Author Emily Giffin is a front-runner when it comes to “chick-lit,” a term coined for a genre comprised of books that are mainly written by women for women. She is the author of five extremely successful novels including Something Borrowed, now a motion picture starring Ginnefer Goodwin, Kate Hudson and Colin Egglesfield as the intermingled Rachel, Darcy and Dex, the sequel, Something Blue, Baby Proof, Love the One You’re With, and Heart of the Matter. Last week, she released her latest novel, the highly anticipated Where We Belong.
Where we Belong chronicles the story of Marian Caldwell, a thirty-six year old television producer that seems to have it all: a swanky New York City penthouse apartment, the career of her dreams, and a satisfying relationship with the handsome and rich head of her network. She has convinced herself and everyone around her that she has everything she has ever wanted, but a knock on her door one night turns Marian’s world upside down. Marian finds an unexpected surprise at her door in the form of Kirby Rose, an eighteen-year-old that brings with her Marian’s biggest secret from her past. In alternating points of view, Giffin successfully brings the story of these two women and their journey to find the one thing missing in their lives to life. As Giffin explains, “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.”
Where We Belong is the perfect, quick and easy beach read, but one that addresses many serious topics, teen pregnancy and adoption being the most prominent. With this novel, Giffin gives us characters that are easy to relate to through her account of their secrets, emotions, hopes and dreams. She successfully depicts the complexity of relationships and hard truths about life, placing these characters in difficult situations and allowing them to act in ways the reader may not necessarily like, but can understand. Additionally, one of the themes of the novel, secrets and the consequences that occur as a result of keeping them, allows readers moments of self-awareness, reflecting on moments in their own lives in which secrets and lies affected their future.
**SPOILER ALERT** Please let me know if you agree or disagree if you have read Where We Belong!
I am a big fan of Giffin’s, and I definitely recommend this book, particularly if you have read Giffin’s previous novels, but I have to say, the ending was a bit disappointing for me. I live for an epilogue and crave a “happily ever after” tied up with a neat little bow, which is not what Giffin gave us in this novel. Although appropriate, and some may say that she avoided clichés there was no solid, black and white ending. I can only hope that this means that there is a sequel in the works!
Update: Emily Giffin’s Where We Belong is also available in audiobook through Macmillan Audio, allowing the story of Marian Caldwell and Kirby Rose to come to life virtually anywhere, even on your commute to work and while working out. Thanks to Macmillian Audio, here is an audio clip of Where We Belong. Listen below and get ready to get hooked! You can purchase the entire audio version of Where We Belong here.