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Where We Belong | [Emily Giffin]

Where We Belong

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (703 )
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  •  
    glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 07-29-12
    glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 07-29-12 Member Since 2014

    glam

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Polarized"

    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.

    14 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather PALM BAY, FL, United States 08-29-12
    Heather PALM BAY, FL, United States 08-29-12 Member Since 2011

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Best Book from Emily Giffen"
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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!


    What does Orlagh Cassidy bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I enjoyed the personality she brought to each character. The narration performance was fabulous; I especially liked what she did with Kirby.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, I finished it in a few days. But, the second part was even harder to stop.


    Any additional comments?

    Everything from Emily Giffen is good, but I think this book is her best!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LeftyMom North Carolina 08-28-12
    LeftyMom North Carolina 08-28-12 Member Since 2014

    leftymom

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "FANTASTIC!!"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn Bangor, ME, United States 07-28-12
    Kathryn Bangor, ME, United States 07-28-12
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    "Waste of Time"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    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!


    Has Where We Belong turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    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.


    Was Where We Belong worth the listening time?

    No at all.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the worst book I have ever listened to, and I have listened to many, many good ones from Audible.

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie Florence, KY, United States 10-13-12
    Laurie Florence, KY, United States 10-13-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Nice read"

    I enjoyed this book. Good characters, story and narration. Worth the credit - another winner by Emily Giffin.
    .

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gloria Himes 08-16-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Good story. It kept me interested!"
    What did you love best about Where We Belong?

    Good character development.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Where We Belong?

    The graduation dinner at Kirby's home.


    Have you listened to any of Orlagh Cassidy’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I don't think so, but I thoroughly enjoyed her narration.


    If you could take any character from Where We Belong out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Kirby because she was such an interesting character.


    Any additional comments?

    Good book.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janis Greenville, NC, United States 04-21-15
    Janis Greenville, NC, United States 04-21-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Held My Interest Throughout"

    Having read this author before I was not disappointed. I thought the feelings and emotions described were realistic and shared by others who might find themselves in the same situation

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christina_Liz 01-26-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Good story!"

    It is a good story! Very attractive!This book is definitely my fav for this month! Highly recommend this to everyone!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephany 01-23-15
    Stephany 01-23-15
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    "Read it!!"

    I absolutely loved the narrator. I found her to be funny and she did a good job changing voices for each character.

    The story was interesting to me. I'm still thinking about the main character!! The story left me with some questions for my own life which is always good to reflect.

    I admit it wasn't my favorite book. I guess because the ending didn't please me as much as the other books. Overall i still enjoyed this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jennifer BROOKLYN, NY, United States 07-10-14
    jennifer BROOKLYN, NY, United States 07-10-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My first and last Emily Giffin book"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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