The Lies that Bind

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Emily Giffin

Ballantine Books

June 2, 2020

352 Pages


Cecily Gardner is sitting at a bar. She’s just broken up with her near-perfect boyfriend, and now that she’s a few drinks in, she’s about to drunk dial him to tell him how wrong she was. But just as she’s about to hit that little green call button, a stranger gently asks her to put the phone down, to not make the call. So she doesn’t. Instead, she talks to her new friend, Grant, the rest of the night, eventually inviting him back to her place. By the next morning, Cecily is pretty sure she’s in love. Sure, she just broke up with her ex, and this is clearly Rebound 101 territory… But she feels something with Grant she’s never felt before in her life. Unfortunately, Grant is about to move overseas with his brother, so their relationship, or whatever it is, will have to be put on hold for at least a few more months. Cecily tells herself that if it’s meant to be, it will be.

Fast forward a few months later, and Grant is finally flying home to New York. He says he has so much to tell Cecily, but it has to wait until they are face-to-face. Cecily readily agrees and counts down the minutes until she sees him. But then the unthinkable happens: two planes crash into the Twin Towers. In the ensuing chaos, Grant is nowhere to be found. Just when Cecily is about to give up hope, she sees a Missing poster with Grant’s face on it. When she calls the number on the flyer, she quickly realizes Grant was definitely not who he said he was. Now she’s not sure who to trust or what to believe, but she’ll do whatever it takes to create some sort of normal life for herself after this horrific tragedy.


Honestly, there isn’t much more I can say about this book without giving away major twists and reveals. Holy smokes, I’m stunned. I don’t know how author Giffin fit all this (admittedly ridiculous) drama in here while still making the story feel believable, but, wow, she did. The over-the-top-ness of the book is next level, but I ate up every word, flipping pages like a crazy woman until I could figure out what in tarnation was happening. And I wasn’t disappointed. The Lies that Bind has so much going on—truly, it shouldn’t work. But it did.

My only minor complaint is the ending. Let’s just say the Cecily has choices, and I’m not totally convinced the choices she makes would play out like they did. But oh well. This is one of those books where you just hang on tight and enjoy the ride. I loved it.

Big thank you to Net Galley and Ballantine Books for the ARC!

Find this book on Goodreads and Amazon.

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