The author of five blockbuster novels, Emily Giffin delivers an unforgettable story of two women, the families that make them who they are, and the longing, loyalty, and love that binds them together.
Marian Caldwell is a 36-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 18-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.
©2012 Emily Giffin (P)2012 Macmillan Audio
I wanted to like this book, but the polarized characters and their circumstances put me off. I found the character of Marian to be selfish, shallow and predictably into the glitter and bling that comes from a successful life and from being part of a highly advantaged upper class background. She eventually evolves, by necessity, into a more open, inclusive person and for that I give her credit.
I also thought that the adoption was not well-considered. Marian was (and still is) in wealthy circumstances, with parents willing and able to help - aren't these kind of advantages one would want to give a child? It seems that giving away a baby to a "better life" doesn't really ring true in this case, and then, how is "better" defined?
Truth be told, I don't think that the 18-yr-old Marian saw a life with Conrad and baby to be a realistic option for her, that she wanted more - more in terms of security, reliability, prosperity, and the ability to continue her life in the manner in which she was raised. I don't see anything really wrong in this, so perhaps I am on the fence.
Then there is... "Kirby". Despite that her character IMO has a dumb name, and as interpreted by Orlagh Cassidy sounds predictably juvenile and under-sophisticated and her voice sounds annoyingly ducklike, her "nice", neutral but unremarkable midwestern middle-class background - with all its white bread aspects - is pitted against the eye-popping glitz and glamour of Marian's exotic-by-comparison life.
But the ending seemed to fit. There didn't seem to be any compelling reason, even the existence of Kirby, for Marian and Conrad to restart their relationship. What would Marian do with this? Move to Chicago and try to reinvent her producer status there? Could Conrad and Marian actually make it as a couple? It seems that these two are still in love, but love is not enough.
The book seems to be saying that there are certain relationships that are for love, fun and excitement, and others that are more "appropriate" and realistic. The Peter/Marian connection is one of these latter types, and I just assumed that after breaking up with Peter right after she'd been around the still wild-and-crazy artist Conrad, she'd just go on to find a similar character.
I can see why Emily Giffin is so successful, though. Polarizing is probably a requirement of the types of novels she writes, and this novel in particular opens the possibility of further development - will there be a sequel? Or will some other author pick up this theme?
I have to say that on balance I enjoyed the book - more entertaining than annoying.
Why did I waste a credit on this?
I wanted lighter fare, and this was a little too light for me.
I thought E.G. had a reputation for "smart" chick-lit, but this was eye-rolling and trite. Granted, not as bad as a lot of the genre, but not what I'd hoped for.
Then again I don't typically care for chick-lit. But a good story is a good story, and this one is just OK.
Audio Books make people better drivers! I’m never in a hurry to get where I need to go because I would rather be in Tudor England, listening to a good historical fictional novel. Or I could be somewhere far away with dragons and magic, listening to fantasy. When that is too much drama, I love keeping up with fashion and girl talk with one of my favorite “chick lit” novels.
I loved all the characters in this book. Kirby Rose was my favorite; she was a perfect representation of most 18 year old girls who don’t have the rest of their life mapped out. I enjoyed Marian, a thirty something, who seems to have it all. However, she is likeable because she proves women who seem to have everything also have major imperfections. Then again, the men in this book take it up a notch. Peter and Conrad are both gorgeous and I hope this one makes it to the big screen!
I enjoyed the personality she brought to each character. The narration performance was fabulous; I especially liked what she did with Kirby.
Yes, I finished it in a few days. But, the second part was even harder to stop.
Everything from Emily Giffen is good, but I think this book is her best!
I loved this story (and the narrator - wow she was great)!!! I really enjoyed how each chapter switched off from Marian to Kirby. It really makes you take a good look at your own life and the decisions you make. Sometimes choices you make that you think are for the best are very hurtful to others. This was so good I will listent to it again!! Best audible credit I have spent in a very long time.
The title was catchy, but the whole story did not make any sense.If she said "surreal" one more time, I was going to turn it off! Really!
The performance was fair. Kirby's and Marion's voices got on my nerves after a while. All of the men sounded the same to me.
No at all.
This is the worst book I have ever listened to, and I have listened to many, many good ones from Audible.
I enjoyed this book. Good characters, story and narration. Worth the credit - another winner by Emily Giffin.
Good character development.
The graduation dinner at Kirby's home.
I don't think so, but I thoroughly enjoyed her narration.
Kirby because she was such an interesting character.
Beautiful heartfelt story of love, loss, life decisions not easily made and the coming together of families. Characters brought to like by excellent narration by Orlagh Cassidy, one of my favorites.
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