Thursday, October 21, 2010

Book Review: Heart of the Matter

This summer I stumbled upon a new book review blog, Booking Mama. One of the books that sounded interesting was Emily Giffin's Heart of the Matter. The reviewer touted that this was one of her favorite Giffin books so far. I didn't read down to the details of the book, since I didn't want to read any spoiler information. I did skim through the book description (which is taken directly from the front cover).

It describes two women with little in common besides their love for their children. Tessa Russo is the wife of a plastic surgeon who has recently given up her career to stay home with their small children. Valerie Anderson is an attorney and a single mother to her six year old son, Charlie. A tragic accident "causes their lives to converge in ways no one could have imagined."

I was intrigued. I wanted to know how these different women would be brought together. What I didn't realize is that they weren't really brought together by the "tragic accident." Instead, the husband and single mother were brought together.

Although the characters were well fleshed out and the story did keep me reading, there were too many unsettling aspects to this book. At the outset, it felt like the entire first five chapters were riddled with cliches. Despite the fact that I could relate to the cliches (because they were centered on the angst and daily difficulties women face when they leave passionate employment behind in order to remain at home with demanding small children) it still felt formulaic.

She's a New York Times best-selling author and numerous people have favorable things to say about her work. However, this book just didn't really sit well with me. Readable? Yes. One I would want to read again? No.

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