Ashley's Reviews > Where We Belong

Where We Belong by Emily Giffin
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Aug 07, 12

Read in July, 2012

I read Emily Giffin’s latest release, Where We Belong on a recent Vegas vacation.

“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.”

As with her previous books, Giffin tells a complex story, where right and wrong are not black and white. Her characters are very human, flawed and relatable. The plot here is interesting, exploring how a knock at the door can change everything about your life. I think about that aspect, because Kirby’s arrival truly does begin to show the cracks in Marian’s supposedly happy life.

Giffin leaves some loose ends with this story, wrapping it up well, but not in a fairy-tale perfect package. Like with her other books, Giffin gives us a glimpse of a previous character. We see Claudia from Baby Proof as a friend of Marian. And, in an especially cool move, Giffin names a character after a real life person, a former clerk at Barnes and Noble who met Giffin when Something Borrowed was first published.

Unlike Giffin’s other books, though, I didn’t feel a strong emotional connection to this one. I enjoyed the story, but there was just something missing in this one for me, like when you meet a guy and he’s perfectly nice and you have a nice time, but there’s no spark. Still, I think fans of Giffin will enjoy the book, and I know I’m already looking forward to her next one.
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