“Belong to Me” by Marisa de los Santos
“Sometimes, happiness feels so fragile…So, what do we do about it?…Live. Forget that it’s fragile. Live like it isn’t” ― Marisa de los Santos, Belong to Me
“Belong to Me” is Marisa de los Santos’ second novel, and it captures the attention of the reader from the very first page. Although it is a sequel to her New York Times Bestseller “Love Walked In,” you do not necessarily need to read that one in order to appreciate this novel. The chapters are written from the perspective of three varying characters: Cornelia, Dev, and Piper. The tales of these characters’ lives and how they all tangle together make it an instant page-turner.
Cornelia Brown, the main character, had just gotten married to the love of her life, Teo, and hesitantly moved away from the city life that she has grown to know and love in order to settle down in the suburbs. As she starts this new chapter of her life, she meets her new neighbor, Piper. Right off the bat, Cornelia deems her to be a stereotypical, wealthy and shallow suburban housewife. As the plot progresses, Piper’s best friend, Elizabeth, is diagnosed with cancer, and she puts her perfect life on hold in order to care for her friend. This is a huge turning point in Piper’s life because she realizes that things are not always perfect and, therefore, tries to live a more genuine lifestyle.
In the meantime, Cornelia has met a woman that she can actually relate to, Lake. The two share a love for classic movies and literature and a distaste for Piper (who Lake has nicknamed “Viper”); it is the type of friendship in which they feel they have known each other forever. However, what Cornelia does not know is that Lake is hiding a very big secret. Lake’s son, Dev, is a child genius, and he actually becomes the first boyfriend of Cornelia’s pseudo-daughter, Clare.
Friendships grow; lies are told, and secrets come out, but the main theme of the novel is how the love we have for some people is so strong that they simply just “belong to us”. This book is rated 5 out of 5.