Chick Lit and Wine Summer Must Read #3: “Something Borrowed” by Emily Giffin

This novel in two words: pleasant surprise.

From the novel’s premise – maid of honor sleeps with groom-to-be – I expected to despise main character Rachel. Instead she proved a moral and introspective character.

I’m stopping short of saying likeable (though I was rooting for her by the book’s end) only because her hand wringing drove me nuts. I get it – her infidelity is out of character and her struggle to come to terms with her actions make her a believable character. Realistically though, it also makes her your sometimes-infuriating friend. Bless Emily Giffin for writing in Hillary, Rachel’s sometimes-infuriated friend, to voice reason.

Meet the cast –they reappear in Giffin’s “Something Blue,” then “Heart of the Matter” stars sister of the groom, Tessa. (Stay tuned for reviews of both on

Rachel is a play-by-the-rules lawyer who’s typically traded passion for practicality. She’s also traded the spotlight for a supporting role in best-friend Darcy’s life again and again throughout their lifelong friendship.

Bride Darcy has movie-star looks and she’s content to ride them to a comfortable life with a rich husband, like her mother did.

Then there’s the groom, Dex, who’s a confident, beautiful law school friend of Rachel’s with motives that are hard to peg.

And finally – also regularly voicing the opinions in my own head – were laidback, unambitious Marcus and straight-shooting childhood friend Ethan.

This is a fun novel. You know these people. The writing moves well and whether you love the characters or hate them, you’ll be dying to find out what happens to them.

The surprise ending was so soap-opera worthy that I felt foolish loving it as much as I did. I read it sitting straight up, my eyebrows raised.

A note: I haven’t seen the movie, but the trailer makes it look as though it’s a loose interpretation, so I wouldn’t judge one off of the other.

This story’s full of surprises and its wine should be, too. Pick up a Bandit wine. They look like giant juice boxes, but taste like legitimate wine. I’m a sucker for the Cabernet.

– Chardonnay