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Where We Belong: A Novel Hardcover – July 24, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 1,386 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“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 The New York Times bestselling author of Something Borrowed; Something Blue; Baby Proof; Love The One You're With and Heart of The Matter. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and three young children.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (July 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312554192
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312554194
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,386 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Normally when I get a book, I don't jump up & down shouting "woohoo!!". However, when I received Where We Belong, that is exactly what I did. Unfortunately for me, I was a little nervous when I cracked the book open ... I've been reading blogs, Amazon reviews and have "liked" the Emily Giffin Facebook page. Therefore, I have been no stranger to the drama that has resulted recently. I was nervous that after reading this I wouldn't like WWB ... thankfully that was not the case.

I contemplated between 4 and 5 stars. I settled on 4 because while I loved the story, I did find moments of wishing I could skip ahead. It wasn't poor writing or even a boring story, it was more that I didn't care for some of the characters and didn't really want to waste time on their story.

In WWB, we meet Marian and Kirby who are 36 and 18 respectively. Throughout the book we are given the story from both perspectives, often in the same scenario. This is what I love about an Emily Giffin book. No need to wonder "I wonder what this character's perspective would be?", she gives you that information immediately. While some books (Something Borrowed / Something Blue) give the perspective seperately, WWB does not.

We meet Marian as an adult but are treated to her teenage story, the basis for the person she has become and the person that gave the world Kirby. We learn that it doesn't matter if you are brought up as an only child with the "ideal" if not traditional home life, a child of divorce, a child who has lost a parent, or even an adopted child ...everyone has similar struggles to determine their identity and figure out what they want in life.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was so disappointing. I have read all of Emily Giffin's books, and have found that her last few books are getting worse and worse. Where We Belong had the ability to be a great story. However, telling the story from two points of view, Marianne and Kirby, led there to be little depth to either character. Also I found both characters to be very unlikable. The story was trite and unbelievable. I also found that Giffin put a very negative spin on adoption. Giffin's last books have been a disappointment and this one was no different.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This was an unexpectedly emotional read for me. Like Kirby, our young, slightly-misfit protagonist who seeks out her birth mother when she turns eighteen, I also recently sought out a birth parent--my father. Of course my experience meeting him was not exactly like Kirby's experience meeting her mother (I'm pretty sure if he had bought me Prada shoes, I would have kept them...), but I have to give Giffin kudos for accurately portraying the feelings of awkwardness, relief, sadness, disappointment, and re-abandonment that come up when an adult child meets a birth parent for the first time--as well as that feeling of displacement, of not quite fitting in with an adopted family, that can lead a child to want to reconnect with the absent parent (the "missing part") in the first place. It is a complicated encounter, not something I would expect Giffin to understand without firsthand experience. Maybe she has been through something like that, maybe she hasn't. All I know is that I found Kirby's feelings accurate, relatable, and compelling.

To be fair, I realize that not everyone will have this strong of a reaction to Where We Belong. Honestly, in general, the writing is typical Giffin: interesting, but quick and light. Nothing overly complicated or deep. Even if all problems aren't solved, by the end of the book, the reader knows that everyone is going to be okay. But that isn't a bad thing, if you know what you are getting into. And I still really appreciate Giffin's willingness to move away from the typical love-triangle plot and tackle a slightly more messy, nuanced situation.

Bottom line, this book is really good easy reading. It's catchy. Within the first few pages, you are hooked, and I guarantee you won't be able to put it down until you reach the end.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Marian Caldwell appears to have the perfect life. She is a successful producer of a hot TV show, she has a rich successful boyfriend and a fast-paced lifestyle in the Big Apple. But everything is not always as it seems....and a knock on the door of her Manhattan penthouse one evening reminds Marian of exactly that.
Kirby Rose has never felt as though she fit in with her family...and the knowledge that she was adopted, though never a secret, seems to be rearing it's head more often as of late. A conversation overheard between her parents is the final straw; Kirby sets off on her own to meet her birth mother, and changes the lives of everyone....

Where We Belong is a story about the choices we make, and the reasons we make them. An 18-year-old Marian made choices many years ago....to create a life that she thought that she wanted. Kirby's timely visit helps her to see that sometimes what we think we want may not be what makes us the happiest....

I've read all of Giffin's work, and this may quite possibly be my favorite. Fabulous plot, never a dull moment...and readers will love the non-conventional Kirby Rose.

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