The Lies That Bind by Emily Giffin

Emily Giffin is one of my favourite authors. She publishes a book every two years and therefore the wait is longer than it is for some other authors. The Lies that Bind is a book that was well worth the wait.

The story begins in New York in the late spring of 2001, with our protagonist Cecily Gardner making a decision to get dressed one night to go to a bar. She has recently broken up with Matthew, her boyfriend of several years, who wasn’t as ready as she was to take the relationship to the next level. While at the bar she meets Grant who she feels an instant, overwhelming connection with. Over the next month, the relationship between the two intensifies as they both fall in love, and Cecily quickly gets over Matthew. Grant reveals his is a twin and that his twin brother Byron has been inflicted with ALS - the same disease that killed their mother. Byron has been accepted into a clinical trial in London, and Grant has decided to accompany Byron for the next three months to support him.

Grant returns from London on September 10. Cecily expects him to come directly to her apartment, but as the evening progresses she determines that something has prevented him from coming. Finally, after she has gone to bed, he arrives. They have a night of passion before she awakens the next morning to see that he has already left - presumably to go to work. Cecily is soon alerted of the 9/11 events and fears that Grant may have died in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. After days of searching, she sees a missing person poster with Grant’s photo on it and realizes that someone else is looking for him. She believes it may be Byron who arranged for the posters but what she soon finds out is that Grant had not been as transparent about his life as she thought he had.

I felt many emotions reading this book - romance, sadness and bewilderment to name just a few. There is no doubt, in my opinion, that Cecily gains self-awareness and experiences a period of growth during the time frame of the book - her insight into her relationship with Matthew is a case in point. She is fortunate to have the support of her family and friends. This is an extremely powerful gift which enables her to be able to take a step back and contemplate important decisions, instead of being as reactive as she once was. I appreciate the time spent in developing the characters, which I found to be real and likeable. Overall, the story was entertaining and kept me highly engaged. I recommend this book to those that enjoy historical fiction with a side of romance, and would be a good choice for book clubs.

Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin Random House Canada for the ARC of this book in exchange for the honest review provided here.  The Lies that Bind publishes on June 2.

My rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5.

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