It’s been a long time since I read SOMETHING BORROWED and SOMETHING BLUE, and WHERE WE BELONG reminded me why Ms. Giffin is one of my favourite authors. This was a wonderful, feel-good kind of read, and it’s been a while since I’ve read something of a similar tone. Like other women’s fiction heavyweights, Ms. Giffin’s prose is almost rhythmical, but she manages to tell a heartwarming story without making me bawl my face off (which is great as I’ve started wearing mascara again and it stings my poor eyeballs when it’s all runny).
There are two great points of view in WHERE WE BELONG: Kirby, an eighteen-year-old soon-to-be-high-school-graduate who finds her birth mother and Marian, a thirty-six-year-old high-faluting TV producer who is also said birth mother.
Here’s what makes this book awesome—it’s Kirby! She's super authentic with her high-school angst, but also extremely mature, while being very vulnerable despite her belief that nobody can notice. Plus, she plays the drums. And can sing. And has a steady moral compass. In short(ish), it was a fantastic POV and I was enthralled with Kirby’s interpretation of the emotionally-dense situations.
I’ll admit that about a quarter of the way through, I didn’t know how the story would need another two hundred-odd pages to wrap everything up, but then the plot took an interesting twist. Not to a GONE GIRL degree (thank goodness, as my heart wouldn’t have been able to take it, haha) but the story I’d first interpreted as an orange slowly turned into a onion, and then the rest of WHERE WE BELONG examined the delicate layers of hurt that stem from making difficult decisions.
As in life, nobody’s totally innocent (well, except for Kirby, obviously) but Ms. Giffin created flawed characters who, in the end, you don’t feel quite as comfortable judging by the time you turn the last page. And that kind of subtle redirection is exactly the reason that I’m a Giffin-fan. Or, Giffin-ite, if you will (I just made that up, that group doesn’t actually exist…but it should!).
Have an awesome weekend, everyone!