Wednesday, July 9, 2014

#BookReview: Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin

I’ve not read Giffin before, but I’ve seen Something Borrowed and somewhat enjoyed it, so I thought there was a good chance I would like Heart of the Matter. Also, I found it on sale at Tuesday Morning for $ 3.99 so there’s that. At any rate, it was an okay listen, but I’ve noticed what I could be a trend in Giffin stories and a fellow book blogger confirmed it: there’s always an affair.

Beyond that, I’ve found that the men aren’t given a voice, though they’re involved in the affairs. It’s told from the side of the wife or significant other and the side chick the man hooked up with. Where is the man’s voice in this? Is he not equally at fault and, perhaps, even more so because he’s the one committed to his spouse? But I digress.

Tessa Russo dumped her fiancé just days before her wedding after meeting Nick, a pediatric surgeon. Now happily married to Nick and living in Wellesley, Tessa is a stay at home mom. She spends far too much time waiting for Nick to come home from the hospital and schedules her life, and the kids, around Nick.

Valarie Anderson is the single mother of an absolutely adorable six year old named Charlie. She’s well aware that she stands out among the other mothers at his private school; not only is she a single parent, she works outside of the home. She’s protective of Charlie, but finally allows him to attend a sleepover. And this is where paths cross.

An unfortunate accident at the sleepover leads to hospitalization for Charlie. As a pediatric surgeon, Nick always maintain a wall between himself and his patients, but something about Charlie and his mother tug at his heart strings. And yeah, it gets predictable from here.

So back to my original question, as the reader goes back and forth reading (or listening, in my case) to Valarie and Tessa despair over Nick and question whether he’ll stay or go, Nick is silent. We see him interact with the women, but he’s only allowed to verbalize how he feels about what’s going on in small increments and, even then, it’s not until almost the end and doesn’t amount to much.

It’s not likely that I’ll be reading anything else from Giffin.

Listening time: 10 hours, 18 minutes
Published: May 2010

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