I have been waiting forever to read the fabulous Emily Giffin’s new release, Where We Belong. I bought it on my Kindle the day it came out, but had to finish reading Good in Bed, Bet Me, and Fifty Shades Freed before I could start. Well, I never finished FSF and I don’t think I ever will. So I abandoned that one and decided to jump right into what unsurprisingly turned out to be yet another Giffin classic.
I have the utmost respect for Emily Giffin and she is arguably one of my favorite authors, if not #1. I’ve read all of her books and enjoyed each one, and Where We Belong was no different. However, while I liked it, I am a little hesitant to say that I loved it. Don’t get me wrong, there wasn’t exactly anything wrong with it, I just was not as impacted by this book as I have Giffin’s previous works. It is for sure a typical Giffin book, with all of her usual factors: questioning one’s purpose in life, vacillating between love and happiness, and plenty of internal struggles. But for some reason I felt that this time as a reader I was only able to scratch the surface of the two main characters and was not fully immersed into their lives and stories as I have been in her novels before.
Where We Belong alternates viewpoints between Marian, 36-year old successful television producer who for nearly two decades has kept her teen pregnancy and baby she gave up for adoption a secret from everyone, and Kirby, her 18-year old biological daughter who is searching for answers about where she came from, and why she is the way she is. The story starts out with Kirby literally just showing up on Marian’s doorstep in New York City, and unraveling a series of lies and secrets of a past that Marian has tried desperately to forget. We are journeyed back and forth between Kirby’s teenage angst and apathy about her suburban life in St. Louis, and Marian’s metropolitan desire to keep up appearances and perfect her ideal life that she has always planned. Neither are ready for the impact that meeting each other will have on their lives, especially when Kirby begins to ask questions about her biological father. This curiosity brings up a past that Marian is not prepared to deal with, and leaves both women wondering desperately about what could have been.
I finished this book in about three days, but it wasn’t because I was dying to know the ending and just couldn’t put it down. It was more because I found it an enjoyable, easy read, without challenging me too much or getting under my skin. Perhaps it was just because it was too difficult for me to relate to either character, never being in a circumstance anywhere near theirs before. I actually always have trouble reading and relating to books about parenthood or children anyways and maybe this is just that problem surfacing with a different twist.
If you are a Giffin fan, I’d encourage you to, by all means, still look forward to reading Where We Belong¸ but please be wary and do not go into it expecting a Something Borrowed or Love the One You’re With.