Where We Belong

by Elizabeth

How do secrets, squirreled away and hidden from our nearest and dearest, affect our relationships? How do they change us, the people we become, as a result of the choice to deliberately hide things? Where We Belong is a story that looks at how the answers to these questions might play out.

Marian’s life seems picture-perfect; her TV show is a modest hit, her boyfriend is rich and gorgeous, she has a flat in Manhattan and it’s spring. She and her boyfriend have a spat—she brings up marriage and he’s not ready—and she goes home to put on pyjamas and sulk. When the doorbell rings, she assumes it’s Peter and opens it. The girl standing on the doorstep is the child she gave up for adoption 18 years earlier.

That’s the first chapter and I was totally hooked. Marian got pregnant the summer after high school graduation. She took a year’s deferment from college, gave away the child and told no one except her mother—not even her own father, with whom she’d always had a specially close relationship. She has never mentioned it to her closest friends or to Peter, who she’s on the verge of marrying. Peter does come over that evening after all, and is flabbergasted that Marian never mentioned this to him.

Meanwhile Kirby, the child, is standing on the doorstep. Just 18, she has had a good childhood overall, although she’s always felt unlike the rest of her family, a normal mid-western family consisting of mother, father and sister born to them a year after Kirby was adopted. Kirby isn’t quite sure what drives her to call the adoption agency just after her 18th birthday, and then what further drives her to lie to her parents about where she’s going over spring break and to show up announced on her birth mother’s doorstep. But it sets in motion events that will bring a measure of healing to both families, as truth is brought to light and things that were hidden are revealed. Truly, Marian finds, the truth will set you free.

Where We Belong is told in several voices; current Marian, 18 year old Marian, and Kirby. The action moves back and forth from Manhattan to St. Louis, and from the present to the past. Giffin’s style is easy to read, and she writes emotions very well—the complicated and messy ones that comprise so much of real life. Kirby’s character is wise beyond her years in some ways, yet at the same time she’s a typical teen. As Marian struggles to come to terms with all that she gave away when she made that fateful decision to not tell a soul, we root for her even as we occasionally wish we could give her some advice.

Where We Belong is the first book I’ve read by Emily Giffin, and I enjoyed it. It’d be a great book to read pool-side or on a trip. I also had the chance to interview Emily; check out our sister site at 5 Minutes for Books on Monday to read my interview with Emily Giffin.

And so, I’m delighted to tell you that we’re giving away a copy of Where We Belong. Please follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below to enter. New to Rafflecopter? Watch this 45-second video on how to enter!

The winner of The Next Best Thing is #245 James Coyne.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Elizabeth knows that secrets shouldn’t be kept from one’s beloveds, but she still doesn’t like it when people read her journal. But that’s different, right? Learn more at her blog Planet Nomad.


Email Author    |    Website About Elizabeth

Elizabeth is a voracious reader with eclectic tastes who loves being part of the team at 5 Minutes for Books. She's lived in 7 countries and is currently in Oregon, where she spends most of her time with Iraqi refugees. She has 3 teens.

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tonya July 23, 2012 at 12:27 am

This sounds like a great book. I’d love to win it!


2 kirti July 23, 2012 at 12:37 am

Sounds like a really interesting book to win and review on my blog. A few elements are pretty drawing about the story like the narration in two voices, and the teenage protagonist facing the obstacles in her life. i would really love to win this!


3 Jennifer H. July 23, 2012 at 1:04 am

I love to read and am always looking for new authors to read
jenhedger at hotmail dot com


4 KHBride July 23, 2012 at 4:05 am

I’m a big fan of Giffin. I’ve read all her books thus far. So has my best friend, so I’d love to win this, read it and then send it on to my friend


5 Nicole Robinson July 23, 2012 at 7:06 am

I’ve never read Emily Giffin. It’s always nice to discover new authors and this sounds like an interesting read.


6 Jenny July 23, 2012 at 7:13 am

I enjoy reading and am always looking for new books/authors to read :)


7 Jessica Beard July 23, 2012 at 8:21 am

I love all of her books! I would love to win, so I don’t have to wait until it gets to the library.


8 anne July 23, 2012 at 9:20 am

This would be a book with depth and memorable.


9 tina July 23, 2012 at 9:31 am

I want to win this for my mom. She reads 3-4 books a week.


10 Jennifer D. July 23, 2012 at 11:04 am

I love Emily Giffin’s books, and this one is my must read list!


11 Katie O July 23, 2012 at 11:26 am

Because I have read all of Emily Giffin’s other books and love them!


