Where We Belong by Emily Giffin
The author of five blockbuster novels, Emily Giffin, delivers an unforgettable story of two women, the families that make them who they are, and the longing, loyalty, and love that binds them together
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.
Despite the fact that I have complete copies of Emily Giffin’s books, this is the first time I’ve read one and I couldn’t hide my delight that I am not disappointed nor irritated that I put my time and effort into reading one. What triggered me to read this is the protagonist. Believe it or not, I got interested in the story because we share the same name. I put myself in the protagonist’s shoes, you know, I imagined this was my story which made things or the whole experience a lot more interesting for me. I mean, I wanna be a TV producer and live in New York City after I graduate, so, yeah. Feels like a whole jump into my future, except the whole kid, though.
Everyone will agree to me that the story isn’t fresh or unique, it’s something we’ve seen on TV or movies or basically have read. The author’s treatment is pretty much the same to others who have similar plots too but that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth the time.
I love that it didn’t shy away from the reality. People who have or had the same experience would definitely relate to the characters. Marian is the typical ‘i don’t know how to deal with a child I put in adoption’ kind of birth mother. I understand why she had to put the past behind her but at least she didn’t totally deprive the child to at least get to know her coz she still used the same contact address she gave to the adoption center so that’s saying a lot.
I didn’t exactly appreciate the character of her boyfriend. I get it that he has the right to get upset that she didn’t tell him right away but weighing everything down, he should be the more understanding one. Marian has tons of reasons why she didn’t exactly tell him. It’s not some lame secrets that you could just blurt out. It’s something way bigger than anything else.
I love that Marian’s character is dynamic. I have seen how she grew as the birth mother. She totally tried her best to at least bond with Kirby. Her awkwardness was not because she didn’t like Kirby’s presence but simply because she didn’t really know how to deal with such situation and that’s pretty normal. I just didn’t like that she kept the whole pregnancy a secret to the birth father. I mean, cmon, he has the right to know.
Kirby, on the other hand, I totally understand her attitude. Her feeling of indifference with her family. There’s no deprivation of love and care from her family. They all love her equally but being an adopted, it’s pretty normal to not find a single common interest with the members of the family. Her rebellion and the way she kept pushing them away is normal and I didn’t get annoyed by it because she’s also a developing character. She’s going through a lot of ‘finding herself’. I am just completely amazed that she went through her way to locate her parents and didn’t exactly blame them for anything but just, you know, looking some closure and looking for that missing part of her life.
This book is not entirely magical or amazing of some sort. It’s a good quick read, nothing fancy, though.