book eater: heart of the matter

Today I'm sharing with you my first book review, which I mentioned I would like to start in this post.  First, I thought I should share a few things about my reading habits:

  • I'm not the type to bother with a book I don't think I will like (is anyone?).  I generally stick to books by authors that I already have read and trust, or books that have been recommended to me by my friends or my sister.
  • I've read Little Women three times.  The first time, I was 9 and I struggled through it over about a month.
  • Even if the movie is already out, there's about a 100% chance that I will read the book first.  I recently read Water for Elephants and Eat, Pray, Love before that, and I have yet to see either movie.  (afterthought: I also haven't seen Something Borrowed, but I read the book before I knew about the movie!)
  • Once I start reading a book, it's generally a race to the finish.  I'd rather just stay up late to finish a book than go to sleep and finish it in the morning.  I've also lingered in my office kitchen in the morning to finish a book that has 10 pages left before starting work.
Now that's over with, I'll share with you my most recent read... as in, I literally finished it this morning on the ferry and couldn't wait one moment to share!  Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin was so, so good... and her website is adorable too so you should go check it out (after you read my review, of course).
This is the fifth book by EG that I have read so far, so you can put her on my list of trusted authors.  While she resides firmly in the category of Chick Lit, she is amazingly capable of diving deeper than the usual topics of fashion, beauty, and sex.  I don't want to give away too much about the actual plot, since I really enjoyed the way that it unfolds and the elements that take you by surprise, but I will briefly summarize:
Tessa is the wife of a surgeon and Valerie is the single mother of a young son, and the book follows their parallel paths through a crisis that connects them and yet keeps them at a distance.
(That's all I'm giving you...  seriously... you can read the first chapter on the website)

As readers, we hear the story from both sides, sometimes experiencing similar moments through both "main characters", an element that allowed me to sympathize with each of them.  As with pretty much all of EG's books, the plot is a base for exploring different types of relationships and how the relationships we have with  people in our lives can shape our actions and thoughts.  While reading, I really had the feeling of being part of the action emotionally, which I think EG has a knack for.  I haven't been in the situations described in her book, nor do I know anyone who has (the main characters are in their mid-30s, which could explain why), but I could feel the sadness, anger, heartache, and love that the characters experienced as if it were my own.  I probably would have cried had I not been reading the book while riding public transportation.  My favorite moments in the book were the ones about changing relationships, how over time your experiences can change your view of others and allow your relationships to grow or end.  EG manages to give each of these moments the proper depth and time with succinctly described conversations and actions.
In short, it was beautifully written, very emotional, and I think you should read it :-)

<3 barb

PS- If you've already read it, let me know!  I would love to talk about it with a friend ;-)

1 comment:

  1. I saw this on twitter. Emily Giffin retweeted it! I love love love EG. She is honestly my favorite author. I think Heart of the Matter is my favorite book of hers. And I agree with what you said! I think it's hard to pick a side because I felt for both of the women. Very good book :) and very good review on the book! I also enjoy all of Sophie Kinsella's books if you want to check those out.


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