Meant to Be: A Novel by Emily Giffin
Author: Emily Giffin
Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Women's Fiction
No. of Pages: 352
Date of Publication: 31 May, 2022
My Rating: 4 Stars
Okay. I just finished this and I have feelings. Complicated ones. I’m therefore going to step away from this review right now, so I can type this up once I’ve processed.
* * *
My first marriage, which I really wasn’t keen on entering (lonooooog story) took place during the weekend that JFK Jr’s plane went down, and I remember watching the news with the desperate hope that these three young people would be rescued. As the days went on, that hope diminished until the worst was confirmed.
This book while certainly inspired by JFK Jr, and his Carolyn, is also completely its own story. Both main characters here were sympathetic and relatable, even in spite of Joe’s familial fame and fortune. I cared about both of them, separately as well as together. The secondary characters are well fleshed out, despite the relationship between Cate and Joe being the main focus of this novel.
Although I wasn’t able to get this via NetGalley, I was fortunate enough to borrow an ebook via my public library on pub day. I started reading this one immediately, and I read this one pretty non-stop over two days (because I didn’t want to stop) and then returned it for the next person on the waitlist.
I’m glad I read this and I do recommend it.
“I’m a sucker for an iconic, against-all-odds love story, and Meant to Be truly delivers.”—Tia Williams, author of Seven Days in June
The Kingsley family is American royalty, beloved for their military heroics, political service, and unmatched elegance. In 1967, after Joseph S. Kingsley, Jr. is killed in a tragic accident, his charismatic son inherits the weight of that legacy. But Joe III is a free spirit—and a little bit reckless. Despite his best intentions, he has trouble meeting the expectations of a nation, as well as those of his exacting mother, Dottie.
Meanwhile, no one ever expected anything of Cate Cooper. She, too, grew up fatherless—and after her mother marries an abusive man, she is forced to fend for herself. After being discovered by a model scout at age sixteen, Cate decides that her looks may be her only ticket out of the cycle of disappointment that her mother has always inhabited. Before too long, Cate’s face is in magazines and on billboards. Yet she feels like a fraud, faking it in a world to which she’s never truly belonged.
When Joe and Cate unexpectedly cross paths one afternoon, their connection is instant and intense. But can their relationship survive the glare of the spotlight and the so-called Kingsley curse? In a beautifully written novel that captures a gilded moment in American history, Emily Giffin tells the story of two people searching for belonging and identity, as well as the answer to the question: Are certain love stories meant to be?
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