The Heart Of The Matter by Emily Giffin

by |June 10, 2010

Number Eight on the Top 10 Book Sales for Adult Fiction in the USA

As the wife of a leading paediatric plastic surgeon, Tessa Russo can’t help but contemplate how fragile life can be. She has witnessed, too often, her husband Nick’s sombre mood when he returns from a call-out, knowing that another child has been hurt – damaged, perhaps, beyond repair. Each time, Tessa looks at her own two perfect children and thinks: ‘ Thank God it isn’t us.

We’re one of the lucky ones’. It isn’t until later that she realises how wrong she was. Valerie Anderson takes nothing for granted.

But with one phone call, her world collapses. As a single mother, she was always protective of her son Charlie, and will live to regret how one seemingly insignificant decision leads to a terrible accident – one that will leave Charlie forever scarred. It is only when Nick Russo, Charlie’s surgeon, enters their lives, that Valerie finds room for hope.

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As the lives of two very different women dramatically intersect, they are forced to question everything they hold dear – and face a future that neither one had ever envisaged.

When reading Heart of the Matter you get the feeling that any of the actions or reactions stated in the story could be yours or at least those of someone you know. These are not characters who live in a time and place far, far away but rather are people who live in the here and now.

This is an intense story to read but it is written in a manner that makes you unable to take your eyes from the pages. Nick, Valerie and Tessa become your friends and you have to know how their story ends. When it does end, you are convinced you have been exposed to a full revealing of their lives and that makes the book worthwhile.
Jackie K. Cooper, Huffington Post

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About the Contributor

While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. ​Now, as the Director of Books at, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.

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