“Love and friendship. They are what make us who we are, and what can change us, if we let them.”
~Darcy Rhone, via Emily Giffin in Something Blue
After re-reading Something Borrowed in honor of the movie release, it was impossible not to re-read its sequel, too. Seriously. Impossible. It didn’t matter that I’d already gone along on Darcy’s journey of transformation. It didn’t matter that I’d already flown through the pages, absorbing every single word. It didn’t matter that I knew the storylines, the plot twists, and the ending. That’s the magic of Emily’s writing: you can read it over and over, getting just as swept up as you did originally. Actually, I found myself even more drawn in on the re-read, and that’s saying a lot, seeing as how I sped through the entire novel in just over a day the first time around.
I love everything about Something Blue, but if I had to choose a favorite part, it would be the ending. It is just … perfect. So many people say that the sign of a great book is that it resonates beyond its pages, and while I agree with that whole-heartedly, I have to add something else. The sign of a great book is also one that makes you feel – for the characters, for their journeys, and also for yourself. That’s what this book does, and it’s especially true of the last several chapters. The words, the story, the message … they make you think, they make you smile, and, if you’re me, they make you all misty-eyed, even though (again) you already knew exactly what was going to happen. Writing is a powerful – and beautiful – thing in that way.
The above quote comes from the very end of Something Blue. Those are the last lines, the ones that encapsulate hundreds of pages, a journey that spans two novels, and a plethora of relationships that have changed, grown, and evolved in ways nobody had imagined at the outset. As a writer, I always devote a special kind of attention to the culminating lines of my books. I want them to be just right. Sometimes that means writing them in the moment, sometimes that means getting a sudden flash of inspiration for them weeks before I get to the last chapter, and sometimes it means a combination of both. When I met Emily last year, we chatted about her process for crafting the endings of her novels, and she said she typically writes them in the moment. To me, this novel epitomizes that – the words are filled with passion, insight, eloquence, and inspiration. They hold true not only for the characters, but also for all of us.
Love and friendship domake us who we are. They play a role in our identities, in how we define ourselves, and in how we see the world. They make us better, stronger, wiser. These are the relationships that enrich our lives and, when we embrace them, change us in ways we never could have envisioned. They’re our support network, our security, and our sunshine. And I, for one, consider myself very blessed to have these things – these people – in my life. I may still be searching for the ever-elusive Prince Charming (note to him: hurry up already – patience is not a virtue I possess!), but I have so many other special people in my life. My family and friends – and that includes all of you – have changed me for the better. You all have changed me for good.
Do you have people who help make you who you are? Have they influenced you, affected you, changed you?