Customer Reviews for

Heart of the Matter

Average Rating 4
( 1453 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

35 out of 41 people found this review helpful.

Sets the stage for 2010 summer reads.

Heart of the Matter is an astounding and contemporary read. This book is layered, told from two points of view from a brokenhearted single mother struggling with circumstances she did not wish for herself and a stay at home mother battling through the boredom and monoto...
Heart of the Matter is an astounding and contemporary read. This book is layered, told from two points of view from a brokenhearted single mother struggling with circumstances she did not wish for herself and a stay at home mother battling through the boredom and monotony of motherhood. Both women are on a mission for personal fulfillment in the novel as their lives become connected by a heartbreaking accident. The story is a page turner filled with emotion jerking words that are both relatable and tangible.





I appreciated the detailed medical procedures, sports matches and elementary schools application process scenes that I possibly would not have understood otherwise without the author being so descriptive in her writing. The author also has an aptitude for understanding the human experience, especially the experience of living amongst the judgment, rivalry, loneliness, need to feel completed and to be continually happy that many women face today as well as men. Many love her earlier books but I will have to go out on a possibly blasphemous limb and say that Heart of the Matter is her best, should they ever be compared. The content of the book is true literary escapism and so true to life. Single, married, old, young and women from any walk of life can relate to this book. Please do not dismiss this book as a narrative lacking substance. There is so much to this story. Well done Emily Giffin, five stars well deserved!

posted by Jeanelle_C on May 15, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

13 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

Could have been better.

I have read all of Emily Giffin's books and this one was too predictable from the beginning and wasn't what I expected. I had read another book written in the same format where each chapter was a different person telling their story, but it had substance to it that kep...
I have read all of Emily Giffin's books and this one was too predictable from the beginning and wasn't what I expected. I had read another book written in the same format where each chapter was a different person telling their story, but it had substance to it that kept me turning the pages and waiting for things to be unveiled. This book was a fast read, but that is all it was. There could have been much more to the story and the title of the book, I feel, does not fit the story that was told. Like others have said, it is the typical book where man cheats on wife and wife takes husband back. I agree that Tess took him back way too quickly. It's like Giffin needed to finish the story and rushed through the end. I know it leaves room for our imagination, but there are strings to tie to help reach that point and create a solid story. Maybe I am being a bit harsh, but I have read better and this is my personal opinion. I just feel that this story was not the WOW that I expected, because I knew it could have been a better story.

posted by LaBrujaBuena on May 21, 2010

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  • Posted September 26, 2010

    Page turner

    I enjoyed it as much as it made me angry. I felt for all the characters and couldn't wait for the end to see the final decision. If you like Emily Giffin's other books, you will like this one.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Another Great Story from Giffin!

    I was so excited that I pre-ordered this book! I love Emiy's writing and interesting subject matters. While she writes "chick-lit" there is a lot of heart and real issues in her books. This one was no different, exploring the lives of two very different women in love with the same man. I think the character development was great and I loved to see Rachel and Dex from Something Borrowed make a return - a happy return too! Giffin is an immensely gifted writer whose books have not disppointed me so far!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Her best book since Something Borrowed

    I loved the characters in this book, and the story was sweet and touching. You really felt their emotions and she did a great job making you feel both sides of the issue.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    What about Valorie?

    I would have liked the book to end differently for Valorie and Charlie. It would have been full circle to see if a reuion with Lion happend or not.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Two women, one man

    From the outside looking in, Tessa and Nick have a good marriage. Tessa gave up her successful career to be a stay-at-home to their two children Ruby and Frank. Nick is a prestigious plastic surgeon. I think both husband and wife would say their marriage is solid.

    An unfortunate accident at a child's party brings Nick and Valerie together. Valerie's son Charlie suffers severe burns and Nick is his surgeon. During Charlie's extensive hospital stay, Nick and Valerie become close. What starts innocently enough as a doctor trying to calm his patient's mother, turns into feelings that neither Valerie nor Nick can deny.

