The Lies That Bind by Emily Giffin | Ballantine Books {Book Review}

Emily Giffin

The Lies That Bind by Emily Giffin


Book Summary:

In the irresistible new novel from the #1 New York Timesbestselling author of All We Ever Wanted and Something Borrowed, a young woman falls hard for an impossibly perfect man before he disappears without a trace. . . .

It’s 2 A.M. on a Saturday night in the spring of 2001, and twenty-eight-year-old Cecily Gardner sits alone in a dive bar in New York’s East Village, questioning her life. Feeling lonesome and homesick for the Midwest, she wonders if she’ll ever make it as a reporter in the big city–and whether she made a terrible mistake in breaking up with her longtime boyfriend, Matthew.

As Cecily reaches for the phone to call him, she hears a guy on the barstool next to her say, “Don’t do it–you’ll regret it.” Something tells her to listen, and over the next several hours–and shots of tequila–the two forge an unlikely connection. That should be it, they both decide the next morning, as Cecily reminds herself of the perils of a rebound relationship. Moreover, their timing couldn’t be worse–Grant is preparing to quit his job and move overseas. Yet despite all their obstacles, they can’t seem to say goodbye, and for the first time in her carefully constructed life, Cecily follows her heart instead of her head.

Then Grant disappears in the chaos of 9/11. Fearing the worst, Cecily spots his face on a missing-person poster, and realizes she is not the only one searching for him. Her investigative reporting instincts kick into action as she vows to discover the truth. But the questions pile up fast: How well did she really know Grant? Did he ever really love her? And is it possible to love a man who wasn’t who he seemed to be?

The Lies That Bind is a mesmerizing and emotionally resonant exploration of the never-ending search for love and truth–in our relationships, our careers, and deep within our own hearts.

Publication Date:

June 2nd, 2020


Contemporary Fiction

Purchase Your Copy:

Amazon Link | LibroFM Bookstore Link

My Review:

Emily Giffin

Quite honestly, I struggled with whether to request and review Emily Giffin’s’ 2020 release The Lies That Bind. As a long time Emily Giffin book fan, more recently I have found myself very disappointed to see that she was using her large online platform to tear down other women, with little insight as to why it is problematic. I do have very fond reading memories of many of her books from my early 20s so maybe it was the reading nostalgia in me but I took a chance.

Her last book, the 2018 novel All We Ever Wanted, was a surprising shift from her fluffy and predictable reads and took on the timely and relevant topics of social media, privilege, and race. While it wasn’t a completely original or multifaceted storyline I was quite impressed and looked forward to more writing like that in Giffin’s future.

This book, unfortunately, missed the mark. The writing was flat, the characters were completely unlikeable and angsty and the use of 9/11 as the stories backdrop within a “love triangle” just didn’t sit well with me, at all. It was a completely surface-level reading experience and I am sure some of my irritation comes from my disappointment with her choices as a person but this was just a big miss for me.

Thank you to Ballantine Books for a gifted copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. In addition, whenever possible, I will be including the LibroFM bookstore link alongside any other referral links. This allows you to purchase the book from your choice of independent bookstores.

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