August 03, 2012

Book Review: WHERE WE BELONG by Emily Giffin

Book:  Where We Belong
Author:  Emily Giffin
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press
Category: Contemporary Fiction

I could have chosen to remain anonymous so I’m not really sure what made me do it.  Maybe it was strictly to alleviate guilt…maybe part of me was waiting for the assurance that she was okay…But maybe on some deep down level, I wanted her to return to me. Maybe I wanted to see and touch her again-  Marian

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.

Author Emily Giffin
I have always loved Emily Giffin.  Her novels Something Borrowed, Something Blue and Love the One You’re With are books I’ve read and reread many times over.  Her writing is flawless, and always of stories that pinches the heart. 

Marian never thought she would see her again, the daughter she gave up 18 years prior, from a pregnancy she kept secret from everyone, including the baby’s father.  But one night Kirby shows up, not asking for anything except to meet her mother and to know the identity of her father.   Reluctantly, Marian and Kirby start a relationship that unravels what Marian thought was the life she wanted.  To answer Kirby’s curiosity about her father as well as her own, Marian searches and finds Conrad, the boy she never forgot.  In seeing them together, Marian sees the life she gave up, what could have been, and perhaps what could still be.

Though much assured of Kirby and Marian’s developing relationship, the ending between Conrad and Marian left me wanting more.  Yes there are subtle signs of reconciliation, but I am a sucker for happy endings and this one deserves a sequel. 

All the characters in this book are likable, including Peter, Marian’s boss and boyfriend.  I especially like Marian’s dad for being an example of how understanding fathers can be.  And Conrad…he deserves a book of his own, that’s how lovable his character is. 

Alternating between Marian and Kirby’s points of view, it’s easy to get pulled into the story.  As a reader I felt and understood the emotions of both main characters.  In the end you can’t help but root for them to become the mother and daughter they were meant to be. 

Overall, I loved this book and highly recommend it to those who love a good story.  Also pick up other Emily Giffin books, they are so worth your time. 

You may visit the Author’s site at:

You can run, but you can’t hide.”- Conrad
“Who’s running? And what are you doing at a party like this?”- Marian
“Lookin for you.”- Conrad
“Well.  Looks like you found me.”- Marian


  1. I really enjoyed this review. My Mom had read and suggested this book. When she described the story-line, I pictured in my mind the book being similar to the TV series "Life Unexpected" which I liked. With your review, I think it might be something completely different and even though I may still read it, I like your point of view on it. Thanks.

  2. thanks! i hope you like the book. happy reading!

  3. I definitely enjoyed this one, too, and found myself sniffling uncontrollably on a plane ride! Giffin creates such dimensional, memorable characters. I loved the first love plotline, too.