My Various Entry Points into THE ONES WE CHOOSE

A good story allows the reader to enter it from multiple vantage points. THE ONES WE CHOOSE is not just a good story, but an amazing story that will linger long after you put it down. It is truly one of my favorite books of the year, maybe because I engaged with the book on multiple levels.

I entered the story as a single mother. As a woman who instigated her own divorce and was a single mother for six years, I love the premise of THE ONES WE CHOOSE—a woman who is a single parent by choice, cleanly, without any heartbreaking divorce or shattered family system to start with.  As a mother trying to fold my significant other into life with my children, I really related to Paige’s struggle to balance her needs as a mother with her need for love—the push-pull of wanting to be in a relationship yet not wanting to relinquish control or let another person all the way in.

I entered THE ONES WE CHOOSE as a student. As a younger person, I never liked learning things in classrooms. I did not read nonfiction for fun. In fact, I don’t think I even opened some of my assigned texts in college. That’s not to say that I didn’t love learning, I just did it through fiction. I got the flavor of different time periods through historical fiction (hey—they had to do the research), and I loved authors like Michael Crichton, whose take on science fiction was not imaginary worlds, but fiction with science in it. Books that made me feel as if I had expanded my brain and learned something while just reading for the pure pleasure of the story.

This is one reason why I loved THE ONES WE CHOOSE so much. Julie blends research and facts so beautifully. Her insertion of science was spiritually as well as intellectually exciting to me, as I contemplated how our we are connected to our ancestors. It made me think about the world with new and less jaded perspective.

And lastly, I entered this story as a daughter who never got what she needed from her own father.

THE ONES WE CHOOSE excited me intellectually as much as it hit me in the feels. Julie Clark’s writing is breathtakingly gorgeous, her story riveting, and her characters all people I feel as if I might run into in real life. The tension was so exquisite that sometimes I had to step back and catch my breath. This is a book filled with uneasy truths that never takes the easy path to resolution.

Comment below and tell me, how you entered the story.

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Author: Lara Lillibridge

Lara Lillibridge sings off-beat and dances off-key. She writes a lot, and sometimes even likes how it turns out. Her memoir, Girlish, available for preorder on Amazon, is slated for release in February 2018 with Skyhorse Publishing. Lara Lillibridge is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College’s MFA program in Creative Nonfiction. In 2016 she won Slippery Elm Literary Journal’s Prose Contest, and The American Literary Review's Contest in Nonfiction. She has had essays published in Pure Slush Vol. 11, Vandalia, and Polychrome Ink; on the web at Hippocampus, Crab Fat Magazine, Luna Luna, Huffington Post, The Feminist Wire, and Airplane Reading, among others. Read her work at