    The Heart of the Matter is Ms. Giffin's latest book. Told in alternating voices, the novel explores what happens when two women have feelings for the same man. Tessa comes from a family where her dad repeatedly was unfaithful to her mother and ended up marrying his mistress. Their history will impact Tessa as becomes aware of the relationship Nick has with Valerie.

    Valerie, on the other hand, is a single, working mother who comes to realize the significance of not having a father is to Charlie. So when Nick enters the picture, it's a relief that someone is there for both Charlie and herself.

    Fans of Ms. Giffin will enjoy this novel. Familiar characters will resurface and it's like catching up with old friends. I found this novel hard to put down. My hope is Ms. Giffin will bring back Nick, Tessa, Valerie and their families in a follow-up novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    AN AFFECTING, SENSITIVE STORY

    Cynthia Nixon not only won hearts and plaudits as Miranda on HBO's tremendously successful Sex and the City, but has often displayed her acting chops on Broadway (Hurly-Burly, Angels In America, etc). A Tony, Emmy and Grammy winning actress she is talented and versatile as was seen in her compelling portrayal of Eleanor Roosevelt. Thus, it has been a great boon for audio book aficionados to hear her bring popular stories to life.

    With HEART OF THE MATTER we hear the story of two women whose lives intersect in ways they never would have dreamed. Emily Giffin is an intelligent author who draws complex, affecting characters. Readers are immediately drawn into their hearts and minds, and again this is the case when we meet Tessa Russo and Valerie Anderson.

    Tessa, the mother of two young childen is married to Nick, a successful and dedicated pediatric surgeon. She turned her back on a Wellesley professorship to devote herself to being a full-time mom. She adores her husband and children. Tessa's life seems to be one all would envy.

    Valerie lives in the same Boston suburb as the Russos yet their paths have not yet crossed. She is a lawyer, a single mom who is personally fragile - vulnerable and lonely. Charlie, her young son, is the light of her life. When he is involved in a near fatal accident Nick invests not only his professional care but a personal interest in the boy. He and Valerie are drawn together in their concern for Charlie.

    Suddenly Nick is an important figure in the lives of both Tessa and Valerie, and he finds that he has feelings for both. This would seem to be an impossible situation, sure to cause heartbreak for someone.

    Cynthia Nixon deftly segues between the voices of Tessa and Valerie as listeners find themselves engrossed in another of Emily Giffen's sensitive stories.

    - Gail Cooke

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2010

    Heart of the Matter

    If you're looking for a vacation book this is a good pick. I was so thrilled to see that Emily Giffin included characters from her first two novels. It was cool to re-visit these characters and see what they've been doing with their lives. It's an awesome author that can get a reader so emotionally involved in a book. I was completely rooting for the underdog in this novel and couldn't wait to see how it ended. I loved the ending and was quite happy. This is definitely a feel good book that you can't put down. Thanks Emily for the wonderful words and story that you have brought to life. It was a great read!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2010

    Tear jerker

    As always, Emily Giffin's books make me bawl my eyes out. I'm never quite sure how she's going to end the story so it makes me keep reading. I love how Dex and Rachel were related to the story and now I want to go back and read all of Giffin's past books. The only downside though is that we never get a clear description on what the characters look like. Giffin only describes Tessa and Valerie at the very end and that would've been helpful to visualize the characters throughout the book. However, all in all it was a great read. With the upcoming talks of movie making with Something Borrowed, hopefully Giffin writes more books and fast unlike some authors we know...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Couldn't put it down

