While working through a difficult breakup with her boyfriend of over three years, Cecily, a young journalist from WI living in NY, goes to a neighborhood bar late one night to escape the memories flooding her apartment. After a few drinks lessens her resolve to stay strong she is stopped by a stranger, Grant, from drunk dialing her ex. There is an immediate connection with Grant that leads to a whirlwind romance. Grant already had plans to travel Europe with his terminally ill twin before he met Cecily. Shortly after Grant and Cecily say goodbye, 9/11 hits. Cecily realizes that there was much of Grant’s life she did not know about and the journalist in her decides to seek answers. What she finds is not what she expects…
The Lies That Bind by Emily Griffin is much like mailman coming to your door only to hand you a tax bill from the IRS. The beginning immediately catches your attention and hooks you into the story but its only frustration and disbelief after that. From the characters to the plot line; there are so many ways that the story did not fulfill its good beginning. Cecily is immature, naive, and somewhat whiny while Grant is the template mysterious, romantic interest. They are both flat, unappealing characters that I could not connect with or find myself liking. Even Cecily’s gay bestfriend is stereotypical in his supporting role.
There is so much I could say about the main event of the story and the ending! While using a recent tragedy can be relevant to a fictional situation and done in a way that in no way diminishes the event or those who have suffered; Griffin’s use of 9/11 does neither. I’m not usually easily offended for others but I was really uncomfortable with the way she seemed to trivialize this tragedy. But, that was not even the worst part of The Lies That Bind! I won’t include spoilers in case you are a die-hard Emily Griffin fan and still want to read this novel. I was very aggravated with the ending and felt she was trying to be edgy instead of writing in a way that would tie things together and be satisfying to her readers. I simply don’t like romance authors who toy with me and then give me a totally off the radar ending.
After reading all this you are probably wondering why I even gave it three stars. The Lies That Bind had a great hook and Griffin is an easy to read author. While this really should have been a two star review, I gave her one star just for the fact that I have read a few of her other books and I know she can write a good story with good characters, The Lies That Bind is just not one of them.