Book Review: Where We Belong By Emily Griffin
Well, you win some and you lose some, I suppose. I am a huge Emily Griffin fan. I have loved her for years and I have the hardcovers of most of her novels. When I was offered a free book to review from Goodreads and I saw it was an Emily Griffin novel, I was a happy little clam looking forward to a sick day or a sick weekend or a fake sick weekend where I could climb under my blankies, nibble a Snickers and drink my tea and enjoy my new book. It didn’t quite happen that way and I’m sad for that. Let me explain where this all went wrong.
I received Where We Belong by Emily Griffin in the mail and immediately ripped open the package and zoomed to finish a subpar library novel I was idling through. As I started jumping from chapter to chapter, though, I found that none of the characters appealed to me. Kirby, is an 18-year old girl who has waited to find her adoptive mother, even though her family has taken care of her. Marian is a woman in her mid-30s with all the charms of New York life. After giving up Kirby she went on to write for spectacularly popular television shows. Through the novel, we watch these two women navigate their relationship together, their separate lives and the heartache of those around them as well.
I particularly felt sorrow for background characters in this story. It didn’t seem as if any of them could win. We are supposed to feel sad for Marian because she is conflicted and then treats her partner poorly. This causes trouble between them. We are also supposed to feel bad for her because she never told the birth father about Kirby to allow him to have the American dream, but I see this as being controlling and manipulative. Look, people make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean that when they drown I want to go under with them. I want them to either swim or let me pull them up.
While reading this novel, I felt as if I was slowly watching someone drown with no one to save any of them and I left the novel feeling as if there were plenty of unresolved issues. Generally, when that happens, it is to leave room for a sequel. I’m hoping that doesn’t happen. This story can die gently. This may be my harshest review and I think that is because I truly love Emily Griffin so much. I didn’t find the humor or candid nature in her characters that I look for and I think that I miss them.