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Heart of the Matter Hardcover – May 11, 2010
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A powerful, provocative novel about marriage and motherhood, love and forgiveness.
Tessa Russo is a stay-at-home mother of two young children and the wife of a renowned pediatric surgeon. Valerie Anderson is an attorney and single mother to six-year-old Charlie—a boy who has never known his father. Although both women live in the same Boston suburb, they are strangers to one another and have 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.
This is the 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.
From Publishers Weekly
In the popular Giffin's latest, Nick Russo is a pediatric plastic surgeon; his wife, Tessa (sister of Dex, from Something Borrowed), is a professor turned stay-at-home mom living a cushy life in Boston. Nick is called in to care for a six-year-old burn victim, and Nick's devotion to his work is soon tangled up in his attraction to the boy's mother, Valerie, a single attorney. Narrated in turn by Tessa and Valerie, the action centers around—will they or won't they, and, if they do, will Tessa forgive him? While unclear what Nick finds so unsatisfying in his marriage, adultery is always tempting and Tessa and Valerie both have their charms. Longtime fans will enjoy the cameos, but for the best of Giffin, don't miss her earlier works. (May)
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Top customer reviews
Tessa and Valerie are two mothers living in the Boston area with little in common until one night, an accident intertwines their lives and flips both of their worlds upside down. Unlike her first four books, Heart of the Matter is told in alternating points of view delivering the story of these two women as they are forced to examine their lives, decisions they’ve made, and what is the heart of the matter.
"My wife's affair" is one of the best books I have ever read. I have already reviewed it. To me it was more about how your actions can cause a sunami and that sometimes there are no do-overs in life. The what-if's. I can't understand how this book has not received more attention. 5 plus stars.
I felt "Heart of the Matter" was Emily Giffin's best book. It is also about adultery told through the eyes of three very engaging characters. Both women (Tessa/Valerie)alternate chapters. Valerie is a single mother who comes in contact with Nick (Tessa's husband) when her young son is burnt at a child's birthday party. Tessa is the ex-professional who has given up her career to concentrate on her two young children. Nick (the plastic surgeon) does not have his own chapters, but is the man literally in the middle. All three characters are very well written and sympathetic. No villains in this story. After reading all previous books, I'm not surprised that Emily Giffin ended the book the way she did. I also agreed with the ending. For this story was also about a journey and each character has a better understanding of themselves at the end of the book. This was the thinking man/women chick lit, which may have put Emily Giffin at the top of the pack.
"Love in Mid Air" is a very well written book. Kim Wright certainly has a great deal of insight about this topic. Her main character Elyse Bearden is a powerhouse of a character, not to be forgotten. My only problem was that I did not like her. Like chalk on the blackboard, she grated on my nerves. While there was a page on what Elyse initially saw in her husband Phil, this marriage was over long before she takes Gerry's business card on a flight from Phoenix. I kept wanting to say, enough---just go already. What kept me reading was the interactions between her woman friends, and how Elyse's affair, changes the so called equilibrium in all her other relationships. 3 stars.
"The swimming pool" is a slow moving book about the ramifications of adultery on ones family. Marcella is a 40ish women who has an affair with an acquaintance and later in the book his son. All the characters felt flat to me, like the air was let out of their tires. This book was also reviewed as a mystery, as Maracella's lovers wife was murdered, and her son and daughter need closure. Was their father a killer? The answer is evident 1/2 way through the book, and adds nothing to the story. A very unemotional/distant story. It added nothing to this subject matter. 2 stars.
Val is a distraught single mom. She struggled with allowing her son Charlie to go to a sleepover. Then an accident happens and changes her whole world.
The two families lives collide. Nick struggles with his feelings. Tessa is confused about the quality of her marriage. Val desperately wants love and a father figure for her son.
Author Emily Giffin tells both sides of the story. You'll care about the characters after reading and understanding their point of view. Like her previous books, Something Borrowed and Something Blue (which are my all time favorites), I found myself rooting for the mistress. We also get to see the return of a couple of the old characters. The situation that Nick, Val, and Tessa find themselves in can really happen. I heart Giffin for her books that are true to life and about the real matters of the heart when it comes to love.