Mary's Reviews > Where We Belong

Where We Belong by Emily Giffin
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Jul 27, 12

bookshelves: romance, women-s-lit, modern-adult-fiction
Read in July, 2012

A moving romance that explores the issues of living with past mistakes and the nature of what/who makes a family. Giffin's new book deals beautifully with 3 generations: coming-of-age Kirby Rose and her friends, her adopted and birth parents, and Kirby's birth grandparents. Each story feels achingly real. Giffin's strength is giving even the unlikable characters a believable story so that even when you don't like their actions you can still understand their decisions.

Kirby is the odd-duck in the Rose family. She is adopted and goes in search of her birth parents. The story alternates between Kirby and her birth mother, Marian. Kirby's issues are normal teenage issues like school and friends intermingled with trying to figure out who she is and what she wants to do after high school. Marian's story is a bit more complicated. Kirby was conceived during the summer before college; Marian had not planned to fall deeply in love and was definitely not ready to become a parent. Marian makes two important decisions: to give Kirby up for adoption and to keep Kirby's birth a secret. Both decisions have significant consequences for everyone involved.

Giffin weaves a compelling story with her two narrators telling their stories that eventually come together. Also there are several themes that run throughout the book: the difference between a secret and a lie; the catch of your life is not the same as the love of your life; and the importance of the people who know our past. This is my favorite Emily Giffin book!
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