Something Borrowed (Giffin)

Something Borrowed 
Emily Giffin, 2004
St. Martin's Press
352 pp.
ISBN-13: 9780312321192

Rachel has always been a good girl—until her thirtieth birthday, when her best friend Darcy throws her a party.

That night, after too many drinks, Rachel ends up in bed with Darcy's fiancé Dex. Rachel is horrified to discover that she has genuine feelings for Dex.

She prays for fate to intervene, but when she makes a choice she discovers that the lines between right and wrong are blurry, endings aren't always neat, and you have to risk all to win true happiness. (From the publisher.)

Author Bio
Birth—March 20, 1979
Where—Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Raised—Naperville, Illinois
Education—B.A., Wake Forest University; J.D., University of Virginia
Currenbtly—lives in Atlanta, Georgia

Emily Giffin is the bestselling American author of eight novels commonly categorized as "chick lit." More specifically, Giffin writes stories about relationships and the full array of emotions experienced within them.

Giffin earned her undergraduate degree at Wake Forest University, where she also served as manager of the basketball team, the Demon Deacons. She then attended law school at the University of Virginia. After graduating in 1997, she moved to Manhattan and worked in the litigation department of Winston & Strawn. But Giffin soon determined to seriously pursue her writing.

In 2001, she moved to London and began writing full time. Her first young adult novel, Lily Holding True, was rejected by eight publishers, but Giffin was undaunted. She began a new novel, then titled Rolling the Dice, which became the bestselling novel Something Borrowed.

2002 was a big year for Emily Giffin. She married, found an agent, and signed a two-book deal with St. Martin's Press. While doing revisions on Something Borrowed, she found the inspiration for a sequel, Something Blue.

In 2003, Giffin and her husband left England for Atlanta, Georgia. A few months later, on New Year's Eve, she gave birth to identical twin boys, Edward and George.

Something Borrowed was released spring 2004. It received unanimously positive reviews and made the extended New York Times bestsellers list. Something Blue followed in 2005, and in 2006, her third, Baby Proof, made its debut. No new hardcover accompanied the paperback release of  in 2007. Instead, Giffin spent the year finishing her fourth novel and enlarging her family. Her daughter, Harriet, was born May 24, 2007.

More novels:
2008 - Love the One You're With
2010 - Heart of the Matter
2012 - Where We Belong
2014 - The One & Only
2016 - First Comes Love
(Author bio adapted from Wikipedia.)

Visit the author's website.
Follow Emily on Twitter.

Book Reviews 
Giffin depicts the complex, shifting relationship of Rachel and Darcy, friends since grade school, into the five months between Darcy’s engagement and her wedding date. A thrill to read.
Washington Post

One of the hottest books of the summer...Giffin avoids what could have been a cliché-ridden tale by skillfully developing Rachel and her best friend Darcy into three-dimensional characters.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Something Borrowed captures what it’s like to be thirty and single in the city, when your life pretty much revolves around friendships and love and their attendant complexities.
San Francisco Chronicle

Giffin, a former lawyer turned debut novelist, infuses this romance with dead-on dialogue, real-life complexity, and genuine warmth.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Both hilarious and thoughtfully written, resisting the frequent tendency of first-time novelists to make their characters and situations a little too black-and-white. You may never think of friendships—their duties, the oblique dances of power and their give-and-take—quite the same way again.
Seattle Times

It's a gamble to cast her heroine in a potentially unsympa-thetic light, but Giffin manages to create empathy for her likable characters without cheapening the complexity of their situation, making for a genuinely winning tale. —Kristine Huntley

