Even though I was eagerly anticipating this book’s release, it sat on my bookshelf for four months. I finally got some inspiration to pick it up this weekend. Although this is not a banned book, it does help me cross of another book on my Chick Lit Challenge list. Here is my review of Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin.
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.
Heart of the Matter was one of the Books of Summer that I was eagerly anticipating. In that post I talked about two reasons I loved Giffin’s work. The first is her skill at depicting interpersonal relationships. The second is the characters she creates. Both of these skills were well represented in her latest novel.
The main thing that stuck with me after I finished this book was the realness of it. I believe this feeling was a result of the characters Giffin created. Often I find characters to be either “too perfect” or “too flawed.” When this happens, I find it difficult to become interested in the plot due to the lack of reality in the characters. In this story each character is believable due to their good mix of strengths and flaws. Each character is balanced enough to make them feel like real people instead of plot points.
The credibility of the characters lead to a quality of realism to the story. At some points the story was so personal that I felt like I was snooping into a neighbor’s life. I felt guilty enough to want to put the book down; however, my curiosity got the better of me. While this book could have easily been predictable, I never wondered what came next. I think this was due to the fact I was riveted by what I was reading and didn’t want the experience to end.
Review: I was a bit reserved in my excitement about this book due to the fact I had not enjoyed Griffin’s last two releases as much as her first two. This book ended up being perhaps my favorite of her novels. Giffin again demonstrated her great storytelling ability, creating great characters whose experiences will stay with me.