Emily Giffin’s ‘Where We Belong’: When the past comes knocking on your door
When it is OK to keep a secret from the people closest to you? In her latest novel, “Where We Belong,” Emily Giffin explores what happens when deep secrets are ultimately revealed.
Just as in her previous novels “Something Borrowed” and “Baby Proof,” Giffin’s latest focuses on a relationships in a trying time. In this case, it’s the story of Marian Caldwell, a successful television producer living in New York who is forced to face her past when 18-year-old Kirby Rose shows up at her doorstep. We spoke to Giffin about her strong female characters and her feelings about chick lit.
This is your only novel that is told from the perspective of a teenager. Did this present a challenge for you while writing?
It was difficult at first to find Kirby’s voice, but once I did, it was really quite easy for me to tell her story. In some ways, I could relate to her more than the adults in the book. She was my favorite character.
I recently read an interview in which you said you’ve never liked being classified under the term “chick lit.” How would you describe your work instead?
It’s not that I don’t like the moniker — and I’m in favor of any label that encourages people to read or helps them find the kind of books they will enjoy. It’s just that I don’t think it’s entirely accurate, especially for my last few novels. There is nothing about “Heart of the Matter” or “Where We Belong” that conjures chick lit. They are more straight women’s fiction — books about exploring relationships and complicated emotional terrain — and frankly I think men would really enjoy them if they can get beyond the pretty covers. I am very fair to my male characters and try to make them as realistic as my female characters. And there is no man-bashing in my books.
What’s next for you?
I’m gearing up for my book launch and tour that begins on July 24. It’s one of the things I love about my career. There are whole months and zones of almost solitary confinement when I’m writing. Then I get to emerge and work with my publicity team, interact with the media and, most important, meet my readers. When the dust settles in early September, I will begin my next novel. I’m also in talks to turn “Where We Belong” into a television show. I just hope they find someone really hot to play Conrad. I’m sort of obsessed with him!
If you go
Tuesday, July 24 7 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Upper East Side
150 E. 86th St.
Wednesday, July 25
Bryant Park Reading Series hosted by Katie Lee
1065 Sixth Ave.
Thursday, July 26, 7 p.m.
313 New York Ave.
Huntington, Long Island