(This is not a stand-alone book - requisite reading before this is The Secret Dreams of Sarah-Jane Quinn)
Vacations, especially when you’re pregnant, are supposed to be relaxing.
When her least favorite brother-in-law and his wife crash Sarah and Gus Haldemann’s peaceful vacation, Sarah struggles to find patience. Maggie seeks artistic validation at the expense of her marriage, and Dietrich just wants to understand how and why his wife jumped on board the crazy train.
The unexpected presence of Sarah’s parents and sister after nearly six years of silence puts unwelcome pressure on her to garner their approval. In the face of her mother’s cold disdain, Sarah finds herself slipping back into submissive behaviors that aggravate and shame her.
Then Gus’s ex-lover Gretchen arrives, also without invitation and bringing with her a mother-daughter feud with her firstborn, Luci, amping up the tension to a nearly unbearable level.
Luci is searching for a way to break free of her mother’s chaotic life. The only place she feels she truly belonged was with Gus, and she would do anything – including abandon her sisters to her mother’s dubious care – to reclaim her happy childhood home.
In Luci, Sarah sees shades of herself as a child. As they forge a bond, Luci’s relationship with Gretchen further deteriorates and Irene Quinn’s disapproval escalates.
As the “perfect storm” descends on her home, Sarah struggles to find grace, forgiveness, and a modicum of tolerance – as well as a little bit of privacy – in a house packed to the rafters and teeming with angst. (Follow-up novel to The Secret Dreams of Sarah-Jane Quinn)
I really liked "The Secret Dreams of Sarah-Jane Quinn", and I enjoyed catching up with the characters, especially Sarah and Gus. They have their hands full running the Inn, and are supposed to be enjoying a quiet week when a lot of people show up unannounced.
Sarah and Gus are pretty happy, so most of the drama comes from the others, particularly Gretchen and her eldest daughter Luci. I wasn't really into the Luci storyline (even less enthusiastic about her romantic life), and Gretchen just came off as pathetic. I don't remember her being that bad in "The Secret Dreams of Sarah-Jane Quinn"?
Sarah gets some closure for her relationship with her mother, although that final confrontation takes place off-page, to my disappointment.
I've been waiting for this for a looooong time. I was nervous but Sharon Gerlach creates such real characters they stay with you long after you finished the book. I can't wait to see what comes next. This was an emotional read.
Imagine having everyone in your life that has ever caused you stress in your home all at once. This is the dramatic, but entertaining premise of Sharon Gerlach's Where I Belong. My friend & I discovered Gerlach a couple of years ago & have been anticipating this followup to The Secret Dreams of Sarah Jane Quinn for quite some time. Gerlach is great at writing characters & dialogue. Both books have gotten a little soap-operaish (a stalker in one & a missing toddler in the other), but if you want a well written read, check out Sarah Jane's stories!
Loved every minute of it! I couldn't wait for more Gus and Sarah and Sharon sure didn't disappoint. Seeing the answers to some of my question from Sweet Dreams of Sarah Quinn were some of my favorite parts. I also loved seeing Fran and Sam again. Fran's humor is what pulled me into the series. I can't wait for the next book!
Honestly, this author can do no wrong. I was completely sucked in (again) by this amazing family and their every day ups and downs. I seriously hope this is just the beginning of a new series, because I NEED more of these beautiful characters.