book blog

Off the Bookcase

20120724-WhereWeBelong

This month, for my Off the Bookcase selection, I read Where We Belong by Emily Giffin. I found this book at a library book sale, and since I’ve read Emily’s books before, and liked most of them, I decided to pick it up. I wasn’t prepared for the heartfelt and wonderful story that I found between the pages.

Kirby is adopted, she’s known that her whole life, but what she didn’t know is who her birth mother was, so when she turns 18 she decides to find out for herself. Taking it a step further, she decides to find her birth mom. That’s when she meets 36 year old Marian, a television show producer, who never expected the results of a summer fling in high school to come knocking on her door in the middle of the day.

Marian seems to welcome Kirby with open arms, though she is ashamed at having given up her daughter, she knew that she wasn’t going to be able to take care of her, or go to college, like she so desperately wanted. She also is ashamed that she never told Kirby’s birth father that she was pregnant with Kirby.

It’s been some time since I read a book where the adopted child and the birth parent want to get to know each other, and there’s no animosity in meeting. At first, I thought Marian would be completely against Kirby showing up unannounced but she took her in with open arms and tried to get to know her. Kirby was reluctant at first, but soon they both opened up to each other, and this beautiful bond started to form.

When Kirby asks about her birth father, Marian worries that everything will go wrong. She knows she has to eventually tell Conrad, her ex boyfriend, that she got pregnant, she just hopes he can forgive her.

Eventually, Marian and Kirby take a trip to Chicago to hunt down Conrad, and give him the big reveal. They just don’t know if he’ll be accepting of Kirby, or so mad at Marian that he pushes Kirby out of his life.

This story was incredible. With dual narratives from Kirby and Miriam, you really get a sense on how each woman feels in this tough, life changing, situation. Kirby and her adoptive family have to cope with the idea that Kirby’s birth parents may be in their lives for good, and Marian has to come to terms with the secret she kept to herself all those years ago. I just had such a great time reading this book, and it left me feeling all warm and cozy. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Next on my Off the Bookcase, I will be reading Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer. This is a book that I got for my birthday, so it’s not very old, but I packed up all of my other books-so that will have to do for now. See you next time!

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