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Heart of the Matter: perfect heartache in Emily Giffin's fifth novel

There is something to be said for thinking, "he would never do that to me."  Or, "that could never happen to us."

Same goes with, "I would never do that."

That something said is, "never say never".  Because you just don't know.

Emily Giffin's fifth novel Heart of the Matteris told in alternating points of view.  In first person, the reader hears from Tessa Russo, a former working woman and surgeon's wife, now a stay-at-home mom of two, with the perfect life.

Conversely, in third person, the reader learns about Valerie Anderson, a single mom and hard-working attorney who struggles to keep her head above water.

These two ladies have a common connection, Nick Russo, Tessa's husband who is also surgeon to Valerie's son Charlie who was badly burned at a sleepover.  Never predicted, never planned for, but with awesome consequences these two worlds collide in a story written so well your heart will ache and break right along with the two main characters.

Giffin has a gift for dialogue.  Sure, her novels are dramatic, but the conversation is not pure movie-speak.  It's real.  It's relatable.  It's prose a reader may have said, or heard in their own lives.

These two characters struggle as mothers, wives, and women.  And to know that the next chapter will add more story to the other lead makes the book hard to put down.  There is no good place to bookmark.

Giffin fans will be pleased to note that Heart of the Matterdoes have a tie to her previous books.  Tessa's brother and sister-in-law are Dex and Rachel from Something Borrowedand Something Blue.  Their connection, and perspective on the story add an interesting touch to the tale.

Heart of the Matter, is not your happy-go-lucky lovey dovey story.  But it is a great read, and should not be missed.

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