point of making the listener weary. I listened to her previous work, after finishing this book, this was not her normal speech. She must think Texans speak incredibly slow and sleepily while half whispering.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    H's Mommy Nutley, NY 05-27-14
    H's Mommy Nutley, NY 05-27-14 Member Since 2013

    H_Mommy

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    "Disappointing. I wish I didn't waste a credit"
    What would have made The One & Only better?

    A better story with 3 dimensional characters. I hated the main character. She was whiny and somehow highly desirable to men. All the football stuff was dullsville too.


    What was most disappointing about Emily Giffin’s story?

    The story was like a ripoff of Friday Night Lights. The characters were not believable and the 'love story" was just gross. From the beginning you have an uncomfortable feeling of where this is going and it never feels right.


    What three words best describe Sofia Willingham’s voice?

    pretty southern drawl


    What character would you cut from The One & Only?

    Shea, the main character. I really disliked her.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved "Something Borrowed", its sequel, and "Baby Proof". This book was just bad from start to finish. I made myself finish hoping it would get better. But it didn't. I think I am done with Emily Giffin books.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bobbie Charlotte, NC, United States 05-27-14
    Bobbie Charlotte, NC, United States 05-27-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not sure I can finish"

    As much as I love Emily Giffin books, this one just felt wrong. I am 3/4 the way through the book and am realizing that it never gets any better for me, so probably won't finish. I was not a fan of the narrator and I found I really couldn't like the main character very much! Without giving the plot away, this book just felt wrong and creepy to me. Wish she would write another book closer to feel of her previous books

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Sullivan 06-18-14
    C. Sullivan 06-18-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "don't waste the credit"
    What disappointed you about The One & Only?

    so slow and boring, 2 hours in and I wasn't interested in any of the characters.


    What was most disappointing about Emily Giffin’s story?

    the story was so boring, the main character so uninteresting and dull.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narrator was dull and not animated, it made the already boring story worse. I thought I would fall asleep a few times.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa 05-24-14
    Melissa 05-24-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The One & Only book I did not like by Emily Giffin"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Not really, its not one of my favorites. The story although solid is muttled by over emphasizing things. In the beginning of the book the main character Shay is obvious in the direction she is headed. And at that point the book remained obvious and the plot remained obvious.


    If you’ve listened to books by Emily Giffin before, how does this one compare?

    This book was not one of my favorite Emily Giffin books and it was not one of my favorite books period. The story line was solid to a point but the direction of the book and the constant way she swooned over one of the characters was not realistic in some ways. And as a girl who cheered for a Big 10 school and knows Big 10 Football, it was tiring the over use of football lingo.


    What does Sofia Willingham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    As a southern person I could relate to her southern accent. She honestly did a good job with what she was given.


    What would have made this romance irresistible?

    If the character had not been so infatuated with the other character from the onset and if they had just formed a friendship based on the fact he worked with her and spent time with her and had just lost his wife. If it wasn't beat into the ground that she initially had this overwhelming crush on this man, that made it unbelievable and predictable. If the story had taken a similar route, removing the over saturated infatuation for the coach and keeping her relationship with the pro football player and bringing them together from those circumstances instead of over emphasizing her infatuation for Coach Carr. It would have made me feel more sympathetic for both characters.


    Any additional comments?

    The story line is solid but the direction Emily Giffin chose to take on the storyline made the book hard to believe and difficult to enjoy. There were also other factors within the book that made it unrealistic and like a tree filled with sap, messy.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori Almeida 06-20-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Read only if you LOVE football"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I just didn't love the story. I am a football fan but didn't want to hear the details of all the games.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Emily Giffin again?

    Yes I like her other books


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Annoyance. I couldn't wait for the book to be over.


    Any additional comments?

    The story on this one was unappealing to me. And there was way too much football detail. Not a fan of this one

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allison clovis, CA, United States 05-23-14
    Allison clovis, CA, United States 05-23-14 Member Since 2012

    allieb

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Perfect Ending!"
    Any additional comments?

    This story was beautiful. It weaved together love between parents and children, love between friends, forbidden love, and love of a game. It had wonderful character progression and by the end I felt so close to them (even had teary eyes!). I know some may not like the ending, and think that it's abrupt. But truly, this story ends on about the highest note possible. I love a story that gives me the ending I hoped for (specifically who ended up with who) but leaves room for my imagination. I felt I didn't need to know each little detail of how it happened. Since I finished the story the characters have been on my mind, and that's how I like it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicola APO AP 05-22-14
    Nicola APO AP 05-22-14 Member Since 2010

    Steve

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Incomplete Ending...."

    I haven’t written a review in almost 3 years but I had to break my silence to address the ….. ( need a word for the abrupt ending of this book, can’t think of any right now my mind is too jumbled). I will not address what this book is really about because it would be no different from the summary provided to us by the author/publishers (above) or without giving a spoiler; I will only address the abrupt ending….. Ms. Giffin, your readers would like to know what happens with Shea and her “most favorite person in the world” when they met up later. What did they talk about? Was it Lucy etc? Did they make love (I’m sure they did but we want to know, I can’t live on assumptions)? Did they have a baby? How long before they moved in together? And much more. Although this was a great book (as usual) and I stayed up all night reading it, I a very angry in the end because I paid for this book hoping to get my money’s worth but like more retailors these days, the deal was cut short. After which I couldn’t sleep wondering what happened next. Unless, you have another follow up book in the works ( please, please, please say yes) if not, there is no excuse. If you would note, I am using the word/pronoun “we” because I am sure your other readers are having a love hate relationship with the ending of the book as well, love, the way it happened and hate, how you left us hanging with NO epilogue or one last page addressing the next. Please, please, I beg of you, publish a deleted scene about what happens after (I’ll even pay for it).

    Disappointed, and one of your greatest fan……me.

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna South Salem, NY, United States 10-15-14
    Anna South Salem, NY, United States 10-15-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Touchdown!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The One & Only to be better than the print version?

    I must applaud Emily Giffin for writing this story. It has touched me deeply and the narrator was spot on. Growing up with north Texas friends she has the tone, the language, the speed and the story spot on. yes the audio is better than the print version.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The heartfelt truth in everything about this love story. The forbidden topics, the agony and the honesty among friends and another title comes to mind. True to the heart..


    What does Sofia Willingham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The perfect dialogue, the accent and the speed of north Texas :)


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    God YES!


    Any additional comments?

    I have listened to it at least 4 times. It grabs me every time and I feel for the characters each and every time. The ending is perfect!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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