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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 (263 )
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Performance
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  •  
    menary kitchen 06-16-10 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "enjoyed"

    this story kept my interest to the point that i could make excuses to go listen. it was well read and well written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Austin, TX, United States 06-12-10
    Lisa Austin, TX, United States 06-12-10 Member Since 2008
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    "excellent narration, well-handled subject"

    A well-written and thoughtful novel about infidelity. Cynthia Nixon's narration is superb. While some characters - particularly the married doctor and the injured child - are drawn a little too broadly, the novel gives the reader a sympathetic and believable portrait of both the wife and 'the other woman.'

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela Raleigh, NC, USA 06-11-10
    Angela Raleigh, NC, USA 06-11-10
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    "GREAT BOOK"

    This was the first novel I have read/listened to by Emily Giffin - I am hooked. I loved this book and her writing style. I would recommend this book to anyone over 18.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yoga Girl Raleigh, NC 06-09-10
    Yoga Girl Raleigh, NC 06-09-10 Member Since 2007

    reader

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    "a great read!"

    i have never felt compelled to write a review but read them all the time when deciding on a book. so i thought i would say how much i enjoyed this book, the reading, the writing and the emotion conveyed. i loved that it showed both sides of the issues - worthy of a read indeed!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Cameron Buffalo, NY United States 06-04-10
    J. Cameron Buffalo, NY United States 06-04-10 Member Since 2014

    offleash

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    "Cliched morality tale"

    I found this book pretty darned conventional in its analysis of a marital affair populated by wooden characters and predictable outcomes. Thank god for the high minded wife. Not. Cynthia Nixon's reading is pretty good and I somehow managed to wade through to the end.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate Mindoro, WI, USA 06-01-10
    Kate Mindoro, WI, USA 06-01-10 Member Since 2014
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    "Great story, but......."

    I loved Cynthia Nixon's narration and how the story was told from multiple points of view. I had a really tough time liking or relating to the mistress, however.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Ridgeway, Ontario, Canada 05-16-10
    Heather Ridgeway, Ontario, Canada 05-16-10 Member Since 2008
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    "Wonderful Narrator"

    An insightful book about a love affair from the points of view of both women - the wife and the "other woman" - made even better by the narration of Cynthia Dixon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    05-16-10
    05-16-10 Listener Since 2008
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    "Heart of the Matter"

    This book was a wonderful book and could happen in any of our lives. I loved it and if you haven't read it you should. I think women may enjoy this book more than men but men will also enjoy it. It is simply about life the good, the hard and the way it is.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy 09-14-12
    Nancy 09-14-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Disappointing"
    Would you try another book from Emily Giffin and/or Cynthia Nixon?

    Yes. I love Emily Giffin's books.


    What was most disappointing about Emily Giffin’s story?

    She has the husband go back with his wife, which is a nice, moral ending. However, the wife takes no responsibility whatever for her issues in the marriage (he tells her that she doesn't listen to him or include him in decisions and she certainly can't discipline her children -- the only time the oldest girl is mentioned as behaving well is when she's overheard with the husband. As far as the wife is concerned, it really seems to be all about her. She quits work to "spend more time with the kids" but expects him, in his full-time, demanding, doctor role, at her orders, to research private schools when he doesn't want to send the kids there)) And it's clear at the end that she's going to hold this affair over his head forever. So he will continue to be miserable and will eventually either cheat or leave. It sounds like he would have been much better off leaving his wife for the other woman (if I were in his shoes, I would have without a second thought.)


    Which character – as performed by Cynthia Nixon – was your favorite?

    The woman he has the affair with.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Amherst, MA, United States 08-05-10
    Linda Amherst, MA, United States 08-05-10 Member Since 2010
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    "Heart of the Matter"

    I found this book to be boring. The plot was simple, the writing too "fluffy" and just a snooze.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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