"Giffin excels at creating complex characters and stories that ask us to explore what we really want from our lives."--Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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's Heart of the Matter 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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Emily Giffin is the woman we most want to gossip with at day care pickup. In Heart of the Matter, she uses alternating points of view to paint crystal-clear pictures of Tessa Russo and her listless marriage and of emotionally frigid single mom Valerie Anderson. Tragedy causes these two women’s paths to cross, and Giffin’s characterizations are so believable that we were completely invested in these strangers’ lives—even when they were behaving really badly. This is Giffin’s talent: She writes pageturners that make you really sympathize with her characters’ inner workings and faults.
Giffin's latest is disappointing on all counts. Nick Russo is a pediatric plastic surgeon; his wife, Tessa (sister of Dex, from Something Borrowed\n), 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 personality-free Tessa and one-dimensional Valerie, it takes Giffin an inordinate number of pages to deal with the book's only plot line will they or won't they, and, if they do, will Tessa forgive him? It's unclear what Nick finds so unsatisfying in his marriage that might tempt him to adultery, and neither Tessa nor Valerie is complex enough to sustain interest. Longtime fans will enjoy the cameos, but newcomers will be better off with one of Giffin's earlier, better works. \n
Love Emily Giffin as a writer so I loved this book. I like how characters from previous books make their way into her newer books and how she connects all the characters. Can't wait to read the next one.