Friday, June 18, 2010

Book Review: Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin

Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publish Date:May 11, 2010
Audio CD, 8 CDs
ISBN: 9781427209610

My Review:
As is typical with a Emily Giffin novel, I have had emotions that have run the entire spectrum with this book.  I have been angry, sad, happy, and anything in-between.  I also have to say this is an eye-opening honest look at marriage that is completely relevant to today when women (and men) are taxed to the extreme and always trying to meet someone else's idea of what is perfect.

When I was about halfway through this book I didn't want to like it, in fact it partially depressed me and partially incited me to anger.  But I kept going because like a train wreck, I wanted to see what happened.  I'm glad I did.  Emily Giffin's books seem to deal with infidelity a lot, and this one is no different.  As the story continues I was made to think about life and marriage and how marriage is not about one person's happiness but about both, and about how much work a marriage is.  No I don't think Ms. Giffin condones infidelity, but I think she makes us explore the whys of human nature and she does it in a way that makes you think and makes you not want to put the book down.

As this book was told from Tessa and Valerie's points-of-view, I spent time really liking and really disliking both of them.  What I did really like was I could empathize with both of them.  I think Ms. Giffin does an excellent job showing this explosive issue from all sides from all three parties involved (though less from Nick's but by the end we do learn more about what he is going through).  This is not a gentle, happy-go-lucky story, but I didn't expect that.  What I got from this was more than I can even explain.  A lot of meat is packed into this book and while being a heady subject, the book never drags.  You will find yourself wanting to know what happens next.  I also really liked how Ms. Giffin interweaves the characters by coincidence reminding us that it really is a small world.

Overall, an amazing story that will not leave me any time soon.  It has actually been a jumping off point for discussions with my husband as well so I think it is an excellent book that hits home with a lot of us (even if there is no infidelity in our lives).

Review of the Audiobook:  Very well done - I didn't realize until I was most of the way done that the voice is Miranda from Sex and the City.  She does a great job.  The main complaint I have is not with the reader but with the fact that there is no warning at the end of the CD that you have reached the end - it just goes back to the beginning (on my car CD player).  A lot of audiobooks announce the end of the CD or use music so you know.  It's just a nice feature.  But the reading was well done, the voices different enough to tell who was speaking without trouble and she has a very pleasing voice.

My Rating:  4.5/5.0

About the Book:
Tessa Russo is the mother of two young children and the wife of a renowned pediatric surgeon.  Despite her own mother's warnings, Tessa has recently given up her career to focus on her family and the pursuit of domestic happiness. From the outside, she seems destined to live a charmed life.

Valerie Anderson is an attorney and single mother to six-year-old Charlie--a boy who has never known his father.  After too many disappointments, she has given up on romance--and even to some degree, friendships--believing that it is always safer not to expect too much.

Although both women live in the same Boston suburb, the two have relatively little in common aside from a fierce love for their children.  But one night, a tragic accident causes their lives to converge in ways no one could have imagined. 

In alternating, pitch-perfect points of view, Emily Giffin creates a moving, luminous story of good people caught in untenable circumstances. Each being tested in ways they never thought possible. Each questioning everything they once believed. And each ultimately discovering what truly matters most.

About the Author:
Emily Giffin is the New York Times bestselling author of Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Baby Proof and Love The One You’re With.  She lives in Atlanta with her husband and three young children. 

Her website
Her Blog

FTC Information: I checked out this audiobook from the library to entertain me in the car on the way to and from work.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.