Release Date: July 2012
Publisher: Macmillan | St. Martin's
Pages: 372 pages
Source & Format: Bought; Hardcover
Amazon | Goodreads
Summary (from Goodreads)
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.
Thoughts on Where We Belong
I don't know about you, but I figured out the connection between Kirby and Marian just from the cover blurb. I don't read Emily Giffin expecting a mystery, so I didn't mind knowing a little bit about what was to come in this book.
Where We Belong flashes between present day and some years earlier. We see Marian with her current love, Peter, and with her first love, Conrad. We also meet Kirby. About to graduate from high school, she's searching for something and believes she can find the answer with Marian.
The novel is narrated from both Marian and Kirby's perspective, and I do believe Giffin successfully transitioned between the two. They had unique voices and distinct personalities, which is a must if you are going to allow both characters to narrate.
I thought Marian was a typical Giffin heroine. She's smart and successful, but she also has the same sort of selfish streak that I often find in Giffin's books. It doesn't typically bother me too much - they are often realistic and relatable heroines.
In this case, I found myself questioning Marian's actions and wondering why she chose to handle certain things the way she did. Not because her choices seemed out of character - more because I couldn't always identify with her way of thinking. That's the only thing that made the book a little harder to get into. I did, however, really love Kirby. I thought it was smart to let her voice be a large part of the book because she was what pulled me in to the story.
The ending was a bit of a disappointment. I don't know for sure, but it certainly seemed like it was set up for a sequel. If a sequel isn't in the works, then I'd definitely say this is a bit of an unfinished ending. Still, Giffin does deliver good women's fiction, and I enjoyed the time I spend with these characters. I didn't love it, but it'd be great with some sun, sand and nice cold Diet Coke.
"Where we belong is often where we least expect to find ourself - a place that we may have willed ourselves to forget, but that our heart remembers forever."