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Belong to Me: A Novel Paperback – March 31, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
Cornelia Brown surprised herself when she was gripped by the sudden, inescapable desire to move to the suburbs with her husband. Her mettle is quickly tested by her impeccably dressed, overly judgmental neighbor Piper Truitt—the embodiment of everything Cornelia feared she'd find in suburbia. With Lake, another recent arrival, Cornelia shares a love of literature and old movies—as she forms an instant bond with this warm yet elusive woman and her perceptive, brilliant young son Dev.
Acclaimed bestselling author Marisa de los Santos's literary talents shine in the complex interactions she creates between three unforgettable women, deftly entangling her characters in a web of trust, betrayal, love, and loss that challenges them in ways they never imagined.
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Top Customer Reviews
Cornelia and her husband Teo have just moved from New York to a sleepy, upper-class Philadelphia suburb, and she's having a bit of trouble fitting in. She misses the pace, creativity and intellectual stimulation of the city and finds little in common with the other women, wives of professional men, she comes into contact with. She's particularly put off by her snotty neighbor, Piper Truitt. But when she meets the eccentric Lake, a single mom also new to town, she has hope that a solid friendship is developing.
Piper is a stereotypical affluent WASP ice princess. But, in de los Santos's able hands, she undergoes a radical yet mostly believable transformation. Piper and her husband Kyle are the alpha couple of the community. Piper is a mother of two, overly concerned with propriety and appearance. She is most at ease when caring for her kids and spending time with her best friend Elizabeth. When Elizabeth is diagnosed with cancer, Piper's world begins to crumble, but through the illness, she rebuilds it into one more genuine and compassionate. As all of her energy goes into caring for Elizabeth, she finds herself distanced from Kyle and her previous petty concerns and becoming close with Cornelia, the neighbor she once dismissed. Elizabeth's illness challenges Piper to change and to learn to accept not only other people but her true self as well.
Meanwhile, young Dev, a kind-hearted genius preoccupied with String Theory and poetry, is faced with his own set of challenges.Read more ›
This was the March selection for our local book club. We read Marisa de los Santos' "Love Walked In" last year. However, I did not immediately make the connection that "Belong To Me" is a sequel; I was probably 1/2 way through the book when a light bulb went off.
A good sequel continues the action/motivations of the first book, while telling a fresh story and further developing the characters; on those counts, "Belong to Me" is unsatisfying and weakly structured. The jacket blurb suggests that this is a story of a misfit in suburbia, and her nemesis, a "Ms. Perfect" named Piper Truitt...however that angle is tossed aside within a few pages. We learn little, even nothing, about the affluent Philadelphia suburb in which the characters live -- what makes it special or unique, or even safe, or prosperous. We are told that protagonist Cornelia feels a "sudden urge" to give up urban life and live in the 'burbs, but this is never explained nor do we learn the roots of her sudden conventional behavior.
"Belong To Me" ambitiously tries to tell several stories, and intertwine them. Cornelia and her handsome physician husband Teo are trying to have a baby, haunted by a miscarriage that occurred right on 9/11. Perfect housewife Piper is caring for a dying friend, a mission that disrupts her own marriage. Teen genius Dev is searching for his unknown father. There are several other minor threads, barely completed, about Cornelia's brother and the baby he is having with a reluctant girlfriend.
It takes a lot of skill to do this kind of book, and even more to avoid obvious cliches. "Belong To Me" veers on the edge of a cliff, then plunges into soap opera territory.Read more ›
The synopsis sounded good, certainly. From Amazon.com: Everyone has secrets. Some we keep to protect ourselves, others we keep to protect those we love. A devoted city dweller, Cornelia Brown surprised no one more than herself when she was gripped by the sudden, inescapable desire to leave urban life behind and head for an idyllic suburb. Though she knows she and her beloved husband, Teo, have made the right move, she approaches her new life with trepidation and struggles to forge friendships in her new home. Cornelia's mettle is quickly tested by judgmental neighbor Piper Truitt. Perfectly manicured, impeccably dressed, and possessing impossible standards, Piper is the embodiment of everything Cornelia feared she would find in suburbia. A saving grace soon appears in the form of Lake, a warm yet elusive woman who is also a recent arrival in town. As their individual stories unfold, the women become entangled in a web of trust, betrayal, love, and loss that challenges them in ways they never imagined, and that ultimately teaches them what it means for one human being to belong to another.
Much of the story is told in first-person narrative by Cornelia, alternating with third-person views from Piper and Dev, Lake's 14-year old `gifted' son. Piper, ironically, was the only one I actually liked. I was turned off by both Cornelia's and Dev's overly-witty tones and attempts at sardonic humor.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
At first I thought characters were interesting and was looking forward to their development. However, about half way through the book, the story line became very predictable. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Mary Lee
This book was pretty boring. Not enough dialogue, too much filler. To be honest, this book would've been 100% better without Piper. I don't know what the point of her story was. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Brooke
I honestly didn't remember any of these characters from when I read 'Love Walked In'. But I really enjoyed them, even Piper, who I expected I wouldn't like at all. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Barbarino
Great book, a little hard for me to get into at first but once you keep all the characters straight you can't put it down!Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
I loved the characters in this book , the story lines, the dialogue, the way it was written. These were people I really wanted to know....even to have in my life. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Bookaholic
This was a great read! It is an easy read and full of twists and turns. I loved it and am hooked on her as an author; now reading a third book she has written. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Jean T. Johnson
Ms de los Santos gives us a sketch of each character and then throughout in a very sensitive and compassionate view let's us see that first impressions can be totally in error. Read morePublished 12 months ago by L. Witzel