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Monday, December 3, 2012

Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin

368 pages, Adult Chick Lit

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

My 2 cents

I did like this book, but the first half was a little dull.  The 2nd half picked up quite a bit.  I have trouble deciding exactly which genre this should belong to.  It is Chick Lit in so many ways, being its woman's fiction...but there wasn't as much silliness as I usually associate with that genre.  I'd say its a cross between Chick Lit and Contemporary Romance.

We follow the story between the 2 women who have this very handsome doctor (Nick) in their lives.  One is Tessa, Nick's wife, the other is Valerie, the mother of his most recent patient.  I don't want to give the whole story away, but you can probably guess what happens and why its set up this way.  This is the 2nd time Emily Giffin has shown both sides of an affair.  The first was Something Borrowed--we got to see "the other woman," Rachel's side of things.  Then she wrote a book called Something Blue and we got to see Darcy, the fiance's side of things.  Speaking of Rachel, she and Dex are small bit characters in this book, which was a huge bonus!  Anyways, I think its really interesting how this story played out.  In the Darcy-Rachel-Dex Triangle, I totally rooted for Rachel, because Darcy was such a B----!  But in this book, both Valerie and Tessa have great qualities, and they were both basically good people--so really, I just ended up feeling sorry for them both.  In this book, Nick's the A--!

Emily Giffin is great at whipping out her magnifying glass, and really showing us all the hidden agendas in relationships.  Not just marriages and affairs, but also friendships and parents and their children. She does it masterfully again here, so even if you are not big on reading a book about an affair, I think you will enjoy this book!

I also really liked the way she handled the affair--unlike Dex and Rachel's affair, this one was a lot less about sex and the physical.  I give this book 4 stars!

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