12 Alison S. July 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm

I have read and enjoyed her other books. “Have” to read this one, too! :)


13 Margaret July 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm

I love Emily Giffen so I would be excited to read this book! Thanks for the giveaway!


14 Julie July 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm

I love Emily Giffin books!!


15 Joy July 23, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Because Emily Giffin’s books are a nice summer read.


16 Liz July 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm

I need something fun to read!


17 Jessica To July 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm

I would like this book because I love to read and need a good book for vacation reading!


18 Kari July 23, 2012 at 4:48 pm

I love Emily Griffin books and this will be a great read for when the kids head back to school and I have some quiet time to myself.


19 ashley July 23, 2012 at 6:56 pm

I’ve always enjoyed Emily’s books!


20 Brn2shop9 July 23, 2012 at 9:28 pm

I absolutely love Emily Giffin. I have read all of her books and have been counting the days until her new book is published!


21 Sharon July 23, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Would love to read this!


22 Stacie Fontinell July 23, 2012 at 11:44 pm

I love emily griffin and would love to read her new book!


23 Idaho Jill July 24, 2012 at 10:13 am

I have always been fascinated by this subject – I have 2 cousins that are adopted and have always wondered what it would be like to meet their birth parents…


24 Tia July 24, 2012 at 10:20 am

Cuz I love to read!


25 Christine T July 24, 2012 at 12:01 pm

So ridiculously eager to read this!


26 Pamela Sheldon July 24, 2012 at 1:39 pm

I am always excited to hear about an author I don’t know! Would love to read her book and become a fan.


27 LaTanya July 24, 2012 at 2:52 pm

I love her books and would love to read this book.


28 Rachel July 24, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Sounds like a good read!


29 KHBride July 25, 2012 at 12:03 am

I love how Giffin updates the reader on characters from her other books. I hope we get an update on everyone in this book.


30 Wanda July 25, 2012 at 9:12 am

I’m not a big fiction fan. However, I watched Kathie Lee & Hoda yesterday and loved the interview with Emily Griffin. I’ve been searching my local library’s ebook forum trying to find Where We Belong!
Must read it.
Emily made me want it. Seriously!


31 Anita Yancey July 25, 2012 at 1:59 pm

I would like to win this because I love Emily Giffin’s books, and this one sounds really good. Thanks for having the giveaway.


32 Les Johnson July 25, 2012 at 3:35 pm

I would like to win this book because it sounds like a wonderful story and I have read a couple great reviews of it…including this one :).


33 Beverly S. July 26, 2012 at 10:03 am

I read about “Where We Belong” in the current People magazine book reviews. It sounds good and I would love to read it. Thank you so much for the giveaway. :)


34 pamela james July 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm

I think this would be a great book to read.
pjames330 at aol dot com


35 Dena July 27, 2012 at 10:01 am

I enjoy reading and am always looking for new books or authors I haven’t tried before.


36 Beth C July 27, 2012 at 9:44 pm

I think it would be interesting to read about secrets!


37 Staci A July 28, 2012 at 1:08 pm

It sounds like an interesting storyline. I’d love to read it!


38 samantha July 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm

the book sounds like it is really good, would love to read


39 Linda Kish July 28, 2012 at 5:01 pm

We just found a “new” family member. Or rather she found us. After 60+ years. And what a wonderful woman she is. We love her family and she fits in like we have always known her. I’d love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com


40 Jessica T July 28, 2012 at 10:34 pm

I’ve loved other books of hers! Can’t wait to read this!


41 diane July 29, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Sounds like a great book


42 Kristen July 30, 2012 at 12:05 am

I read the description and it sounds like a good read.


43 Gloria Walshver July 30, 2012 at 4:11 pm

It sounds like a great book.


44 Natasha Harris July 31, 2012 at 7:07 pm

I adore Emily Giffin’s books, and I just finished reading her book “Love the One You’re With”. I need something new to read. This sounds like something that I won’t be able to put down. Thanks for the great giveaway!


45 Jessica July 31, 2012 at 7:20 pm

I was just reading about this book on Amazon while I was looking through the their book section and thought it looked good. Thanks so much for the chance to win!


46 jacqueline July 31, 2012 at 8:15 pm

it sounds like it would be a great summer read (while I still have one month left!)


47 Richelle July 31, 2012 at 10:18 pm

I have a good friend who was adopted and this sounds definitely like something I’d pick up.


48 Heather W August 1, 2012 at 10:58 am

I’d like to win because Emily Giffin is my favorite author! Can’t wait to read this!


49 lauren knott August 3, 2012 at 9:02 am

I love Emilly Griffin’s books.


50 amandasue August 3, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Because she’s a great author!


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