An unexpected love affair threatens a long-lived friendship in this soap opera-like debut from Atlanta ex-lawyer Giffin. Since elementary school, Rachel and Darcy have been best friends, with Darcy always outshining Rachel. While single Rachel is the self-confessed good girl, an attorney trapped at a suffocating New York law firm, Darcy is the complete opposite, a stereotypical outgoing publicist, planning a wedding with the handsome Dex. After Rachel's 30th birthday party, she knocks back one drink too many and winds up in bed with Dex. Instead of feeling guilty about sleeping with her best friend's fiancé, Rachel realizes that Dex is the only man she's really loved, and that she's always resented manipulative Darcy. Rachel and Dex spend a few weekends in the city together "working" while Darcy's off with friends at a Hamptons beach share, but finally Rachel realizes she'll have to give Dex an ultimatum. The flip job Giffin pulls off—here it's the cheaters who're sympathetic (more or less)—gives Dex and Rachel's otherwise ordinary affair extra edge. Rachel would be a more appealing heroine if she were less whiny about her job and her romantic prospects, and rambling dialogue slows the story's pace, but this is an enjoyable beach read—one that'll make readers cast a suspicious eye on best friends and boyfriends who seem to get along just a little too well.
Publishers Weekly

In this debut novel—a bit of bridal lit just in time for the wedding season-good girl Rachel finally breaks the rules in a big way when she sleeps with best friend Darcy's fianc . Rachel knew Dex first (they met in law school), but she introduced him to Darcy, whose friendship has conditioned Rachel to accept being second best. Rachel and Dex's affair continues even as the wedding draws near, and it becomes clear that Dex is going to go through with the nuptials, leaving Rachel to suffer through the day as maid of honor. Things aren't all bad, though: Rachel begins to see Darcy for the superficial manipulator that she is, and when Rachel confronts Dex, she starts to realize what she's been missing by not going for what she wants in life. A surprise twist at the end seamlessly wraps up this fast-paced, enjoyable read. Recommended for most popular fiction collections. —Karen Core, Enoch Pratt Free Lib., Baltimore, MD
Library Journal

Discussion Questions 
1. What do you think was the real impetus behind Rachel's decision to sleep with Dex after her birthday party? Was it about her desire to break out of her good girl persona? Was it about a long standing resentment toward Darcy? Or was it both?

2. How do you view Dex? How would you describe Dex and Rachel's relationship? What drew them together? Did you root for them to be together? Do you think they have true love?

3. Is anything about Rachel and Darcy's friendship genuine? Do you believe it has changed over time? Why does Rachel defend Darcy against attacks from Ethan and Hillary? Compare and contrast Rachel's friendship with Hillary and Ethan to her friendship with Darcy.

4. Do you think Dex and Darcy would have married if it weren't for Dex's affair with Rachel? Why did he stay with Darcy for so long?

5. How did Rachel's flawed self-image contribute to the dilemma that she faces? What do you see as her greatest weakness? Does she care too much about what people think of her?

6. Was Rachel's moral dilemma made easier because of Darcy's personality? Would she have acted on her attraction to Dex if Darcy were a different kind of person and friend? If Rachel had fallen in love with Julian, would she have pursued the same course of action? How does Rachel rationalize her affair with Dex?

7. What is the significance of the dice? What risks does Rachel take when she pursues her relationship with Dex? What is the biggest moment of risk for her? How does Rachel grow and change in the novel?

8. Disloyalty is a major theme in this novel. How differently do men and women view cheating on a friend? Why is Darcy so indignant when she catches Dex and Rachel together when she has been having an affair of her own?

9. Under what circumstances is it justified to choose love over friendship? How important is it for women to stick together? Have you ever been in a friendship like Darcy and Rachel's? Should you ever jettison a friendship that isn't working anymore?

10. This novel is told from Rachel's perspective. How do you think Darcy would tell the same story? How do you think she would describe Rachel? How do you think she views their friendship?

11. This book ends at a crossroads for all the characters. What do you see happening? Will Rachel's relationship last with Dex? Do you think Darcy got what she deserved in the end or do you feel sorry for her? Do you think she's capable of true love? Will Rachel and Darcy ever salvage their friendship? Do you think the ending of Something Borrowed is a happy one?
(Questions issued by publisher.)

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