The One and Only
By Emily Giffin
Publisher: Random House
Publication date: 5/20/2014
My Rating: 5 Stars +
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 and 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.
All you faithful fans of best-selling author, Emily Giffin— will be applauding her latest book, THE ONLY AND ONLY. Yes, she knows how to write chick lit, as I am one of her biggest fans, as have read ALL her books. Yes, Something Borrowed and Something Blue and all the others, were totally awesome—yet she tackled a challenging and different type of relationship in THE ONE AND ONLY ---pulling it off as a winning touchdown, with another five star bestseller winner! THE ONE AND ONLY is her best novel yet, and sure to rise to the top of the charts quickly. Of course, there is much publicity about this book and the controversial nature, however, making it even sexier! (guys will love it) Every author has to expand their writing; hey, not every book has to be about trendy and chic Manhattan. I thought it was brilliant—who knows go “big or go home, big hair, and football”, better than the South (Texas), and especially Dallas Cowboys? JR would have been proud! This book will make you laugh out loud. Highly recommend the audiobook, as Sofia Willingham was the true Texan with her lazy southern accent and so sexy, pulling you into the story and drama. (Performer for The Stark Trilogy). I loved the part with Shea’s mom talking about her ex-husband’s small penis, and the day at the hair salon with gay guys–classic! going big or go home—blow out and spray tanning. I had to rewind several times, it was too good! Who hasn't drooled over a good looking hunky football coach? Giffin sets up every play with careful placement and precision. Would love to see a another movie based on her book--with George Clooney as Coach, Ruth Witerspoon (as she does southern so well) as Shea; maybe Channing Tatum, as Ryan and not sure about Lucy and the rest of the cast - may have to think a little more. Think, funny, sexy, sarcastic, like Jennifer Weiner and controversial topics of sports and domestic abuse, with dynamic highly charged family dynamics of Jodi Picoult style, mixed with a little of football passion of The Blindside, and smart, and genuine Emily Giffin style ---and you have the unique version of The One and Only. Thirty-three year old Shea Rigsby, a small-town Texan college girl from Walker, Texas who lives for football, especially college football. She works for the local university, which has a strong football team coached by Clive Carr, the father of Shea's best friend Lucy. As the book opens, Lucy’s mom Connie dies, due to cancer and they are attending the funeral. Connie Carr is the matriarch of the family and the glue holding them all together. Lucy is more on the conservative type - pearls, and classic Southern belle), married to Neil with daughter, brother, Lawton. Shea is beautiful but not a girls girl – she is more a sports freak and is turned on with football and stats. Shea’s parents are divorced, so she grew up around the Carr family. . Coach Carr is her role model, as she lives and breathes football. (Literally). Shea is very loyal to her friend. As she makes decisions about her career and her dating life, (wanting to escape her boring life to do something different). She breaks up with her boyfriend (he wants to maintain the friends with benefit status) NO thanks ---- Shea takes an exciting job working as a sports editor for The Dallas Post—as they are investigating Walker. She also begins dating the high profile Ryan, famous quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys – the guy any woman would fall for. Think Porsche, money, looks, abs, hot body– he has it all, and is in love with Shea . . . A few minor problems: Ryan is violent, and controlling (his ex-wife has already warned her). And, Shea is in love with Coach Carr and cannot stop thinking about him! 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. First she has to see if Coach Carr returns the same feeling, and how she could possibly have a relationship with her best friend’s father? Could she? A very realistic situation – found myself pulling for Shea and Coach Carr – they deserve a little happiness and a match made in heaven! There is a lot of substance and depth to this masterfully crafted novel, as football is such a highly competitive and loyal sport--with passion and love for the game, as well as obsession. An extraordinary story of love and loyalty, and an unconventional heroine struggling to reconcile both. Emily tackles some highly charged subjects of abuse with dating relationships, sports, bribes, athletes, and relationships between coaches and players. What happened the night prior to the Cotton Bowl which could have changed lives and history?
The One and Only is a novel about finding your passion, your love, and following your heart. Only you, yourself can make your dreams come true and make life worth living – A star! Being Emily graduated (undergraduate) at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC (my home town) before law school, and she was the men’s basketball manager at Wake, can see her writing this book. I can almost envision her playing Shea opposite George Clooney! (they would make quite the couple). Plus you got to love her living in Atlanta as she is a southern gal now- hence Football! (have lived in Atlanta most of my career before moving to West Palm Beach, so Atlanta is home for me…she joins the rest of the Atlanta group of my favorite authors!) No, I am not a diehard football fan; however, having 2 sons playing football, basketball, golf, tennis, and wrestling from junior high, high school, and college, spending numerous hours on the football field, for every game, and yes, when you live in the south, it is a way of life, and life is like a game of football!