Lindsaygail's Reviews > Where We Belong

Where We Belong by Emily Giffin
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's review
Aug 09, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2012, audio
Read in August, 2012

This was a good story. I think Giffin did a very good job examining all the repercussions of adoption and the complexity of emotions involved. Also I thought the characters were well-drawn and realistic. In Marian's case, this sometimes meant that I was annoyed with her for being weak and wishy-washy, but she also seemed very much like a real person. It did make me wonder, sometimes, what exactly Conrad saw in her.

Apart from my overall enjoyment, I had some complaints. I might have liked the book better if I had read it instead of listening to it, because I had some issues with the reader. It must be challenging to record a book that continually goes back and forth between two narrators. She solves this by creating a "Kirby" voice and a "Marian" voice. I thought her voice for Kirby was unnecessarily whiny, and it made it harder for me to like the character. Also, occasionally she slipped up and started reading Kirby's lines in Marian's voice, which was confusing.

I also wish Giffin had resisted the temptation to bring in Ben and Claudia, the couple from Babyproof, (which I really enjoyed) and tell us that they ended up becoming parents after all. I was disappointed by that, and I bet I wasn't the only one. There is so little written with sympathy about women who don't want children, and I loved that Claudia stuck to her convictions in that book and didn't suddenly have some epiphany where she realized she wanted a baby after all. But apparently she did after the book was over. Fine, that happens, but it also happens that there are childless couples who are perfectly happy and never change their minds about wanting kids, and it's not something you see represented in women's fiction very often. I wish Giffin had left Claudia and Ben alone.
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