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Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin is the June/July pick for the SheKnows Book Club!

Reviewed by Vera (Luxury Reading)

Heart of the Matter was my first foray into reading Emily Giffin’s books; I’ve previously listened to Baby Proof on audio.

Heart of the Matter is narrated alternatively by the two leading female characters, Tessa and Valerie. Married to a brilliant plastic surgeon, Nick Russo, Tessa gave up her teaching career at a local university to be a stay-at-home mom to the couple’s two young children. Valerie, an attorney and single mom, has dedicated her life to raising her son Charlie and little else.

A freak accident leaves Charlie with serious burns over his face and arm, bringing the duo into Nick’s path. As he works to repair the damage, Nick’s concern for the patient and his mother evolves into something more than simple professional courtesy. Long room visits turn into daily phone calls; when Charlie is discharged from the hospital, Nick finds reasons to visit him, and Valerie, at home.

The quiet dissatisfaction Nick has with his marriage finds an outlet when he’s around Valerie, while Tessa is left to contend with Nick’s increasingly long “work” hours. Much of the novel grapples with Nick’s ultimate decision of whether or not to give into his growing affection for Valerie, and the potential ramifications of his choice on Tessa and their family.

Reading Heart of the Matter was akin to having a crush, and hoping that the other party felt the same way. The anticipation of mutual affection in real life and in Giffin’s novel was one and the same. In Heart of the Matter, she created the perfect combination of knowing what’s right, and still being able to sympathize with the side that’s wrong. While I felt for Tessa and understood that Nick’s actions were wrong, I also felt for Valerie and could not help but want her’s and Nick’s relationship to work out in some way.

Visit Emily Giffin’s website for more information.

This book was provided free of any obligation by SheKnows Book Club. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.