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Customer Review

17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing..., January 25, 2011
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This review is from: Heart of the Matter (Hardcover)
As someone who loved Emily Giffin's first two novels Something Borrowed and Something Blue, I found this book to be very disappointing. My first criticism is the confusing narration - the book is told from one character in first person, then alternating chapters told from a second character in third person. I found it distracting and harder to empathize with the second character in third person (those who've read the first two books know that Giffin's strength in first person is making unlikeable characteristics of a character relatable. Second, I found Valerie came off unsympathetically in terms of her interactions with Nick, although she was more likeable during her interactions with judgmental characters like April and Romy. Tessa, in first person, was easier to relate to although her guilt and blame in "creating problems" seemed largely manufactured. What was the harm in her trying to get Nick engaged in matters at home, even if they were less "critical" than his work at the hospital? Nick was a thoroughly unlikeable character, as opposed to Dex and Ethan in the previous series who may have had flaws but were not so chronically selfish and unsympathetic.

By the end I found myself rooting for none of the characters and the ending was entirely dissatisfying - each character lies to the others, and you're expected to believe Tessa accepts Nick's claim he didn't love Valerie. Most of all, unlike the other novels that were centered around the romantic relationships, bringing children into this novel almost as afterthoughts to the adult characters' decisions and interactions distracted from the story and made them look all the more self-absorbed and selfish, especially Nick. Finally, as opposed to Giffin's other novels where the characters defy stereotypes in the end, each character in this novel dutifully lived up to tradition - the strong, single mother you want to empathize with becomes the emotionally weak "other woman", the intelligent woman who gave up her career for her children confronts the other woman and decides to forgive her unfaithful husband, and the work-obsessed kind doctor cheats on his wife with a woman he purports to love while abusing his position as her son's doctor then predictably goes crawling back to his wife in the end. Disappointing all around.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 21, 2012 7:25:28 PM PDT
I so agree with you about this book. Particularly the end. It angered me, too. I sat up late at night to finish it and was so let down by the ending. I googled it to see how many people agreed that it just didn't make sense.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2013 11:51:58 AM PDT
I too was totally disappointed in how this book ended. When Tessa met Valerie, she asked Valerie if Nick had ever told her he loved her. She had planned to end the marriage if the answer was yes. Valerie lied. Tessa made a decision to take back her cheating husband based on a lie. And Nick's explanation of the affair made no sense to me; when he broke up with Valerie he told her he loved her and always would. I would have liked this book a whole lot better if Tessa kicked Nick to the curb and left him there.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2013 3:27:04 PM PDT
Laura says:
I do not think Valerie lied...I think she realized that Nick did not really love her in the end. Also, I think Nick realized that the feelings he had for Valerie were not love in the end...hence his confession to tessa.
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