After reading Emily Giffin’s first book, Something Borrowed, I knew that I would someday read another of her works. It was my lucky day when the Books, Babes, and Bordeaux book club picked this little gem for their October read. I knew that this book would be light but meaningful, and the buzz on the blogs was pretty positive. I chose to read this one in one sitting during Dewey’s Readathon, and even though it was the only thing I got finished with for the day, I was truly happy to just sit like a sponge and absorb this charming story, which was a little predictable at times but fun nonetheless.
Marian is living large, but her dreams aren't being fully realized because her handsome beau won’t commit to her at this stage in the game, and it’s been a long game. She’s happy but could be happier, and doesn’t expect to find her long lost daughter knocking at her door on one of the worst nights she’s had in awhile. When Marian realizes who this stranger is, she’s both shocked and a little giddy, but she just can’t let Kirby get past her protective walls, and because of this, the reunion is somewhat painful for both mother and child. Marian does her best to include Kirby in everything, including her job, but she won’t open her heart, and the unanswered questions about Kirby’s father seem to float just above their heads like silent dialogue bubbles.
I loved Kirby so much. She was marching to the beat of her own drummer, literally, and she wasn’t afraid of the next step, be that what it may. Kirby was a girl child alone. Though she had met Marian and was impressed by her, there was more about her that she needed to discover. Her adoptive parents were not happy about Kirby meeting Marian because she was “theirs,” but they never treated her like she was. They never just let Kirby be Kirby, and they pressured her about her plans for the future when all she wanted to do was discover herself and her birth parents. I loved her spunk and her grace, and the more she discovered about how she became who she was, the more her heart opens to accept all of her parents, birth and adoptive.
There’s a lot that I’m not saying about this story because it’s better for readers to find out for themselves, but it’s safe to say that there’s a lot of turmoil in Marian’s life, and a lot of it revolves around Kirby’s birth father. In her typical style, Giffin seamlessly blends emotion and pragmatism in her characters, and though some of it was predictable, it was an engaging and powerfully built tale. Nobody comes out of this tale untouched by the reunion of Kirby and Marian. Simple and clean, while also being messy and complicated, Giffin gives this story her all and tells it beautifully, right down to the final sentence.
I’m now convinced that I need to read all of Giffin’s books, as her take on life and its complexities is not only engrossing, but full of laughter, love and above all, heartfelt emotion. Those who haven’t tried Giffin yet are in for a happy surprise if they pick up this book. Though it’s light reading, it still feels weighty enough to be striking. It was just what I needed at this point in my reading life, and I’m sure there are others out there who would agree that Giffin is a talented author who gently cradles both her readers and her characters. Recommended!