Title: Heart of the Matter
Author: Emily Giffin
Published: March 2011
Published By: St. Martin's Griffin
Format Read: Trade Paperback
Date Read: February 10, 2016
As a wife to a prominent pediatric plastic surgeon, Tessa Russo has become accustomed to her husband being paged to attend to emergencies. So it came as no surprise when her husband Nick had to cut their anniversary dinner short, to race to the hospital. Little did she know that the emergency he would race to would affect the entire future of their marriage.
Meanwhile, single mother Valerie Anderson is trying to stay strong after an accident that left her young son with devastating injuries. Her only solace is the connection she forms with his caring doctor.
It should come to no surprise that Heart of the Matter is a book about infidelity. It is a typical contemporary and pretty obvious from the start, what would develop. Yet, there was something about the Emily Giffin’s writing that drew me in. Although I have (luckily) never been in a situation like that of Tessa and Valerie, I was able to empathize with these characters. And poor little Charlie’s terrible injuries were heartbreaking and at times difficult to read about.
Tessa and Valerie
Both Tessa and Valerie were strong characters, who shared some common similarities. Both were highly educated, trying to fit into a posh neighbourhood where appearances are everything. I think that many dedicated mothers and wives, from all walks of life will be able to relate to their struggle to balance the daily responsibilities of their hectic lives.
Personally I found that as I reader I made more of a connection with Tessa. Not only because she was the woman scorned, but because of the first person narrative of her character. Valerie’s story was equally heartbreaking as she watched her son suffer, but I felt more disconnected from her. The reason for this is based on the fact that her story was told in third person narrative.
Heart of the Matter is the first book I have read by author Emily Giffin and it certainly won’t be my last. I would recommend this solid contemporary story to fans of the genre.