Posts Tagged ‘Emily Giffin’

Emily Giffin's Heart Of The Matter

As soon as I received Emily Giffin’s latest book, Heart of the Matter, I started reading it and couldn’t put it down. But not for the reason you might think. I have to say as much as I LOVE Emily Giffin, I didn’t love this book. Some of you die-hards want to banish me to the self-help section of the bookstore now because I must need help, right? I can’t automatically love it just because she wrote it. If she wrote “The History of Rocks” I am almost positive I wouldn’t like that either. Sorry.

My inability to put it down came from the anticipation that something great would happen soon. I’m a little slow I guess because on the last page I was still waiting.

Overall, I think her writing is great. And this book is no exception. Giffin tells great stories and connects you to the characters’ innermost thoughts and motivations. It is almost like reading a diary of someone you know because the characters seem so familiar. You always get that feeling that you have a vested interest in the outcome of the story.

This book centered around a pediatric plastic surgeon  who gets involved with the mother of one of his patients. Ironically, the lives of his wife and the other woman are intertwined by the social circles they are in even though the two women have never met. His wife is struggling with her own sense of identity and purpose as she transitions from the life of a college professor to stay at home mom. The other woman struggles with life as a single mom and trying to convince herself that maybe a relationship can end well for her.

These women are more alike than they know. Both struggle to find happiness and realize that what they thought would make them happy might not be the answer after all. However, I think a lot of this analysis gets lost in this book. I would have loved to see more about how these women overcome their identity-crisis on their own instead of putting their worth in a man that we hear nothing from throughout this whole book.

The husband’s point of view was needed here but was never given. I found it hard to really sympathize or believe that he knew what he wanted when his story was told only through his interaction with his wife and mistress. I wonder if he will be back in a future book so I can understand his reasoning for his decisions.

I loved some of the familiar faces and I always love how Giffin’s books keep some common thread between them. In every book some old character comes back somehow and interacts with the new characters. Some might say this is a crutch and an easy way out but I like the continuity and knowing how the characters turned out years later. It’s like reconnecting with an old friend after years of being out of touch – you pick up right where you left off.

I was surprised by the ending of this too, which is partly why this was not my favorite. However, I do love this quote…

“Here we are, 2 children and a broken promise later, standing before each other, just the way we stood that day at the altar, with equal parts love and hope. And once again, I close ,my eyes, ready to take a leap of faith, ready for the long, hard road ahead. I have no idea how it’s going to turn out , but then again, I never really did.”

I get it – sometimes no matter what you think will happen life might throw you a curve ball; life is unpredictable and we never know what we are really getting into even when we think we do. NO matter how old we get we really don’t get any closer to understanding everything or being fully prepared for life’s journey.

Even though I get the message and I can appreciate it this book was a letdown for me. There was no big payoff at the end. It’s reminded me of the series finale of Seinfeld. No big storyline wrapped up in a neat little bow, no explanation as to what will likely happen to the characters we’ve invested so much time in – just a bunch of people sitting around whose lives are still undecided.

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WIN Emily Giffin’s NEW “Heart of the Matter”

One of my favorite authors, Emily Giffin, recently announced the upcoming release of her new book, Heart of the Matter. I am so very much looking forward to this  book. For anyone not familiar with this author you must check her out. What I love most about Emily Giffin is how she presents common topics in a new and refreshing way.

Giffin’s new book, Heart of the Matter, is due out May 11,2010. It follows 2 mothers with nothing in common except their love for their children. The events of one tragic night connects them and forces them to realize they have more in common than they thought- mainly the man they love. I know this new book will not disappoint as it tackles the subjects of infidelity, motherhood, and relationships by depicting opposing viewpoints from the two women without giving readers that déjà vu feeling. For a sneak peak at the first chapter, click here.

Emily Giffin is the first writer I’ve encountered where even her villains are likeable. This is evidenced in Giffin’s Something Borrowed when the main character, Rachel, becomes romantically involved with her best friend’s fiancé, Dex, as she continues to uphold her role as Maid of Honor. In the end I couldn’t help rooting for Rachel to win the guy and sympathize with her as she agonizes thru every step of the wedding planning process. Even the confused Dex doesn’t come off as a cheating womanizer as he divides 2 life-long best friends. This story is further captivating by the unforeseen twist at the end which both further complicates these relationships and helps the decisions that need to be made become more clear.

The follow up Something Blue, starts off from Darcy’s point of view and overlaps the previous story. What I love most about this series is how, just like in real life, the same set of events can often be relayed very differently when seen through the eyes of 2 different women. I think this was Giffin’s genius moment when she decided to continue the story from Darcy’s point of view and then tying it all together with Rachel and Darcy’s reunion in the end. You come away with a great sense of how each character has grown and changed in the course of a few short months as their motives and vulnerabilities are exposed.

Giffin’s characters are also about to make their way onto the big screen. Production has begun on the movie version of Something Borrowed. Kate Hudson has signed on to play Darcey, Ginnifer Goodwin will play Rachel & Colin Egglesfield will take on the role of Dex. Casting for this seems pretty accurate to me. While reading the books, I totally pictured Kate Hudson & Anne Hathaway. However, their characters in “Bride Wars” (2009) might have proven to be a distraction to viewers. I am anxious to see how Ginnifer Goodwin can pull off a slightly more forceful character than she’s used to playing. What are your thoughts on casting for the film?

Books are expensive and hardly used! So win my like-new copy! To enter, post a comment below on your favorite Emily Giffin book, casting for the movie, an Emily Giffin story you might have, or your opinion of her as an author. One winner will be picked at random (by my 6 year old son) on May 31st. The winner will be posted here so check back. Don’t forget to include your email so I can contact you for delivery information.

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