Where We Belong

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.



  1. says

    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!

  2. KHBride says

    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

  3. Jessica Beard says

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

  4. says

    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.

  5. says

    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…

  6. Pamela Sheldon says

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

  7. KHBride says

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

  8. says

    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!

  9. Anita Yancey says

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

  10. Les Johnson says

    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 :).

  11. says

    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. :)

  12. says

    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

  13. Natasha Harris says

    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!

  14. Jessica says

    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!

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