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Heart of the Matter Paperback – 11 Nov 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (11 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409123634
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409123637
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.9 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 691,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Emily Giffin graduated from Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law. She practiced law in New York City for several years before moving to London, where she began writing full time. She now lives in Atlanta with her husband, two sons and a daughter.

Author photo: Jerry Bauer

Product Description

Review

Is a wife always in the right and the 'other woman' always in the wrong? ... we found our sympathies shifting with every turn of the page. (GRAZIA)

Emily Giffin writes with both insight and empathy. (CANDIS)

Book Description

From the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author comes a moving, thought-provoking novel about the impossible dilemmas two mothers face.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sian Louise VINE VOICE on 8 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have to say this author isnt one of my favourites, due to some of the topics in her books, mainly adultery.

Whilst reading this I experienced quite a lot of different emotions...namely anger and upset. I think because the premise of the story is basically a married man having an affair with another woman. Which is a subject that I feel very strongly about and do not agree with in any shape or form.

I thought maybe I would identify with the single mother Valerie more due to the fact my mum was also a single mum pretty much thoughout my childhood. But I just could not like her and thought she was incredibly naive. Now Tessa I really liked and really felt for. And her husband Nick, my feelings for him was that basically he was a selfish idiot, who made excuses for putting his job and then other people in front of his own wife and children. I started to feel more for him towards the end but not a whole lot. In a way though I did agree with Tessa's overall decision. It wasnt her fault he had the affair but she was at fault for changing so much it did alter her relationship with Nick.

I suppose in a way this was a very well written book, it made me angry and it made me cry and definately gave me food for thought. So I can't in good conscience give this a bad review or rating. I think there will be plenty of people who will be able to relate to Tessa or to Valerie. And I know there are plenty of you who enjoy this author's books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Turner VINE VOICE on 17 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have a confession to make - I didn't actually finish this book. Yup, it's a DNF! It just bored me right from the start and after labouring to read it, I finally threw the towel in. The book tells the story of housewife and mother, Tessa and her gorgeous plastic surgeon husband Nick, who is called in to operate on a small boy, Charlie, with burn injuries. His mother Valerie is a single mother and an outsider to the tight little group of wealthy, upper middle class families in their affluent community, though she is a lawyer in her own right. And of course, it isn't long before Dr Dreamboat, Nick, and outsider Vitriolic Val are at it like rabbits! Does Trite Tessa forgive his little indescretion, even though she's been humiliated in front of her wealthy wives clique, or does she poison him and bury him under the patio -who cares?! Even though the future of a small child is at stake, this does not make for a dramatic hook, because while Mommy Val is supposed to be fiercely protective of her son,he is quickly relegated to the sidelines of the story so she can get it together with the dashing doctor. For a thoughtful and apparently intelligent story, it's very formulaic and the sketchy plot wouldn't be out of place in a M&B romance. The characters are not at all sympathetic, the women are absolutely wet and the doctor is a snob, who looks down on the wives of their social circle,including Tessa, his own wife,but falls into bed with Valerie because she's a) pathetic and b) an intelligent career women. Yawn! I gave the book two stars out of guilt because I didn't finish it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Clare Mccann VINE VOICE on 5 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I had added this book to my Wish List after seeing it reviewed in Grazia and was then lucky enough to get it through the Vine program. It was described in Grazia as a story of adultery that tests the readers loyalties, which I thought sounded intriguing.

However I'm afraid I felt nothing but frustration at the two who lead female characters Valerie & Tessa who behaved like silly teenage girls. I finally lost patience with the book a third of the way through, and unusually for me I decided not to finish it. I also found the author's decision to switch between first and third person slightly distracting, particularly in the context of a plot that wasn't hooking me in anyway.

Overall a disappointing read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. A. Wright VINE VOICE on 30 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The story of Valerie Anderson and Nick and Tessa Russo. Single mother Valerie meets Nick when her son Charlie is involved in a very bad accident. Nick is a leading paediatric plastic surgeon. A relationship quickly builds up between them which continues outside the hospital. The problem is that Nick is married and has two children. This story has all the ingredients to make you excited but yet for at least a quarter of the book I could not engage with any of the characters. Even Charlie's emergency admission to hospital failed to excite me. Eventually I began to feel a mild curiosity as to how it would turn out and found the rest of the book was readable
but did not reach greatness. Parts of the story mainly Valerie and Nick's meetings and but also interactions with family and friends are told in the third person. Other parts are told in the first person by Tessa giving her story but even this seemed dry and unexciting. As the wronged woman she should have gained my sympathy but I'm afraid I didn't feel anything, I would have liked to read more about the reaction of the children because the very small mention of how Charlie was feeling did tug a little at my heart strings. As I said, I read the book and after the first few chapters it was no great hardship to read but neither was it a great pleasure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sally Zigmond VINE VOICE on 30 Nov. 2010
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Having read the blurb, I felt this would be the kind of novel I would enjoy. The writing is more than competent, very much in Anita Shreve territory but without the humour and balance of Anne Tyler, and nothing like as compelling as either. It began well enough. The idea of that split-second moment between normality and one's life falling apart and the horror of one's child having been injured in a careless accident and the mother's guilt and despair is very well captured. However, the moment it turned into yet another tale of middle-class American suburban adultery, I began to lose patience. Same old. Same old. I could not identify with these super-rich, high achieving Americans who had the money and time to sit about discussing 'relationships' and the difficulties of looking after children when they all could afford child-care and had high earning jobs. I'd much rather read about people who really have to struggle.

I wish I could have engaged with the characters but I didn't like any of them, especially the handsome and talented surgeon who everyone adored. Why? I can just see this as a glossy Hollywood tear-jerker awash with beautiful actors, shallow emotion and lots of lip-gloss. This is 'Desperate Housewives' with none of its redeeming humour.
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