We are living in chaotic times right now. There is a lot of uncertainty in the world, and life as we knew it even a week or two ago has changed dramatically. My hubby and I are practicing social distancing, trying to do our part to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus and not overwhelm our healthcare system. We are working from home and staying home unless in the event of an emergency. The idea of quarantine initially sounded terrible to me, but truthfully, things could be so much worse. Being at home for a couple of weeks while we work, stream videos, spend time together, and deep clean our house is not exactly a hardship. We can even have groceries and essentials delivered in a matter of hours. We can talk and video chat with loved ones to check on each other and keep our spirits up. And of course, there are books. I just might make a much needed dent in my TBR pile this year after all!
Seriously, though, today is day five of quarantine, and I might be starting to go a little stir crazy if it weren’t for my books. I plan to keep reading and posting reviews because I think we all need a distraction and something to look forward to, like new releases!
If ever there were a time for comfort reading, this is it! I was beyond thrilled to read the newest book from one of my favorite authors, The Lies That Bind by Emily Giffin. The book releases June 2nd and is sure to be another hit like her previous nine novels have been. I’ve been reading Giffin’s books since her debut over ten years ago, Something Borrowed. She has become an automatic buy for me, or an automatic request via NetGalley. I was beyond thrilled to receive an early copy of her newest book, and the timing couldn’t have been better.
In The Lies That Bind, we meet Cecily. She is living in New York City in early 2001. She has recently broken up with her boyfriend, Matthew, and meets a new guy pretty quickly. Grant seems fun and mysterious, but love at first sight just isn’t a thing. Or is it? Cecily and Grant have a summer romance, and she really starts to fall for him. But there are a few things that just don’t add up like his actions and his words not quite aligning. Cecily is trying to figure it all out when the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 change her life and the world forever.
Suddenly the life – and the man – Cecily thought she knew is completely changed. Cecily learns some shocking things about Grant as she tries to make sense of their relationship. In piecing together snippets about the man she thought she knew, she finds herself caught between her past and her present.
The result is a tangle of relationships, which should be expected from a Giffin novel. Nobody writes relationships like she does and not just the romantic kind – friendships, parent/ child relationships, and sibling relationships, too. All of them have a role in Cecily’s story.
Overall, I enjoyed this book as I have with all of Giffin’s novels. There was definitely a sad tone to it, due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I remember the attacks well, and I honestly thought about not reading this book because I knew the attacks played a part. I didn’t want to relive that. To this day, I haven’t seen the movie and avoid the specials on the anniversary because after almost twenty years, it’s still too painful to relive it. If you are triggered by 9/11 references, then this might not be the book for you.
That said, I’m glad I did read it. Giffin has such a way with storytelling, of pulling the reader into the characters’ lives. I think Cecily’s story is relatable because, so many people do remember their lives changing that day. We sympathize with Cecily and enjoy living in a pre-9/11 New York, even for just a few chapters.
The story developed well. There was a good flow, with just the right amount of minor characters. I absolutely loved the appearance of a young Rachel, Darcy, and Ethan from her Something Borrowed and Something Blue books! The last few chapters seemed to drag slightly. I think that’s because Cecily recounted her story to so many people – to herself, to Matthew, to her parents, etc. I realize the character had to let everyone know what was going on, but it felt a bit repetitive. Eventually, though, Cecily really comes full circle, and I couldn’t have asked for a better ending!
I would recommend this book for fans of Giffin’s previous novels and anyone who loves a good, tangled relationship story. If you missed my author profile of Emily Giffin, you can go back and read it here. You can also check out my review of Giffin’s last novel, All We Ever Wanted.
How are you coping with the health crisis? Are you turning to books for comfort and entertainment? Are there any books you hope to read over the next couple of weeks as we wait out this storm? Just as Cecily found a way to move forward after 9/11, we too will move forward after this crisis. Stay safe and healthy, friends!
The Lies That Bind releases on June 2, 2020!