Estimated read time: 6 min read

Table of Contents

  1. List of Characters

List of Characters

Character NameRole
RyanLauren's husband
RachelLauren's sister
DavidLauren's best friend
AdamLauren's new love interest
EmmaLauren's daughter
GrandmaLauren's grandmother

Role Identification

In "After I Do" by Taylor Jenkins Reid, the characters play various roles that contribute to the development of the story. The protagonist, Lauren, takes center stage as she navigates the complexities of her failing marriage. Ryan, her husband, serves as a counterpoint to Lauren's journey, portraying the challenges of commitment and personal growth. Rachel, Lauren's sister, provides emotional support and serves as a sounding board for Lauren. David, Lauren's best friend, offers insights and advice throughout the novel. Adam, Lauren's new love interest, sparks a potential new beginning for her. Emma, Lauren and Ryan's daughter, adds an additional layer of complexity to the story. Finally, Grandma, Lauren's grandmother, offers wisdom and guidance from her own experiences.

Character Descriptions

Lauren: Lauren is a strong-willed and independent woman in her early thirties. She is described as intelligent, compassionate, and witty. Lauren has a sense of vulnerability, which is evident in her struggle to find her own identity within her failing marriage.

Ryan: Ryan is Lauren's husband and is portrayed as a caring and loving partner. He is ambitious, hardworking, and initially committed to his marriage. However, as the story unfolds, Ryan's flaws and insecurities come to light, challenging his relationship with Lauren.

Rachel: Rachel is Lauren's younger sister, who serves as a source of support and guidance. She is portrayed as a confident and outspoken character, always ready to lend an ear and offer advice.

David: David is Lauren's best friend and confidant. He is portrayed as a gay man who provides a unique perspective on relationships. David is caring, compassionate, and has a strong bond with Lauren.

Adam: Adam is a new love interest for Lauren. He is portrayed as charming, patient, and understanding. Adam's presence in the story offers hope and the possibility of a fresh start for Lauren.

Emma: Emma is Lauren and Ryan's young daughter. She brings joy and innocence to the narrative, while also serving as a reminder of the impact of their decisions on their family.

Grandma: Grandma is Lauren's wise and experienced grandmother. She provides valuable insights and advice based on her own life experiences, offering guidance and support to Lauren.

Character Traits

Character NameTraits
LaurenStrong-willed, independent, compassionate, witty
RyanCaring, loving, ambitious, insecure
RachelConfident, outspoken, supportive
DavidCaring, compassionate, insightful
AdamCharming, patient, understanding
EmmaJoyful, innocent, family-oriented
GrandmaWise, experienced, supportive

Character Background

Lauren and Ryan's background is established through flashbacks and conversations throughout the novel. They met in college and fell deeply in love, eventually getting married. However, as time passed, their relationship began to deteriorate under the weight of unfulfilled expectations, lack of communication, and the pressures of daily life. Lauren, a successful businesswoman, finds herself losing her sense of self in the process. Ryan, on the other hand, struggles with insecurities and a fear of failure, which impacts his ability to connect with Lauren on an emotional level.

Rachel, as Lauren's sister, has been a constant presence in her life. She has witnessed the ups and downs of Lauren and Ryan's relationship and provides a supportive shoulder for Lauren during difficult times. David, Lauren's best friend, has been her confidant since childhood. He offers a unique perspective on relationships due to his own experiences as a gay man.

Adam enters the picture as a new love interest for Lauren. He has a different background and brings a fresh perspective to her life. Emma, Lauren and Ryan's daughter, is a product of their love and serves as a reminder of the family they built together.

Character Arcs

Throughout the story, Lauren undergoes a significant character arc. Initially, she is trapped in a failing marriage and feels suffocated by the expectations placed upon her. As the narrative progresses, Lauren finds the strength to separate from Ryan and embark on a journey of self-discovery. She learns to prioritize her own happiness and redefines her identity outside of her failed marriage. With the support of her sister, David, and Adam, Lauren begins to rebuild her life and find fulfillment.

Ryan's character arc is also prominent in the novel. He initially struggles to come to terms with the crumbling marriage and his own insecurities. As the story unfolds, Ryan learns to confront his fears and takes steps towards personal growth, ultimately leading to a deeper understanding of himself and his relationship with Lauren.


The relationships in "After I Do" play a crucial role in shaping the characters' journeys. Lauren and Ryan's marriage is at the core of the story, showcasing the challenges and complexities of long-term commitment. The relationship between Lauren and Rachel is one of unwavering support and sisterly love, providing a safe space for Lauren to express her emotions. David's friendship with Lauren offers a unique perspective, and his unwavering support becomes a lifeline for her. The budding relationship between Lauren and Adam represents the possibility of a new beginning and serves as a catalyst for Lauren's personal growth. Finally, Lauren's relationship with her daughter, Emma, highlights the impact of their choices on their family unit.

In conclusion, "After I Do" by Taylor Jenkins Reid delves into the complexities of relationships through its well-developed characters. Lauren's journey of self-discovery and the growth of other characters showcase the power of love, vulnerability, and personal growth in the face of adversity.