Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Lies That Bind by Emily Giffin
Narrator: Brittany Pressley, Vikas Adam, Will Damron, Simon Katz
Published by Penguin Audio on June 2, 2020
Genres: Life Fiction, Thriller
Length: 10 hours, 46 minutes
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It's 2 a.m. in a dive bar on the Lower East Side, May 2001. Cecily figures it's the perfect place to order a beer and try to forget that she's just been dumped by the man she suspects she'll always think of as The One Who Got Away. Her best friend warned her to hunker down and avoid any risk of late-night drunk dialing, and she should have listened, because she's so tempted. . . .
"Don't do it," says the guy on the barstool next to her. "Don't call him."
He talks her off the ledge, and they have another beer. Then at last call, they toast to "moving on" before going their separate ways. Except as she's about to say goodbye, she decides to ask his name instead. And just like that, her life is changed forever.
But has she found her soulmate only to lose him a few months later?
I started listening to The Lies That Bind at about 6 pm when I went out to pull weeds, and continued to listen, finishing the book at 3am. The story is more life fiction than thriller. There is a progression for Cecily who has to learn what she really wants, how to build a relationship with actual communication and shared values, and how to tell who loves you and who to love.
This journey is one of complex intellectual and emotional aspects. It’s possible to love more than one person and to love in different ways. But in your most intimate relationships one expects honesty, kindness and support. Cecily, and her long-term boyfriend Matthew, break up at the beginning of the summer, because she wants to know they are headed in the same direction for the future. Matthew wants to just live in the present and not worry about the future.
Cecily meets someone else and they connect; it’s not like anything she has felt before. So without spoiling things, the relationship is very weird as the guy, Grant, ends up overseas for much of the summer because his twin brother is dying. They don’t communicate very often and Cecily is much calmer about it than I would be.
Grant comes back and sees her the night he arrives in town. The next day is Sept 11th and he disappears. Cecily finds out he is not at all who she thought he was. Maybe she didn’t know him at all. And when her family and friends check to make sure she is okay, Matthew also checks in with her. He wants to see her. Overall, I’m not so fond of Matthew or Grant.
Cecily really has so many feelings to process, about the terrorist attack, Grant being missing and probably dead, Matthew, and her desire to change her career, possibly moving back to Wisconsin where her family and friends are. Even as Matthew rekindles their relationship, she wants to know who Grant really was and if he really felt anything for her. Emotional, and puzzling, Cecily travels through a deep, heart-wrenching examination of her values.
The performance of the narration was so excellent, I was completely in the book and paid too little attention to the narration. So the voices were comfortable and believable. Some characters had very distinct voices. I noticed Scotty, Amy and Matthew’s mother particularly. I was able to listen at my usual 1.5x speed.
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