September 30, 2010

Reading "Belong to Me"

"Belong to Me" is the story of Cornelia Brown and her husband, Mateo Sandoval, who have recently moved to suburban Philadelphia from NYC after 9/11. While Cornelia seems to yearn to fit in with the neighborhood ladies and others she meets, she can't seem to conform. Her relationship with her uptight neighbor across the street, Piper Truitt, gets off to a rocky start and Cornelia is desperate for a friend she can be herself with when she meets Lake Tremain. Lake has moved to town to provide her gifted 14-year-old son, Deveroux, with the education he deserves.

As everyone's paths cross and intertwine, relationships are forged and broken, illnesses are fought, marriages are in crisis, babies are lost and babies are conceived, biological fathers are searched for, sneaky ulterior motives become public knowledge and stunning secrets are revealed. This book had me turning page after page as quickly as I could. The growing friendships were portrayed with real love right alongside catty comments and betrayals. So creative and well-written. Here are a few excerpts ...


     After an almost imperceptible lift of an eyebrow, Lake strode over to Piper's table, smiled warmly at the two women, and said, "Hello, I'm Lake and I'll be your server today."
     "Lake," said Piper, flapping her lashes. "Now that's a different name."
     Lake swept her gaze around the restaurant, as though to make sure no one was listening. Then, in a loud, conspiratorial whisper, she replied, "Actually, it's my middle name. My first name is ridiculous. Just god-awful. I don't know what my parents were thinking."
     "Oh, tell us what it is!" burbled Kate.
     "Yes, do." Piper made it sound like a command.
     Lake didn't pause to blink or swallow; the words slipped off her tongue as innocently as you please. "Piper," she said, "can you imagine?" If Kate's gasp hadn't been so loud, my gasp would have echoed through the restaurant like thunder. Lake handed Piper the wine list. "Piper. Like 'Viper' with a P."


     He and Clare started walking toward the bus stop, their shadows stretching out ahead of them. Dev watched the girl shadow take the boy shadow's hand, and he realized that the homesick feeing had disappeared. In its place was a new feeling, too new to have a name.
     "How cool would that have been, though?" He shot Clare a sidelong happy grin. "A dad with a bike shop?"
     Clare laughed her jingle-bell laugh, and Dev realized that what he felt was young. He'd been young all his life, of course he had. But now he was aware of it. Every cell, every electron of his body felt young: unencumbered, uncluttered, as clean as the clear blue sky.


     The streetlight sifting through the living room curtains carved shadows into my husband's face, painted his goldenness over in grays and whites, and the stillness of him shot me through with icy fear. Teo looked dead. I wanted to fall on him like rain, wash away every unkindness, everything from the last fifty-six hours that hadn't looked like love. Softly, I kissed his neck, his temples, the center of his chest, the palms of his hands.
     "Wake up," I whispered, "Teo, wake up."
     "You're here?" His voice was hoarse in the dark and only half awake.
     "You're not allowed to think I'd leave you. You hear me? Or that I wouldn't have married you if I had known. I'm sorry. I love you so much, and still, I made you feel that way."
     "Cor." He ran his fingers over my face. "I'm sorry, too. I missed you."
     "I left you alone with everything. But I won't do that anymore. I promise."
     For a little while, we became nothing but being together. Hands and breath. Gravity and weightlessness. Murmuring and mouths and skin.


It wasn't until I finished reading this wonderful book that I found out it was a second novel. The first, "Love Walked In," actually precedes this one in story. So I'm going to read them out of order, but I'm definitely going to read them! I really enjoyed the voice of author Marisa de los Santos in "Belong to Me," and highly recommend it.


Debby@Just Breathe said...

Thank you for the review, it sounds like a great read.

Elizabeth @ Southern Comfort said...

I may just have to pick up a copy. I've been looking for something worth-while to read. Thanks for the review!

Loren said...

sounds like a really good one!! Thanks for sharing :)
Happy Reading!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE to read and this one sounds like a great one! Thank you for sharing about it. :)

Fresh Mommy said...

Ohhh, fun, looks like a great read. And what a good review! :) I love how you shared excerpts, they drew me right in.


Bodaciousboomer said...

Thanks for the review. Sounds very interesting.

Flying Giggles and Lollipops said...

I heard great things about Love Walked In. I have been wanting to read it! I did not know that Cornelia Brown had this book as well.

Baby Sister said...

Oohh!! That sounds good!! I'll have to read it now. :)

lisaschaos said...

Love the cover and yep that would be enough to get me to buy it, lol. you have intrigued me. I bought a book a couple of weeks and started to read it and discovered it was a second book, so I have put it aside and am having fun looking for the first one. :)

Alexis AKA MOM said...

Sounds like a great book, I love when you can pick up a book read it threw then find out it was in a serious. Sometimes writers make it difficult when they reference the previous book.