12 reviews

Where We Belong
by Emily Giffin

Published: 2012-07-24
Hardcover : 384 pages
64 members reading this now
40 clubs reading this now
30 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 12 of 12 members
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 thirty-six year old television producer, living her dream in New ...
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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 thirty-six 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 eighteen-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.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.


Chapter One


I know what they say about secrets. I’ve heard it all. That they can haunt and govern you. That they can poison relationships and divide families. That in the end, only the truth will set you free. Maybe that’s the case for some people and some secrets. But I truly believed I was the exception to such portents, and never once breathed the smallest mention of my nearly two- decade- long secret to anyone. Not to my closest friends in my most intoxicated moments or to my boyfriend, Peter, in our most intimate ones. My father knew nothing of it— and I didn’t even discuss it with my mother, the only person who was there when it all happened, almost as if we took an unspoken vow of silence, willing ourselves to let go, move on. I never forgot, not for a single day, yet I was also convinced that sometimes, the past really was the past. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

• One of the themes in WHERE WE BELONG is what happens when we keep secrets. Discuss the reasons people keep secrets. Describe the secrets in this book and the reasons various characters had for keeping them. Do you think secrets and lies are one in the same? How do the characters in the novel accept or come to terms with the secrets they’ve kept or the ones that have been kept from them?

• Discuss the issue of forgiveness in the book. Which character has the most to forgive? Do you think Conrad will ever be able to fully forgive Marian? Has Marian forgiven her parents? Has Kirby forgiven hers?

• Kirby and Marian both change over the course of this story. What are the most significant ways they’ve changed? What risks do they each take? Was there any decision or action you disagreed with on the part of Marian or Kirby?

• Are people more influenced by their genes or their upbringing? How does this question relate to the events in the novel? How do you think the various characters in this book might define family?

• Why do you think the author chose the title WHERE WE BELONG? What meaning, or meanings, does the title have in relation to the story and characters?

From the publisher

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

EMILY GIFFIN is The New York Times bestselling author of Something Borrowed; Something Blue; Baby Proof; Love The One You’re With and Heart of The Matter. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and three young children.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
by Jo B. (see profile) 06/15/14

Where We Belong is the first Emily Giffin book I read, and it was wonderful! Imagine being a successful, happy, single career woman and opening your door to the daughter you gave up for adoption 18 years... (read more)

  "Insightful "by Jennifer J. (see profile) 04/21/14

Our group enjoyed this quick read that did drag out the story a little long. The story itself was predictable,but charming and generally made everyone feel good,

  "An Affair of the Heart"by Nancy B. (see profile) 01/02/14

Where We Belong is a beautifully written story that tells the tale of young love, an unplanned pregnancy, an adoption and a life of something missing. Pregnant at 18 Marian, with the help of her mother,... (read more)

  "Fabulous Story"by Gaylynn M. (see profile) 05/28/13

Everyone really loved this one. One of our favorites. A page turner.

  "Where We Belong"by Dottie E. (see profile) 12/14/12

This book raised a good discussion of our feelings as mothers, daughters and also how the issues of adoption and raising babies as single parents have changed even since our facing marriage and pregnancy... (read more)

  "Where We Belong"by Lori W. (see profile) 10/25/12

This was a very easy read and kept your attention!

  "Where We Belong"by Jaclyn G. (see profile) 10/04/12

  "Where We Belong"by Laura G. (see profile) 10/04/12

This was my first time reading this author so I wasn't sure what to expect. After reading this book, I would pick up another.

I found the story engaging and enjoyed getting to know the ch

... (read more)

  "Where We Belong Review"by Shannon L. (see profile) 09/19/12

I loved this book. I'm a big fan of Emily Giffin. I like all her books. I felt like the story was realistic and I couldn't put it down. I'm hoping for a sequel!

  "Great read"by Jill P. (see profile) 09/09/12

I definitely recommend this book. It was a light, fun, quick read but also a great topic for book clubs in general.

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