    This book revolves around a very sensitive subject for many people. It opens up many questions on fidelity in todays world. Cheaters get off the hook way too easily (personal opinion) We all want affection, swooning, excitement of new passionate love of when we first meet and experience butterflies. I'm sick and tired of cheating men feeling like they don't feel loved enough...walk in your wife's shoes for awhile....take care of the kids, do the housework, help with homework, laundry, doctors, dentists, ortho appointments, groceries, diapers, school paperwork, ironing, family pets, changing bedding, cleaning, cooking, on and on and on. It's real glamourous, but someone has to do it. Nick was a pig in my eyes, I don't think Giffin developed his character enough, so he was hard to like, as he thought he was the greatest surgeon in the world. Ugh... if you have a man cheating with you, he's more than likely going to cheat on you. Boy... I sound bitter don't I? I'm really not, but this book just get's the blood going. It's a fast easy read. Good tidbits of humor. I associated alot with Tess, so I liked her and I actually liked Valerie. I just think a women fooling around with a married man, is a women with little self esteem and self respect.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2010

    Good quick read

    I love Emily Giffin and her ability to draw me into the love tirangles she so greatly portrays. Although, this book was not as good as Something Borrowed, Something Blue and Baby Proof, it was a lot better than Love the One You're With...If you're looking for a quick read and one that pulls you in, I highly recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Well written novel

    As a fan of Emily Giffin's previous novels, I was very much looking forward to reading "Heart of the Matter". I was happy to see that the novel didn't only focus on Tessa and Valerie "needing" the men in their life, but finding a way to stay independent while maintaining the relationships in the lives, be that family, friend, or romantic relationships. One drawback that I found was that the book cover presents the book as a point by point, back and forth novel which provides its reader with the perspectives of both women equally. I did not find this to be accurate; the chapters addressing Tessa's life are all written in first person, and the chapters addressing Valerie's are in third person. By nature, I believe this creates a bias toward Tessa, and makes the ending easier to predict.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 5, 2013

    Hate isn┬┐t a strong enough word to encapsulate the level of loat

    Hate isn’t a strong enough word to encapsulate the level of loathing I felt for April. If her high horse were any higher, she’d be able to touch the sun, or have POTUS defer to her on multiple occasions. Even though she was a minor character, her presence always seemed to have a major impact and not for the better.

    Valerie Anderson and Tessa Russo proved to be equally strong characters, as HEART OF THE MATTER alternated between these two varied lives set to converge. It was easy to get behind both Valerie and Tessa. As for the men, not so much. But this is a story about women, and the obstacles that they must sometimes overcome. It’s a light, enjoyable read, sprinkled with some darker moments. And it’s rather hard to not get caught up in what might happen next.

    Robert Downs
    Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    Not her best

    I read three of her books in a row! I loved the first two but this one was a dissappointment, The characters had no real depth and it was hard to relate to them,
    I had a hard time warming up to Valerie and her relationship with Nick, I did like having Dex and Rachel in the story but didnt care for the way they were portrayed in this book. They didnt feel like the same characters in Something Borrowed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2012

    Saman

    I found the book to be a light read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2012

    Good read

    If your looking for a pick me up book, this one is not the one for you. But it is a good book to read when you wamt to ponder the question , what would you do if your husband cheats.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    Be patient with the way the author writes

    Emily flips back and forth between several characters and if you aren't really paying attention you will lose the "heart of the matter."

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  • Posted August 28, 2012

    Read this book while on vacation and I could not put it down. T

    Read this book while on vacation and I could not put it down. This
    story sucked me in; I couldn’t believe what was happening! This book
    will suck you in by chapter one!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2012

    Great read!!!

    I loved this story. I even got choked up toward the end when Tessa finally agreed to speak with Nick. However, i felt kind of cheated at the end. I kind of wanted to know more of where their relationship wouldve gone... maybe a book 2?? Or perhaps the next book could be from Nicks point of view??? It would be very interesting to read from a mans perspective!!!

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  • Posted August 1, 2012

    Recommend

    It was a smooth read. I think there could have been more happening in the book. Bulked it up a bit. I would read other books by this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2012

    Great summer read.

    Slow to start but very glad i kept reading. Loved seeing both perspectives.

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