Sunday, August 5, 2012

Review of Where We Belong and Emily Giffin Event

Two days ago, I went to an Emily Giffin signing. I was very under-dressed for the event. I guess I should have realized that if the event was at Saks Fifth Avenue, I'd better wear some evening gown. Didn't get the memo. Emily is gorgeous-- beautiful blond curls and wearing a slim fit hot pink dress. If I'm completely honest, the event was not my favorite-- the venue was not great because there were too many people, it was too loud, and the speakers didn't work. On top of it all, they made people who already read the book and bought from a different venue wait at the back of the line. That said, Emily was sweet and gracious and very grateful that we came to see her. It wasn't her fault that everything extraneous to her wasn't working correctly or fairly. And all that said, her new book is absolutely terrific.

What I love, other than the fact that it is simply a good book, is that it can count as a YA book.

Where We BelongGoodreads Book Description: 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.

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

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My review:
I have been eagerly awaiting this book for a while now. Emily Giffin's work is fun to read, perhaps only fluff, but a great way to spend a rainy afternoon with a mug of cocoa. I haven't loved all of her books, probably due to the fact that for some reason, she has gravitated towards showing the three dimensionality of infidelity. That doesn't make me stop reading her books, however.

Where We Belong is her newest novel, and it is a departure from her regular fare. Because of this, she succeeds where her other books have not. We are introduced to a very flawed character, Marian, and a decision that she has made a long time ago. She has a big secret that she has kept for years, but then it confronts her face to face when she meets her teenaged daughter for the first time. What unfolds next is dramatic but at the same time very realistic, and the story never lets up the entire time.

I absolutely loved this book. All my reservations from Giffin's previous work just does not play a part here. The subject matter is not new, but this book is much deeper than her other works. While it is not billed as YA, I could make an argument that it is-- we see half of the book through Kirby, Marian's 18 year old daughter's eyes, and the other half from Marian's perspective, who thinks a lot of her teenaged past. This alternating viewpoint works very well in this book, as we journey through both the past and the present. What really makes this book work is the characters-- they are all very complex, three dimensional, and have their own distinct personalities.

Overall, I highly recommend this book-- one of my favorite reads of this year.
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  1. "Where We Belong" sounds like an interesting book, and it's something I might read when I'm in the mood for realistic fiction. Thanks for sharing your views on it and thanks for the giveaway.

  2. I heard some of Emily Griffin's works but I haven't got a chance to read them. This sounds a good one. I will definitely add it to my long list of to-reads.Hehe!
    Anyway, Thanks for the review and giveaway! :)

  3. This sounds interesting! The event looked really fancy with the Saks Fifth Avenue backdrop... Too bad it didn't work out though! D: