Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Book Review of Where We Belong by Emily Giffin
Author: Emily Giffin
Publisher: St. Martin's Press New York
Type of book: adoption, belonging, 1990s-2013?, chick lit, possible half Asian male/WF relationship, choices
Year it was published: 2012
Marian Caldwell is a thirty-six year old television producer, living her dream in New York City. With a fulfilling career and satisfying relationship, she has convinced everyone, including herself, that her life is just as she wants it to be. But one night, Marian answers a knock on the door . . . only to find Kirby Rose, an eighteen-year-old girl with a key to a past that Marian thought she had sealed off forever.
From the moment Kirby appears on her doorstep, Marian’s perfectly constructed world—and her very identity—will be shaken to its core, resurrecting ghosts and memories of a passionate young love affair that threaten everything that has come to define her. For the precocious and determined Kirby, the encounter will spur a process of discovery that ushers her across the threshold of adulthood, forcing her to re-evaluate her family and future in a wise and bittersweet light.
As the two women embark on a journey to find the one thing missing in their lives, each will come to recognize that where we belong is often where we least expect to find ourselves—a place that we may have willed ourselves to forget, but that the heart remembers forever.
While I liked the character of Kirby, I didn't appreciate and was completely confused by Marian, Kirby's mother. It often struck me that the author herself was at a loss when it came to Marian's character, and the drama that she created didn't ring true for me. To me, it read that she created the drama on purpose rather than specifically. Other than that, I enjoyed the minor characters too and liked how she developed and drew them. I do have minor problems with the way men talk in her book, but other than that, very enjoyable.
Every choice comes with consequences.
This is in first person narrative from both Marian's and Kirby's points of views. Ironically, I found the beginning few chapters boring, but afterwards it revved up and the book became exciting. This is a surprising novel and it is well written. The story moved smoothly, and Emily Giffin did take the time to explore where Kirby's personality as well as likes came from and so forth. I also am grateful that she defied my expectations in certain things, and that she made it more family focused rather than love focused. I hope that she will write a sequel to the book and that I'll have a chance to read it.
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 five 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. Visit www.emilygiffin.com.
Honestly speaking, this novel defied my expectations. I've expected it to be one way, but it went another way. I was pleasantly surprised at her story telling abilities as well as the way she created Kirby who is very different from her mother and is a pleasant heroine to like. I enjoyed the messages, although I had some some hangups in beginning and often wondered if a lot of suspension of belief was required. I also didn't like the characters in beginning, but later on they grew on me. I felt that the book was incomplete though, and I do wonder at the cliffhanger ending. One last thing, something that's interesting is that the last five novels are somehow linked; but this is the first time that there's nobody in the novel one could recognize easily. The novel is courtesy of my younger sister. I hope you'll enjoy it sweetheart.
Note about the audio: Originally I planned on creating a youtube video, and even tried to do audio clip, but no luck or success unfortunately. I got this with permission and if you listen and enjoy it, go to the website and buy it.
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)