Emily Haxby is 29. She is living her dream being a lawyer for a large upscale law firm in New York. She has a boyfriend who is a doctor,whom everyone tells her is perfect for her, and it seems as though her life is one to be envied.
One night while her and her boyfriend are out having dinner, she calls off their relationship. She hasn’t felt as though it fits for her, and she really doesn’t know why. Everyone tells her she is just crazy for doing it. The one generic answer she gives is “It’s not him, It’s me”.
After some time passes, she starts to re think the reason why she broke up with him – was she afraid to commit? Was she living a lie? She then realizes that it all goes back to her past with her own parents – Her mother died when she was 14, and after that happened her and her father didn’t have one of those close relationships where they really talked.
She then quits her job, and beings to isolate herself. Then the one thing that seems to keep her all together – her grandfather – suddenly falls ill, and she feels like she is falling apart and doesn’t know what to do. As he fades in and out from past to present it is like a messenger from the past letting her into what actually happened after her mother died and how her father was like. Then he tells her not to give up hope.
The question remains though, with all of this coming to a head, grandpa’s illness make her realize (along with the help of a therapist) remindinding her of what she went through and the grief that she hasn’t really gotten over to let her begin to live her life being able to feel and finally be happy.
I have to admit, there were a few times near the end of the novel, I did cry. The utter honesty that the characters share with one another, and the finality of her grandfathers death pushed her to deal with her grief, what she was feeling, amongst the obstacles that she placed in front of herself to live a happy life. Incredible.
I really enjoyed that it was an honest account to one’s life, how they would interact with one another, and not overly dramatized as some novels are today. Thoughtful, engaging, refreshing, and honest feelings were felt throughout.
The Opposite of Love is presently being made into a movie by 20th Century Fox starring Anne Hathaway. Who was in Rachel Getting Married, and the Princess Diaries. It is due to be released sometime in 2010.
Reading Group Guide