Where We Belong
Published: July 24th 2012 by St. Martin’s Press
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Categories: Adult Fiction, Romance, Adoption, High Emotions, Chick-Lit
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What the Back of the Book Says: The author of five blockbuster novels, Emily Giffin, delivers an unforgettable story of two women, the families that make them who they are, and the longing, loyalty and love that binds them together
Marian Caldwell is a thirty-six year old television producer, living her dream in New York City. With a fulfilling career and satisfying relationship, she has convinced everyone, including herself, that her life is just as she wants it to be. But one night, Marian answers a knock on the door . . . only to find Kirby Rose, an eighteen-year-old girl with a key to a past that Marian thought she had sealed off forever. From the moment Kirby appears on her doorstep, Marian’s perfectly constructed world—and her very identity—will be shaken to its core, resurrecting ghosts and memories of a passionate young love affair that threaten everything that has come to define her.
For the precocious and determined Kirby, the encounter will spur a process of discovery that ushers her across the threshold of adulthood, forcing her to re-evaluate her family and future in a wise and bittersweet light. As the two women embark on a journey to find the one thing missing in their lives, each will come to recognize that where we belong is often where we least expect to find ourselves—a place that we may have willed ourselves to forget, but that the heart remembers forever.
My Thoughts: I know that this is technically not YA, but because it is told in alternate points-of-view and one of the main characters is 18-year-old Kirby Rose, I decided I would write up a review and post it.
The story starts out introducing us to thirty-six-year-old TV producer, Marian Caldwell, who just so happens to be dating the CEO, Peter. After a particular fight over their future, Marian goes home alone and is surprised to hear a knock on her door late that night. Assuming it was Peter there to apologize, she is shocked to find the daughter she gave up for adoption eighteen years ago standing at her door.
We learn through flashbacks about Marian’s relationship with Conrad Knight the summer after graduating high school, and the subsequent conception of Kirby. We follow Marian through her decisions regarding keeping the baby, abortion, and adoption. I feel like Marian’s character was a bit lacking, however. She was a very selfish person throughout the book, from eighteen-year-old Marian to thirty-six-year-old Marian, I feel there was not a lot of growth in her character whatsoever.
Kirby was lucky to be adopted by two loving parents, who ended up conceiving another daughter, Charlotte, after adopting Kirby – which was against all odds. Kirby has always felt a sense of not belonging. When this reaches its peak, she journeys to New York City to track down the birth mother she’s never met.
Their meeting is not what Kirby had planned for, not that she truly knew what to expect anyway. It is nice to see how Kirby and Marian’s relationship evolves though, throughout the book. Kirby’s chapters were always fun and engaging, and innocent. It was great to experience life through her eyes – including her first kiss and her first boyfriend!!
The ending came as expected but left me really wanting more. I’m not sure if Giffin plans on continuing Marian, Conrad, and Kirby’s story in a sequel (Which I must say would be really cool!) but I wasn’t completely satisfied when I read the last page. I would recommend this book to any Emily Giffin fan though, or those looking for a sweet, easy read. Giffin’s writing is easy and flowy and engaging enough for most anyone.