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Heart of the Matter | [Emily Giffin]

Heart of the Matter

Tessa Russo is the mother of two young children and the wife of a renowned pediatric surgeon. Despite her own mother's warnings, Tessa has recently given up her career to focus on her family and the pursuit of domestic happiness. From the outside, she seems destined to live a charmed life. Valerie Anderson is an attorney and single mother to six-year-old Charlie - a boy who has never known his father.
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Audible Editor Reviews

When Cynthia Nixon of Sex and the City fame lends her acting talents to chick-lit connoisseur Emily Giffin’s latest novel, the result is a pleasurable, intriguing, and emotionally intense listening experience. Teresa Russo, a 34-year-old mother of two, is married to Nick, a successful plastic surgeon. They appear to have the perfect, loving marriage until one fateful night when Nick gets a case that changes everything. His patient is a 6-year-old burn victim, whose mother Valerie is single, vulnerable, beautiful, and intelligent. A friendship quickly blossoms between Nick and Valerie — and then slowly turns into something more. And Tessa begins to wonder where her once-perfect relationship went wrong. Told in turns from the perspectives of Tessa and Valerie, the story unfolds as if you’re watching a train derail in slow motion — you know what’s coming, but are powerless to stop it, and you can’t look away. Never before has a novel cut so deep to the root of infidelity and the devastating emotional confusion of both the wife and the other woman.

It’s a treat to listen as Nixon delivers an emotionally wrought, pitch-perfect performance, easily transitioning between and identifying with each woman’s side of the story. She conveys emotion subtly — a slightly cracked voice here, a quick exhale there — clearly the mark of a studied actor. Her character voices — from the young Charlie to the sexy and strong Nick to the snooty country club friend Romy — are all realistic and believable. And Nixon’s pacing and timing, especially during the dialogue scenes, make the story come alive — every scene, feeling, and spoken word are familiar, recognizable, and relatable.

Between Giffin’s talent for describing emotions purely and vividly and Nixon’s undeniable talent for delivering them, it’s hard to believe this is a work of fiction. —Colleen Oakley

Publisher's Summary

Tessa Russo is the mother of two young children and the wife of a renowned pediatric surgeon. Despite her own mother's warnings, Tessa has recently given up her career to focus on her family and the pursuit of domestic happiness. From the outside, she seems destined to live a charmed life.

Valerie Anderson is an attorney and single mother to six-year-old Charlie - a boy who has never known his father. After too many disappointments, she has given up on romance - and even, to some degree, friendships - believing that it is always safer not to expect too much.

Although both women live in the same Boston suburb, the two have relatively little in common aside from a fierce love for their children. But one night, a tragic accident causes their lives to converge in ways no one could have imagined.

In alternating, pitch-perfect points of view, Emily Giffin creates a moving, luminous story of good people caught in untenable circumstances. Each being tested in ways they never thought possible. Each questioning everything they once believed. And each ultimately discovering what truly matters most.

©2010 Emily Giffin (P)2010 Macmillan Audio

What the Critics Say

"Giffin excels at creating complex characters and stories that ask us to explore what we really want from our lives." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

"Giffin’s talent lies in making her characters believable and relatable, and readers will be enthralled by this layered, absorbing novel." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (899 )
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4.3 (264 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Annie Alameda, CA, United States 06-18-10
    Annie Alameda, CA, United States 06-18-10 Member Since 2013
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    "Totally absorbed with the characters and story"

    Bravo Emily Giffin. Tugged at my heart strings for both lead characters. I was totally enthralled with the book --- totally drawn in to the story line. The alternating voices between chapters worked beautifully. One of the few books I'm thinking of listening to again.
    Double bravo to Cynthia Nixon for a brilliant read.
    I hope Emily Giffin is working on her next book because I can't wait.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peggy C. 06-06-10
    Peggy C. 06-06-10
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    "Great reader makes the book live"

    It is great to hear a professional actor reading this book. The life in the voice makes all the difference and keeps the story interesting and alive.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah DALE CITY, VA, United States 05-24-10
    Deborah DALE CITY, VA, United States 05-24-10 Member Since 2009
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    "Loved it!"

