Where We Belong Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Where We Belong

Where we belong is a book written by Emily Giffin wherein a woman gave up her child for adoption 18 years ago and the story depicts her journey through the lies that consumed her for years. Marian is a television producer who gave up her child 18 years ago as she was 18-year-old and could not picture herself being a young mother. Marian now has a successful career and a boyfriend - Peter - and the child, who is now 18-year-old herself - Kirby Rose - shows up one day on her doorstep. Marian cannot comprehend why Kirby is there as nobody, except for her own mother, knew of her young pregnancy. To this day, Marian had kept the secret and even Peter has no idea about Kirby. Kirby tells Marian that her adopting parents admitted to adopting her and so Kirby started searching for her biological mother.
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Kirby is lost, has no interest in school and feels alone and rejected as Marian isn't ready to handle Kirby's reappearance in her life. Nevertheless, not willing to give up on a relationship with her biological parents, Kirby attempts to get closer to Marian - which she succeeds in achieving, slowly but surely. However, Marian refuses to discuss Kirby's father as she still suffers from no longer being with him - he was the love of her life - and because the reason they are no longer together is because Marian wasn't ready to give up on her dreams; she broke up with Conrad, and so he doesn't know of Kirby's existence. Marian begins to open up even more and spend more time with Kirby. Marian shares her memories of her as a teenager and that she did not give up Kirby because she did not love her but because she could not have taken care of her. Marian comes clean to both her daughter and to Conrad and tells them the truth. She tells Conrad of Kirby's existence. Conrad, even though he still has love for Marian, is furious and refuses to forgive her. Kirby then learns of her dad, meets him and they develop a relationship.

Kirby begins to regain confidence both in herself but also in these newfound relationships. She finally finds meaning in her life and Marian realizes that deep down she has truly missed Kirby and that is why she has felt incomplete all these years. Marian decides to forgive herself, to stop lying to everyone she loves and to accept Kirby's presence in her life. Now having let pure feelings come into her being and having reexamined her life, she decides to end things with Peter whom she feels she doesn't love enough. Conrad also forgives Marian and while they both acknowledge the love they once shared might still be there, they do not end up together but Kirby has nevertheless found a new “family”. Throughout the book, Marian and Kirby build a relationship, step by step, and Marian opens up more and more to this child of hers who wants nothing more than to reunite with the mother she never knew, so as to finally find her purpose in this world.
Best part of story, including ending: I love this story as this is a story of reunion of a child with her biological parents, and of one's growing process and decision to come clean and stop lying to everyone, and to herself.

Best scene in story: I love this story as this is a story of reunion of a child with her biological parents, and of one's growing process and decision to come clean and stop lying to everyone, including herself.

Opinion about the main character: She takes time to reflect on her actions and takes responsibility for them, even 18 years later.

The review of this Book prepared by Mary G. a Level 4 Yellow-Headed Blackbird scholar

Chapter Analysis of Where We Belong

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   very sensitive (sigh) Time/era of story    -   2000+ (Present Day) Family, loving relations    -   Yes Special relationship with    -   mother Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   search for family/history Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   actor/actress/producer Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


United States    -   Yes

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Emily Giffin Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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