Heart of the Matter

Emily Giffin

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"Giffin excels at creating complex characters and stories that ask us to explore what we really want from our lives."--Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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. In Heart of the Matter, each is tested in ways they never thought possible. Each questions everything they once believed. And each ultimately discovers what truly matters most.

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Book Excerpts

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Emily Giffin discusses Heart of the Matter

Bestselling author Emily Giffin discusses her novel, Heart of the Matter.

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Chapter 1 of Emily Giffin's "Heart Of The Matter"

Read by Cynthia Nixon

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Emily Giffin on Book Clubs

Bestselling author Emily Giffin discusses her love of book clubs and writing books for women.

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Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin--Audiobook Excerpt

Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Emily Giffin's novel Heart of the Matter, read by Emmy Award-winning actress Cynthia Nixon. From the bestselling author of Something Borrowed, Heart of the Matter is a powerful, provocative novel about marriage and motherhood, love and forgiveness.

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Praise for Heart of the Matter

Praise for

“In Heart of the Matter, [Giffin] again uses her great wit and gift of storytelling to weave a tale that’s nuanced, empathetic and, at times, heartbreaking. Matters of the heart are always complicated, and Giffin deftly shows you why.”—Associated Press

“Giffin’s latest opens with one of the more haunting scenes in recent memory [and] towards the end things are so tense that the pages pop with each turn.”—People

“With [an] adulterous path outlined, Giffin could easily take sides. But she doesn’t. Instead, she alternates between Tessa’s and Valerie’s points of view, dissecting the feelings and insecurities that can dismantle even the most intelligent people…Amid all the angst, Giffin displays her trademark ability to capture the complexities of human emotions while telling a rip-roaring tale.”—Washington Post

“Giffin’s calling card has always been her ability to delve into the workings of relationships. But in her latest book the best-selling novelist probes deeper than ever… With intelligence, humor, and piercing insight, Giffin shows that in matters of love, it is possible to be right and yet so wrong.”—Family Circle

“With realistic dialogue and a sharp depiction of relationships, Giffin crafts an emotional, effortless read.”—More

“Giffin beautifully shows how quickly need becomes love…[and her] chronicle of fluid, almost casual marital disconnect is a powerful cautionary tale.”—Boston Globe

“In Heart of the Matter, Giffin delivers her best book yet. [W]hat makes this novel special [is] the emotional depths to which Giffin takes her readers.”—Dallas Morning News

“There are no easy answers here, in a novel that is consistently engrossing right to the surprising finish.”—Seattle Times

“Giffin’s latest novel delves deep into the all-too-tricky matters of the heart…this juicy read will make you feel like you’re sneaking a peek into your best friend’s diary.”—Redbook

“Giffin’s books are fast-moving, emotionally absorbing stories about female friendships, marriage, and childbirth.” —Chicago Tribune

“Even as you steel yourself for [the book’s pivotal moment], it’s hard to read when it happens, which is what sets this book a step above so many others...[Giffin] creates characters in Tessa, Valerie, and Nick who are believable and mostly well-intentioned even as they make obviously bad choices.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“As Heart of the Matter takes its time documenting the inexorable slide toward an affair, the slow-moving sequence of events rings true.”—Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Emily Giffin’s newest novel is a little painful to read. OK, a lot painful to read. As a reader, you find yourself in the oddly painful position of rooting for two women who can’t both get what they want. Your heart breaks for both of them [but] you’ll know that feeling this kind of emotional torture with and about characters is a good thing. It’s simply cathartic.”—Ft. Worth Star-Telegram

“Unfolding from Tessa and Valerie’s alternating viewpoints, [Heart of the Matter] will draw you in with beautifully complex characters who come across as nuanced and as flawed as people in real life. Giffin avoids victimizing Tessa while allowing empathy for Valerie, underscoring that all of us are capable of making mistakes that hurt those we love most—and that it’s how we deal with this universal truth that matters. Ditch the tabloid stories…and pick this up instead if you really want to get inside the mind of the other woman.”—VIV magazine

“[A] brutally honest book in that it never falters in its depiction of hope and heartache. Emily Giffin is a talented writer who re-gifts her talent in the books she creates…With Heart of the Matter she turns up the heat and gives us her best novel yet.”—Huffington Post

“Giffin punctures suburban trophy mothers and private school privilege, rising above the often-shallow chick fray with a gimlet-eyed skepticism for the traps modern women fall into.”—The Atlantan

“Giffin’s talent lies in making her characters believable and relatable, and readers will be enthralled by this layered, absorbing novel.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Emily Giffin continues her streak of penning summer must-reads with Heart of the Matter.”—New York Metro

Heart of the Matter is a messy, complicated, often uncomfortable portrait of a marriage—and two families—in crisis. But it has everything readers love about Emily Giffin’sbooks: the heart, the empathy, the truth.”—Bookpage

 “A touching story about marriage, fidelity and two mothers who find themselves inextricably linked.”—New York Family

“Though Emily Giffin has examined relationships in all of her novels, she reaches a new level of intensity with Heart of the Matter. With characters who are older and wiser than those in her past books, she is able to examine the more serious topics that present themselves within long-term relationships and parenthood. Her characteristic flowing style of writing makes this book no different from her others: one you won’t want to put down.”—Woodbury magazine

“Best-selling author Giffin’s fifth novel is fast paced and well written.”—Library Journal


Reviews from Goodreads


About the Author

Emily Giffin

EMILY GIFFIN is the author of six New York Times bestselling novels, including Something Borrowed, which has been adapted as a major motion picture. A graduate of Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law, she lives in Atlanta with her family. To learn more, visit www.emilygiffin.com.

Emily Giffin

© Deborah Feingold

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Available Formats and Book Details

Heart of the Matter
Emily Giffin

Mass Market Paperbound

Mass Market Paperbound
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Paperbacks
Mass Market Paperbound
ISBN: 9781250043733
ISBN10: 1250043735
4 1/8 x 6 3/4 inches, 336 pages

Abridged Compact Disc

Abridged  Compact Disc
Macmillan Audio
May 2011
Abridged Compact Disc
ISBN: 9781427212870
ISBN10: 1427212872
5 7/8 x 5 1/8 inches, Audio Run Time: 5:30

Abridged Digital Audio

Abridged  Digital Audio
Macmillan Audio
May 2010
Abridged Digital Audio
ISBN: 9781427209603
ISBN10: 142720960X
Audio Run Time: 5:30

Unabridged Compact Disc

Unabridged  Compact Disc
Macmillan Audio
May 2010
Unabridged Compact Disc
ISBN: 9781427209610
ISBN10: 1427209618
5 7/8 x 5 1/8 inches, Audio Run Time: 10:30

Unabridged Digital Audio

Unabridged  Digital Audio
Macmillan Audio
May 2010
Unabridged Digital Audio
ISBN: 9781427209627
ISBN10: 1427209626
Audio Run Time: 10:30

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
March 2011
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312554170
ISBN10: 0312554176
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 400 pages

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
May 2010
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429926539
ISBN10: 1429926538
384 pages

From The Publisher

St. Martin's Paperbacks

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