Emily Giffin’s Where We Belong is a literary Rorschach test. This seemingly straightforward story about an adopted teen who connects with her birth mother — and then seeks out the father who never knew about her — provokes unexpectedly visceral responses.
The book, while thoroughly entertaining, will also prod readers to examine choices they’ve made in their lives. It will compel them to muse about things they’d like to do over, to do differently, to do better.
Marian Caldwell takes that journey of self-discovery in Where We Belong. She’s a 36-year-old television producer who has what appears to be the perfect life: She’s rich, successful and ready to marry Mr. Right. She has convinced everyone, including herself, that her life is everything she wants it to be.
Then she meets Kirby Rose, the 18-year-old daughter she gave up for adoption because a child didn’t fit her carefully scripted plan. As the two get to know each another, they learn how Marian’s decision 18 years ago has affected the course of both of their lives, in ways both bad and good.
It’s a breezy, humor-filled read that gracefully examines themes of identity, family and forgiveness.
David Martindale reviewed this book for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.