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Book Review: Where we belong by Emily Giffin

20120724-WhereWeBelongMy grandma read 101 books over the summer. I’m lucky to have finished five. One of the books I did read was Emily Giffin’s “Where we belong.”

Here is the book summary:

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.

The book is written from the point of view of the two main characters, each alternating chapters. It gives us the opportunity to see the story from both angles. And it starts right from the begginning. When Marian opened her door to find Kirby, we knew exactly what she was feeling. The next chapter starts out with how Kirby felt about meeting Marian.

I couldn’t help but feel bad for everyone but Marian. By keeping the secret, she destroyed so many lives and so many possibilities. She ruined the relationship she had with her boyfriend, she lead a deceptive with her friends and the relationship with her parents was completely fake for so many years. Not to mention her high school love, Chase. As people find out about her secret, they are shocked and often mad that she wouldn’t tell them, trust them or use them as a support system.

Now that the secret is out, she’s consumed by it and facing the emotions and unresolved issues that have followed her for years. Issues that she buried for the sake of keeping the secret.

Mariana seems to have some idea that she could leave her past behind, and now that it’s up in her face, she could just pick it up right where it left off. Including her relationship with Chase.

This book, while well written and engaging, left me so angry. Just angry with Marian and the idea that she hurt so many people. I did feel hopeful for Chase and Kirby. While I’m glad that Marian was able to make amends with her secret, I think she got off too easy for the mistakes she made.

All in all, I guess everyone did end up right where THEY belong.

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