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Where We Belong: A Novel Paperback – April 16, 2013
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“In another surefire hit, [Giffin] serves up pathos, humor, and one doozy of a twist.” ―Entertainment Weekly
“Sharply drawn characters and finely honed sensibility add up to a story that's as bittersweet as an August evening.” ―Family Circle
“Book clubs will have a field day with this one. Thorny mother-daughter relationships and secrets we keep from loved ones burn up the pages.” ―USA Today
“After five charming relationship-themed hits, Emily Giffin had a lot to live up to with WHERE WE BELONG. Luckily, the author executes with a thoughtful finesse that makes this easily her best work yet. [WHERE WE BELONG] is that special type of story that takes priority over getting to bed on time. And the payoff is well worth it.” ―Boston Globe
“Emily Giffin ranks as a grand master. Over the course of five best-selling novels, she has traversed the slippery slopes of true love, lost love, marriage, motherhood, betrayal, forgiveness and redemption that have led her to be called ‘a modern-day Jane Austen.' With Giffin's use of humor, honesty, originality and, like Austen, a biting social commentary, this modern-day ‘woman's novel' sits easily on nightstands and in beach bags. Even Austen would find it hard to put down.” ―Chicago Sun-Times
“Emily Giffin's new novel about the legacy of adoption, WHERE WE BELONG, imagines what happens when an 18-year-old girl tracks down her birth mother…the latest in a string of provocative, imaginative novels that began in 2004 with SOMETHING BORROWED. All the characters [here] are on a journey to find ‘where we belong,' and Giffin knits together their journeys with a masterly hand.” ―Seattle Times
“Emily Giffin's WHERE WE BELONG is a literary Rorschach test. The book, while thoroughly entertaining, will also prod readers to examine choices they've made in their lives. It will compel them to muse about things they'd like to do over, to do differently, to do better…[and] gracefully examines themes of identity, family and forgiveness.” ―Miami Herald
“Emily Giffin has a wonderful way with words. [WHERE WE BELONG] is an emotionally powerful story that will ring true with women who have given a child away and with those who grew up wondering where they came from. Giffin may be working with a premise and plot that is fairly simple, but there's nothing lightweight about the emotional turbulence she creates.” ―Ft. Worth Star-Telegram
“[Giffin] shows that real love is messy but meaningful in this delicious, easygoing read.” ―American Way
“[Giffin's] novels present tough moral dilemmas all related to love. And her latest, WHERE WE BELONG, is no exception and perhaps her best yet…It's a classic Giffin tale, nuanced and messy and utterly addictive, with fully fleshed-out characters who face morally ambiguous choices that aren't resolved in neat bows.” ―Austin American-Statesman
“A breezy, yet compelling read.” ―Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Emily Giffin is back with another must-read summer novel!” ―Harper's Bazaar
“The next must-read book of the summer!” ―Star
“WHERE WE BELONG is too suspenseful to be called chick lit and too relationship-centered to be labeled a thriller. But most readers will have little time to think of a genre for Emily Giffin's latest novel as they race through this gripping story about the reunion of a high school senior and the woman who put her up for adoption 18 years earlier.” ―Connecticut Post
“Giffin has a way of tugging on our heartstrings while still making us laugh out loud...[a] perfect recipe.” ―Woman's World
“Graceful and inviting prose, careful plotting and vivid characterizations…The coming together of two people who share a genetic heritage and little else is dramatically and emotionally risky. But Giffin makes the most of the opportunity, and WHERE WE BELONG had me riveted.” ―Winston-Salem Journal
“The issue about secrets isn't about keeping them. It's the reveal and its consequences. That's the challenge faced by the characters in Emily Giffin's new, briskly paced…WHERE WE BELONG. Taking a somewhat more somber tone than she did in her [previous] bestselling novels, Giffin's approach and style mature in this latest effort.” ―Philadelphia Inquirer
“Breezy and fun, this is definitely one for the beach bag!” ―All You magazine
“Giffin's latest will make you shed a few tears – and call your mom.” ―Ladies Home Journal
“You're sure to spy lots of pale-orange book covers at the beach this summer, as Emily Giffin releases her latest in a series of successful reads. The book has heart, meat and realistic characters.” ―am New York
“[WHERE WE BELONG] delivers the readable, addicting prose we have all come to love [but] delves deeper than ever before, showing that the author is capable of making her signature style work with topics beyond typical relationships. Through Marian, her daughter and the rest of those affected by Marian's decisions, the author beautifully tackles the complex issues of sex, abortion, adoption and the difficult decisions that go along with each.” ―Woodbury magazine
“A satisfying and entertaining read. Giffin is a gifted storyteller [and] writes smart, snappy prose that elevates this novel.” ―Vancouver Sun
“Believable characters, [a] page-turning plot and [an] unblinking look at the choices we make as women.” ―WeightWatchers magazine
About the Author
Emily Giffin is a graduate of Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law. After practicing litigation at a Manhattan firm for several years, she moved to London to write full time. The author of several New York Times bestselling novels, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Baby Proof, Love the One You're With, and Heart of the Matter, she now lives in Atlanta with her husband and three young children.
