Brittany's Reviews > Heart of the Matter

Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin
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's review
Jun 24, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: chick-lit, life-fiction, love, meaningful, the-feminine-experience
Read in May, 2012

I should honestly probably wait and write a review after I've had more time to process what I just took in.

The book is told through the eyes of two women. One is married to a doctor, one is the mother of that doctor's patient. It becomes obvious pretty quickly that the doctor strikes something up with the mother.

The book promotes a lot of questions: about exactly what constitutes cheating, is there ever an acceptable reason, does it matter how the spouse finds out, can you ever move past it...many very difficult and upsetting aspects of an unfortunate situation.

For the most part, I was able to relate to the characters. Or, if I couldn't relate to them within myself, I knew someone like them. Cheating is not the only fleshy topic in this story, as it also touches quite well on aspects of motherhood, the sisterhood of women (if this does in fact exist), family and how crazy that organization is, and the materialistic & social pressures so often placed on/accepted by women.

I am not going to say that I enjoyed this book, because the topic makes me uncomfortable (I don't see how someone who has voluntarily stood in front of their family, friends, and God and taken vows which pledged them to another person can think of those vows being broken pleasurably). It is difficult and messy and unfortunate. But Giffin took this messy topic on head first, and for that I applaud her. This story showed the different "shades of gray" so to speak.

I personally related much more to the wife, whether because I am one myself or because Giffin chose to make her portion of the story be told in first person. The patient's mother was understandable at first but eventually became a stereotype and quite annoying. The absence of the man's perspective seemed to symbolize the fact that ultimately, each one of us is responsible for our lives and actions. Those we just to include make choices that affect us, but at the end of every day we make our own choices.

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