Saturday, May 1, 2010

Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin

Emily Giffin was an author I resisted for awhile because I thought she was just another chick lit writer.  While I had enjoyed my share of chick lit over the years, I was tired of it and looking for something modern, yet not always about a young woman looking for love in an advertising agency in London surrounded by a fabulous circle of friends.

One night at work, I was wandering the sales floor, and once again came across Emily's books in fiction.  I succumbed to the lure of her first novel, and have since read every one of them.  On May 11th, Emily's latest title, Heart of the Matter arrives in bookstores.  I was lucky to receive an advanced reader's copy of it and knew it would be as well written as her previous novels.

Heart of the Matter takes place in Boston and involves a married couple, Tessa and Nick.  Nick is pediatric surgeon, and Tessa is a stay at home Mom of two small kids.  Their life is full, and happy, although Tessa realizes quitting her job as a professor did not lighten her load at home.

Nick is called away from their anniversary dinner on an emergency:  a small boy has been burned  during a birthday party, and is going to need Nick's help with reconstructive surgery to his hand and face.  Enter Valerie, single mom to Charlie, the burn victim,  who forms a relationship with Nick that may cross the line between patient and doctor.

Emily Giffin's gift is taking a situation that we have all either experienced or heard of someone else going through, and asking the simple question:  what would you really do if you were in that situation?  As you  find out reading Emily's novels, there are many shades of grey.

As a reader, you follow Tessa's doubts and growing unhappiness.  But is she really unhappy or just being influenced by her mom's words of wisdom about marriage?  How much does it matter to her what her life looks like to the other upper-middle class women in her neighborhood?  Is Nick to blame?

Up until the last page, you just don't know how this will turn out.  That's the beauty of Emily Giffin.  She shows you  both sides of a situation, and  makes you pause to take a moment and realize you may not have all the answers and be absolutely sure what you'd do when it involves your spouse, a relationship, and a whole life together.  

Try Emily Giffin's novels.  They are grown-up novels for women who have lived, loved, and can appreciate the complexity of making the best  choice that leads to happiness.


  1. Thanks for the review. I loved her other books, and saw this at the store, but was unsure if it would be something I would like. Totally going to check it out now.

  2. you are welcome! I will read anything she puts out-love them all!