From the outside looking in, Tessa and Nick have a good marriage. Tessa gave up her successful career to be a stay-at-home to their two children Ruby and Frank. Nick is a prestigious plastic surgeon. I think both husband and wife would say their marriage is solid.
An unfortunate accident at a child's party brings Nick and Valerie together. Valerie's son Charlie suffers severe burns and Nick is his surgeon. During Charlie's extensive hospital stay, Nick and Valerie become close. What starts innocently enough as a doctor trying to calm his patient's mother, turns into feelings that neither Valerie nor Nick can deny.
The Heart of the Matter is Ms. Giffin's latest book. Told in alternating voices, the novel explores what happens when two women have feelings for the same man. Tessa comes from a family where her dad repeatedly was unfaithful to her mother and ended up marrying his mistress. Their history will impact Tessa as becomes aware of the relationship Nick has with Valerie.
Valerie, on the other hand, is a single, working mother who comes to realize the significance of not having a father is to Charlie. So when Nick enters the picture, it's a relief that someone is there for both Charlie and herself.
Fans of Ms. Giffin will enjoy this novel. Familiar characters will resurface and it's like catching up with old friends. I found this novel hard to put down. My hope is Ms. Giffin will bring back Nick, Tessa, Valerie and their families in a follow-up novel.
Year Published: 2010
Genre: Women's Fiction