    I really enjoyed the narration and how the story was told from the wife's point of view and the mistress. You could see both their sides. You will enjoy it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ejandress 05-09-15
    ejandress 05-09-15 Member Since 2014
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    "loved every minute, sad it is over..."

    once again, a hot from one of my favorite authors. great narration by Nixon, also.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tanaisastar 03-13-15
    tanaisastar 03-13-15 Member Since 2014
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    "great story"

    good voice, portrayed emotions well! I love Emily Giffin because it is so realistic and relatable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracey Lombard, IL, United States 05-22-14
    Tracey Lombard, IL, United States 05-22-14 Member Since 2015

    New to audible - enjoy a variety of authors from Chick Lit/Romance to Biographies and interesting personal stories! Nice to meet you .. :)

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    "Messages Matter ... Right?!?!"
    Would you try another book from Emily Giffin and/or Cynthia Nixon?

    Of course - I love this author as her books are fun with a "situation" that will need to be worked out. The journey and process of working through the challenge is always captivating!


    Would you be willing to try another book from Emily Giffin? Why or why not?

    Yes ... same reason as listed above.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The narrator was great!


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Probably not. I think the adultery portion of the book was unnecessary. The same points and sentiment could have been driven home without the physical affair. It could have been written with an emotional affair and deep intimate ties without the actual physical affair.


    Any additional comments?

    Messages matter ... and because they do, I did not like the message that lingered throughout this book ... that husbands are less apt to stray when their wife is professionally successful and out and about in the secular world. Being a stay at home Mother is one of the most rewarding things a woman can do ... and this coming from a woman who has never been one. My career is set in a professional environment with the politics and "brainstorming" and "drilling down" and blah blah blah. It's a means to an end, whereas watching your children grown into whatever their hearts desire, and knowing that you played a hands on, continual role in that is certainly far more exciting and should be far more desired by a confident man who truly cherishes and loves his wife and children. The message here failed to present that aspect, yet because Emily Giffin is a great writer I still continued reading to the end. Perhaps that's the point of it all ... when you can read through a book, though you don't like much of the content, but enjoy the way it is written ... well, that's a success for the writer. Wouldn't you say?!?!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Knight Napa, CA 02-28-14
    Jennifer Knight Napa, CA 02-28-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Nice mindless escape. Expertly performed."
    Would you listen to Heart of the Matter again? Why?

    Because Cynthia Nixon is fantastic.


    What about Cynthia Nixon’s performance did you like?

    There's a reason she's a famous actor, folks. Wow, what a talent. She really made this book come alive. The emotion and nuance she brought was amazing. So good.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    yogagirl06 El Paso, TX 12-01-13
    yogagirl06 El Paso, TX 12-01-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Another Good Read"

    Giffin does a great job of writing real life events that readers can relate to. This book was a bit different than her others because it was a story based on only two characters lives. Typically her stories involve multiple characters and their life stories intertwined with the main characters but this one was really focused on just the two women.

    Cynthia Nixon always does a wonderful job with narration!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pratiwi Davie, FL, United States 02-10-13
    Pratiwi Davie, FL, United States 02-10-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Really enjoyed it. Could not put it down."

    Almost right up there with Tara Road, for me anyway. You really see where the characters are coming from. Well develop. Let's you see both sides of the problem. From the perspective of the wife and the other woman. The only thing is that I could not really see what was the problem in the marriage. I guess being gone all the time working doesn't help. But there's got to be more than that. But I recommend it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harmony Smyrna, TN, United States 11-28-12
    Harmony Smyrna, TN, United States 11-28-12
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    "Great read!"
    Any additional comments?

    This was a great book and Cynthia Nixon did a great job reading it. Enjoyed hearing from two different view points.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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