There really are no words left to describe our deep love for Laura Dave. We'll simply say she's the best and that her writing is some of the very best out there. And that we will always look forward to her next book with child-like anticipation. She's just that damn good. So first order of business? Don't even think. Just get your hands on her latest fabulous, insightful, emotional, nail biting, passionate, fantastic novel, The First Husband.(Officially out today!) And if for some crazy reason (because you'd just have to be crazy) you haven't read her other books yet, you must immediately buy, download, check out, whatever your method my be, her debut novel, London is the best City in America and her second book, The Divorce Party. (Both uh-mazing and each optioned to be made into movies by some serious A-listers. Um, can we say Reese Witherspoon & Jennifer Aniston respectively?) Synopsis of The First Husband: Annie Adams thinks she has it all. Her longtime boyfriend, Nick, is on the verge of becoming a successful film director, her travel column is nationally syndicated, and they've got a great dog. Her life finally feels like it is falling into place. Until, out of nowhere, Nick announces that he's reconnected with a woman from his past and he's moving out.
Reeling from Nick's exit, Annie stumbles into her neighborhood bar and finds Griffin, a down to earth chef who seems to be everything she didn't know she wanted. Three months later, they're married. And Annie finds herself in a small Massachusetts town -- completely unmoored and wondering if she's picked a life on the rebound. When Nick returns, wanting a second chance, Annie's stuck: truly torn between her husband and the man she may have been meant to marry.
Sound like your kind of book? Hells yeah it does! Well you know the drill...just leave a comment here and be entered to win one of five copies of The First Husband. We'll randomly select the winners after 6pm EST on Wednesday, May 18th.
And we're lovin' Laura even more after reading her 5 Do's and Do-Over (especially after discovering we have a mutual soft spot for that show from the late nineties, Felicity! How hot was Ben???)
CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD PRESENTS...LAURA DAVE'S 5 DO'S AND A DO-OVER
1. DO Take a Road Trip
I will grant you: The world is full of incredible places to explore. But my favorite kind of trip is one where I never have to see an airport. My greatest adventures have involved getting behind the wheel of my car (or a friend’s car—I’m not picky!), putting on some great music (recently I’ve found it’s hard to beat The Avett Brothers), and seeing where I end up. I’ve driven the California coast a dozen times since moving to Los Angeles three years ago. And one of the most awe-inspiring moments of my life remains driving into Moab, Utah for the first time—and finding myself surrounded by all that orange mountain rock. There is just something about seeing the world while driving through it. It is a great way to explore somewhere new—and the absolute best way to revisit a place that matters to you. And a person that matters to you. The great windfall of a road trip is often all those borrowed hours with the person riding shotgun.
Just make sure to establish beforehand that you’re in charge of the soundtrack.
2. DO Cook For The People You Love.
I came to this lesson late: Cooking can be an act of total and complete joy. I’m not talking about dishing out six course gourmet dinners every night—unless you are so inspired, in which case, do you want a new friend?
But I’m sincerely saying that I’ve found making something wonderful and nourishing for the people that matter most to me has added a serious contentment to my life. From heading down to the farmers market for an early-morning run to navigating a new pasta sauce (may I highly recommend this yummy number from Jessica Seinfeld, I feel a huge sense of accomplishment putting a healthy and comforting meal on the table. Added bonus: This contentment often results in someone pouring me a glass of wine.
(Oh, and this is a side DO: when you cook, someone else better clean.)
3. DO Walk It Off
During a pilot episode of a TV show that will remain nameless (Felicity! Don’t hold it against me—it was a great show!), the main character offered a piece of wisdom that has always stayed with me. She said: I'm learning little by little that we decide what our lives are gonna be. Things happen to us. But it's our reactions that matter.
I think this is beyond true. We often face adversity—sometimes in small ways, sometimes in larger ones—but it is how we handle what is in front of us that determines our happiness. As much as possible, I try to enjoy the good. And, when the tough comes breaking in, I remind myself: this too shall pass. And it often passes faster (or at least it feels like it is passing faster) if I find a way to walk it off. Actually taking a walk—tying up some soft sneakers, breathing in the fresh air—is often the best start I find.
4. Do Make New Mistakes
For a long time I thought if I played my cards just right, I could avoid making mistakes: No more keeping my mouth closed when it matters most, no longer saying yes when I mean no. No more unnecessary parking tickets because me and quarters apparently have issues. But the hard lesson to learn is that if you are going to be involved in your life, you’re going to make mistakes. You simply can’t avoid it, at least some of the time. But I’ve tried to follow a mantra I recently learned: since you’re going to make mistakes the key is to make new ones. Learn and explore and forgive in an entirely new ways. (As an example: just yesterday, instead of the keeping my mouth closed, I spoke up and said the exact wrong thing!) In all seriousness, this is what I try to do now, as much as possible: I try to learn from what’s happened, truly learn from it.
And then go screw up in brand new ways.
5. DO Agree With Each Other Whenever Possible
One of the greatest things about writing the kind of books I do is that I get a chance to sit down and talk to so many amazing people about their relationships and families. When I started working on The First Husband, I visited with a couple who I’d first met years ago while finishing my first novel. I knew this couple was special from the start. Not only had they been married for forty years, but they still loved and enjoyed each other so much. I asked them what their secret was. The wife told me very simply: “Well I listen very carefully and whenever possible, I look for reasons to agree with him.” Then her husband said: “I do the same.”
In honor of them, this is my final DO. Agree with each other whenever you can. Not only does it make the world a little easier, it makes it a whole lot better.
Don’t Expect One Size To Fit All
I don’t mean this in terms of clothing. When I was younger, I used to think that there was a right way to go—a safe college, a safe path. It was just a matter of picking correctly. But, I’ve learned that what is right for one person can be completely wrong for another. It isn’t about what makes sense on paper, or makes sense to the group at large, it’s what makes sense to you.
So, for my do-over, I’d tell my teenage self this in a way she could hear it. (I’d probably have to get her on the phone.) And, when I did, I’d tell her to trust herself more. She could make a decision—or several—that might be confusing to the outside world—but, if it felt right, she should be brave enough to follow it freely.
Oh, and while I had her, I’d also tell her not to buy that enormous striped sweater just because the saleslady promised her it only came in one size. Even if she was telling the truth, she also wasn’t. So I guess I also do mean this in terms of clothing.
Thanks so much, Laura!