Given the amount I read, I always get excited when I discover a book that I love by an author I haven\’t heard of but who has written earlier novels. It means I can go back and look up her other books, knowing I\’m going to find something I like. And I will definitely be on the look out for other books by author Emily Giffin because I loved reading this one!
Heart of the Matter by Emily Griffin is the story of two women â€“ women who don\’t know each other but whose lives become irrevocably entwined through a set of fateful circumstances.
Tessa Russo is the wife of successful paediatric surgeon Nick. They have two young children, and Tessa is grateful each time her husband is called into work that it\’s not her children needing his services. Having given up her own job to be a stay at home mum, Tessa is supportive of Nick\’s career and understands (or at least tries to) his often erratic hours and call-outs interrupting their own family time. So when Nick is called to the hospital for an emergency during the course of their anniversary dinner, she prays for someone else\’s child and little realises that just one call is about to turn her world upside down.
Valerie Anderson is a hard working single mum. A lawyer, she managed to put herself through school and is raising her six year old son who is the centre of her world. A tragic accident turns her world upside down too, and as she struggles to come to terms with the fact that her son may be forever scarred, Nick Russo walks into their lives. As a plastic surgeon he offers hope for Valerie and Charlie, and she begins to believe that they just may get through this.
Through the course of Charlie\’s treatment, Valerie and Nick are drawn closer together in their mutual concern for her child. And, in a parallel life, Nick and Tessa seem to be growing further apart as she struggles to deal with her new identity as a stay-at-home mum and he is increasingly busy at work.
The story Giffin tells is not a new one â€“ it deals with the usual pitfalls of motherhood, married life, the fears we all have for our kids, dealing with other parents, infidelity and extended family relationships. But the way she tells it makes it real. The story is told from the points of view of Tessa and Valerie, in alternating chapters. They are both warm, compassionate and believable women â€“ and in any other novel would probably be best friends. But in this one, that is not to be and as the story of these two women (and one man) unfolds it is hard to know who you\’re cheering on from the sidelines. And, as you\’re deciding who to cheer on, the pages seem to turn themselves!
This book managed to make me laugh and cry â€“ that often indicates a good read for me â€“ and I absolutely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a wonderful, engrossing and touching read.
Available now: Hachette RRP$32.95