Belong To Me by Maria de los Santos
I’m usually sort of wary of books that seem like they would fall into the genres of chick lit, or even women’s fiction. I’ve become a little more amenable to the idea lately, and have even requested a list from Swapna of Skrishna’s Books of some smart women’s fiction that might make for some lighter reading when the baby comes. I was pleased to see that one of the books she recommended to me was “Belong to Me,” which I had already accepted for review from the publisher. That made me feel good about the possibility I would like “Belong to Me” and, after having read “Belong to Me,” I’m extremely confident about the other books on the list she gave me, because I LOVED “Belong to Me.”
Cornelia and her husband Teo have recently uprooted thir urban selves to move to the suburbs of Philadelphia. Originally feeling on the outs with the other women in the neighborhood, particularly the fairly snotty Piper, Cordelia makes friends with Lake, a waitress with a brilliant, loveable 13 year old son named Dev. Throughout the book, all of their lives become increasingly intertwined, with Cordelia and Piper moving from hostility to accord to friendship as Piper deals with the terminal illness of her best friend Elizabeth.
I loved basically everything about “Belong to Me.” It is a little on the sweet side, being what I would consider women’s fiction. However, the writing is easily of the caliber of good literary fiction. The characters were fantastically written and flawed. I really, really wanted to hate Piper, but de los Santos just wouldn’t let me view her as a one-dimensional villian. Basically I was just totally enthralled by the characters, the story, and the writing. I had quite the ‘aha!’ moment when I read the back of the book and realized that de los Santos is an award-winning poet and holds a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing. Suddenly I understood why everything was so smart and well put together.
If you are looking for women’s fiction that has large cross-over potentional, a story that is enthralling and feels real with fantastic writing, I would definitely recommend “Belong to Me.”
I have three copies of “Belong to Me” to giveaway. Because HarperCollins is sending these out, this giveaway will be US-only. Sorry international readers. To enter, leave a relevant comment on this post. It should include “please enter me” or something of that nature, but if that is all that is in the comment, you will be disqualified. Blog or Twitter about this contest for extra entries. You must leave an additional comment for each additional entry and you must leave the URL for your tweet or blog post or additional entries will not be counted.
This contest will close Friday, June 12th. Winners will be notified and addresses will be sent to the publisher who will send out your books.