Friday, June 4, 2010

Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin

It's summertime again, and the reading is easy. But easy doesn't have to mean bad. Let me recommend that grande dame of chick lit--Ms. Emily Giffin. (This fiction subtype isn't new anymore, and Ms. Giffin's been around long enough to earn that title.) Her books--Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Baby Proof, and Love the One You're With--are delightful, character-driven morality tales (think unplanned babies, coveting a best friend's boyfriend...). Giffin's latest book, Heart of the Matter, is a worthy addition to the quad. As in the others, here Giffin plainly relishes wrestling with life's thorny choices. Set in upscale Atlanta, the book describes the not so benign problems of Tess, wife of a pediatric plastic surgeon and mother of two small children. Her husband might be having an affair, or maybe he's just really, really busy. Surgeons work all the time, after all--she knows the life she signed on for. But still, he's rarely at home and when he is there, seems preoccupied with work. Tess worries she's lost her edge since she quit teaching to stay home with the children. Maybe she's become boring.

Most of us know someone like Tess. Heck, many of us probably are Tess, and that's one reason why Giffin's books are so enjoyable. She gives us prose that goes down like good gossip but has the oatmeal stick of object lessons. Anyone in a marriage could imagine, nay feel on their feet, Tess' stylish but uncomfortable shoes. Giffin takes the reader through the ebb and flow of faith and forgiveness that is marriage. To live this book would be hell, but to read it is sheer heaven. Isn't that the mark of a good writer? I think so. Check out all five of Emily Giffin's books--treat yourself. It's summer!

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