One of the smartest legal minds I’ve ever encountered belongs to a woman who unabashedly professes her love for Emily Giffin’s body of work, so I don’t hate on chick-litty books because I’m afraid I won’t seem profound or erudite. Ms. Giffin’s work clearly appeals to millions of people because she’s landed on the bestseller list six times. Soon she’s likely to land there for the seventh time.
If you’ve read her previous books, you know her style and her themes. In her latest, The One and Only, Giffin takes us to the Great State of Texas and immerses us in football and moral dilemmas. And when I say “immerses us in football,” I mean you won’t go more than a page without a reference to the Heisman trophy, the Cotton Bowl, the NCAA or NFL drafts. She’s done her research on college football and I suspect that almost every bit of it made its way into this book.
As one of Texas’ daughters, I appreciate the reverence and respect she pays to the football religion. I can’t say that I worshipped at that altar myself, considering I spent college Saturdays studying while the Texas A&M Aggies played at Kyle Field– the fans’ cheers rocking the stacks where I studied for Sociology 101 and 20th Century Women Writers.
I’d say there were too many football factoids and conversations featuring the pigskin for my taste, but you gotta know, that I have zero taste for football.
It’s a fun read, though I’ll confess I was rooting for the professional football player and hoping there’d be some more graphic sex between Shea and fictional Dallas Cowboy Ryan James, but those are forgivable sins. (True confession: I thought Shea’s romance with her best friend’s father veered too close to incest for my taste, but that’s just me.)
There was, however, one unforgivable transgression. And only because I hate open letters is this post not styled as one to Ms. Giffin, but Emily, dear popular wildly successful Emily, how could you possible write a book about Texas with no less than 78 references to country music without mentioning Willie Nelson? Honey, that was an epic gaffe. Willie grew up 20 miles from Baylor University; he used to live in Austin, Texas; and for the Baby Jesus’ sake, he was best friends with Darrell Royal, the KING of Longhorn football.
You mentioned Sugarland. And Taylor Swift. And freaking Kenny Chesney, but no Willie? How could you ask me to buy a character like Coach Clive Carr who is the age he is and expect me to believe he’s not listening to Waylon or Willie?
I can’t do it. I can’t picture it. I want to, but I can’t.
Not sure what it says about me that a romance that smacks of incest isn’t nearly as disturbing as snubbing Willie Nelson, but do with all of this what you will, dear readers.