WHERE WE BELONG. By Emily Giffin. 372 pages. $27.99.
The revelation of a nearly 20-year-old secret sends two women and their families on journeys of self-discovery in “Where We Belong.”
Author Emily Giffin gives away the secret pretty early on in her newest book, and her well-crafted characters spend the majority of the story dealing with their new reality.
“Where We Belong” is an engaging read about the choices we make in love and the secrets we keep in life. Giffin uses a potentially heavy, controversial issue as part of the foundation of the novel, but she keeps it light, and that makes the book a breeze to read.
Giffin’s work often is described as “chick lit,” and there’s no doubt she knows how to write for her female audience.
She’s sold nearly 9 million copies of her previous books in the U.S. alone, and one of those, “Something Borrowed,” was made into a movie starring Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin in 2011.
“Where We Belong” has two main characters: 36-year-old successful TV producer Marian Caldwell, who appears to have a picture-perfect life in New York City, and 18-year-old high school senior Kirby Rose, who’s struggling to figure out who she is.
The pair takes turns narrating the story.
While their perspectives are distinct, their voices are so similar that readers occasionally might find themselves flipping to the start of the chapter to figure out who’s speaking.
Giffin’s writing is conversational, smart and simple but not oversimplified. Her characters are witty and believable, and she hits on themes such as family, love and forgiveness. It’s easy to get hooked on her story.
That said, the story line felt a bit cliched at times, and the ending was predictable and flat.
Reviewer Diette Courrégé is a staff writer for The Post and Courier