The Lies that Bind by Emily Giffin, 5 Stars

Emily Giffin is one of my absolute favorite authors. When my Netgalley request came through, I literally did a happy dance in the middle of the Mariano’s parking lot. And of course, I finished it within the week.

Its a curse being an avid reader. We get so excited for a book, clamor to get our hands on it, devour it withinn 24 hours, then we are sad we have to wait another year or longer to get our hands on another one from that author. Still, I don’t regret reading it!

I’ve been in NYC many times since 9/11. This past fall was the first time however that I saw Ground Zero. Our hotel was right across the street. Apparently on 9/11, the windows on the side we were on (facing the World Trade Center), were all shattered when the towers fell.

Astoundingly, no one in the hotel at the time was killed that day, the only guests who lost their lives were a group that crossed the street that day to try and help in the chaos. But staying in that room, looking at the fountains, it felt real. Even almost 20 years later, it felt somber and a little eerie.

In The Lies that Bind, we get a peak into that time in history, from the perspective of someone who was young and didn’t realize before the towers fell what was most important-something I think many of us coming of age in the early 2000’s can relate to.

From the Publisher:

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 heseemed 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.

My Review:

I have yet to read an Emily Giffin book that I didn’t love the entire way through, from the first to the final word. The Lies That Bind was no different. I always kind of think of Giffin’s writing as a romcom, or maybe it’s just that I’m so excited for the book to become a movie?

The Lies that Bind was definitely not a romcom, but it still had that extremely relatable vibe to it and so maybe this one will be more like P.S. I Love You when it comes out as a movie -which it really kind of has to at this point. Yes, I realize P.S. I Love You was a book first!

I think that one of my huge connections to Giffin’s writing is that her characters are so completely relatable. They are always cute, but not beautiful, successful, but not wildly so, and they all have hang-ups and doubts just like the rest of us. Cecily is no different. And even though I’m now an old married lady, there’s a part of me that still feels like that carefree, single, 20-something year old. Tragic, isn’t it?

I can’t lie, I didn’t read the book’s description before I started reading it. So when 9/11 happened it in the book, I was kind of like, oh wow. I think it’s a hard topic to tackle because there is so much wrapped up in it. It’s hard to make a 9/11 fictional narrative ring true. Giffin did a decent job, not focusing too much on the event itself but rather on how the event acted as a catalyst in her character’s lives.

Ultimately, The Lies that Bind was classic Giffin, destined to be a “lighter read,” even with the subject matter and a favorite among book clubs and all those ladies like me who are all still living the fabulous 20’s life (albeit in our minds) into our 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Netgalley and Ballantine Books for an e-galley in exchange for my honest review. This one is out June 20, 2020. You are going to want to pre-order this one.


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