My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Book Review: Where We Belong by Emily Giffin

Please Note:  I am part of the Amazon Affiliate program.  If you buy the book through the links on this page, I will get a small fee.

Synopsis (From Goodreads):
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.

I borrowed this book from my dear friend, who obviously understands what I like in books.  I loved Where We Belong, by Emily Giffin.  With an enjoyable narrative style, strong characters, and a gripping story line, this is a compelling book.

What I Liked:
Narrative Style:
There are really two stories here, so I liked the alternating points of view between Marian and Kirby.  This helped me see how each character approached the delicate situation of a meeting between a birth parent and their offspring.  Both people have so much at stake.  This also widened the story to all the people in the lives of Marian and Kirby.  Clearly, Marian's choice so long ago had a ripple effect.

Although Kirby has good adopted parents, she still feels like an outsider among them.  Kirby is the only one in her family who shows a talent for music, which sets her apart from her family.  But, part of this is her own fault, as I think she makes excuses for some of her actions by thinking, "Well, I'm adopted, so who knows what my birth parents are like".  But she also picks up on subtle ways her parents also make that same assumption.

Marian is a woman with a wonderful career, a handsome boyfriend, and a bucketful of regrets.  She becomes pregnant right before she is set to leave for an Ivy-league college.  She can't deal with how keeping a baby would upset all her plans.  But she also can't deal with how she feels about the boy who got her pregnant.  If she allows herself to keep the baby, she will also be tying herself to this young man who is so different from her (and her parents) life.  Is Marian selfish or selfless?  It's hard to say.  I think this could become a heated debate in any book club who takes this book on!

Marian's boyfriend, seems at first to be just two-dimensional.  But, as the story progresses, I began to understand some of his actions.  But, is her right for Marian?  Or is she still pining for the boy from so long ago?

I love how the book leisurely gives up it's secrets.  At first you're not sure what the circumstances are surrounding Kirby's birth and adoption.  As with most things, it's complicated.  And, when you think you have it all figured out, there is a twist that made me want to reconsider my feelings about Marian.  For a book with pretty straightforward plot, I was on the edge of my seat!

What I Didn't Like:




Release Date:  July 24th, 2012

Genre:  General fiction

Publisher:  St. Martin's Press

Page Length:  372 pages

Source: Borrowed from a friend

Format:  Paperback book

Recommendation:  A perfect book club selection, this book will lead to some deep discussions of adoption, and the life choices we make.

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2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge
MsArdychan has read 10 books toward her goal of 120 books.


80% 80% 100 Book Reviews 2016 NetGalley Challenge
clean sweep 2017

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