Top customer reviews
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I loved all the other emily griffin books, but this one, I struggled just finishing.
Firstly, Its sooo predictable, I knew exactly what would happen to the main character as I started reading.
Its hard to feel emotionally connected to the characters, because they are one dimentional. Myriam is a typical New york workaholic snob who loves to shop at barneys, yawnnn. Kirby is a typical teenager who loves music, and is unsure of herself and trying to figure out what to do with her life.
I did not feel myself wanting to flip the pages of the book, and trying to find out what would happen.
MEhh, wouldnt recommend, its another 3 hours ill never get back.
I will say that I prefer a happy ending, and while this book doesn't have a bad ending, I would have liked for it to go on a little longer to see where two of the main characters ended up.
While I thought the story was somewhat unbelievable, it was uplifting and I enjoyed reading it. I could also see this becoming a movie, as her other stories have.
If you liked Emily Giffin's other books, you will likely like this one, too.
It was so real. It's so tempting to expect an adoption story to end with everyone one big happy family or the complete opposite--everyone coming away from the meeting with nothing in common and no desire to be part of each others' lives.
I think I read one of the earlier reviews as saying that the book provided a negative look at adoption. I didn't see it that way at all. Kirby got what she needed, and Marian and Conrad as the adults figured out their lives the best way they could. However, I do wish Marian had been honest with Conrad at the beginning.
While Marian was still in high school, she became pregnant by Conrad, a teenage musician friend. She hinted to him that she might be carrying his unborn child. Conrad was not exactly overjoyed when he heard about this, but made it very clear to Marian, that not only would he stand by her, but he would also take an active role in caring for their child. Marian decided then and there, that she had to keep her pregnancy a secret. Conrad she knew, would want her to keep the baby, and she just couldn't do that. So she broke up with him.
Her parents would never have approved of Conrad anyway, she rationalized. He was a musician who was going no-where, and she had college to attend, a career to find, and a successful man to capture, before she settled down. There was no room in her life for a stagnate husband and a new born baby; no, no room at all. So Marian secretly birthed their child and gave their daughter up for adoption.
Eighteen years later Marian's lie of omission came knocking at her door. Her daughter Kirby, was now a teenager and she wanted answers. Kirby always knew that she had been adopted, and for the most part, she was fine with that. But Kirby never felt like she really fit anywhere, and she wanted to know why. She wanted to know about her birth parents.
To all outward appearances, Marian appeared to have the perfect life. She was a successful TV producer who lived in a fancy upscale apartment, and had a rich handsome boyfriend by her side. But she wasn't happy, there was something missing in her life. Of course Marian's answer to her fulfillment was standing right at her doorstep, but she didn't know that yet.
There wasn't an immediate bonding with Marian and her daughter Kirby, which made the author's writing of their first meeting realistic. Kirby was the typical teenager, melodramatic, irritable and quite often rude. And Marian, well…she was the shell-shocked Mother, who was trying desperately to hide from everyone, her sin.
The two of them did end up bonding, but not before suffering some emotional bruises from each another. Kirby as anyone can imagine wasn't exactly throwing out warm fuzzies to her new found Mother, and Marian was quickly discovering with dismay that there were no easy "do overs" in life. And that sometimes the words "I'm sorry" just weren't enough.
This book stirred up strong emotions from Emily Giffin's readers. I personally liked it. I didn't care for the heroine, but I don't think I was supposed to. She was an entitled rich girl who was used to getting whatever she wanted without taking into consideration other people's feelings. She did change for the better though, when she discovered that what she really wanted, money couldn't buy. Forgiveness she found came slowly, like the pealing of an onion, one thin layer at a time. It wasn't something that she could rush, buy or take. It had to be given freely, and Marian decided, more than anything, that she wanted it.
I really liked Conrad and wished that he had played a greater role in this book. He was as well as the ending, a total surprise. I agree with many of the readers who felt that the ending of the book was too abrupt and that it would have benefitted greatly from a few added chapters. But then again, maybe the author is planning a sequel. A reader can only hope.
All in all, I enjoyed the book and would recommend giving it a read. I think Emily Giffin did a fabulous job with her character development, and unique storyline.
Most recent customer reviews
What a shame! I wonder all other her books are same like this?!!