Fantastic Characters: Belong To Me by Marisa de los Santos

Belong To MePublisher: William Morrow 2008

My daughter, Candice, suggested I read this book several years ago, but I put it off. The book stayed on my to-read list until Heather from TLC Book Tours asked if I’d be interested in reading and reviewing the author’s newest book, The Precious One. I said yes and then determined to read Belong To Me first.

I wish I had paid attention to my daughter’s urgings because this book was fantastic. I absolutely loved the characters in this novel. I swear these are real people. They had problems many of us can identify with. I hated to leave them after the last page. Let me give you the gist of the story:

“A devoted city dweller, Cornelia Brown surprised no one more than herself when she was gripped by the sudden, inescapable desire to leave urban life behind and head for an idyllic suburb. Though she knows she and her beloved husband, Teo, have made the right move, she approaches her new life with trepidation and struggles to forge friendships in her new home. Cornelia’s mettle is quickly tested by judgmental neighbor Piper Truitt. Perfectly manicured, impeccably dressed, and possessing impossible standards, Piper is the embodiment of everything Cornelia feared she would find in suburbia. A saving grace soon appears in the form of Lake. Over a shared love of literature and old movies, Cornelia develops an instant bond with this warm yet elusive woman who has also recently arrived in town, ostensibly to send her perceptive and brilliant son, Dev, to a school for the gifted.” — from the publisher

There’s a wonderful cast of characters here, but three of the characters took turns telling their side of the story. First was Cornelia who told her story from the first person. She tells us of desire to make new friends and connect with others. She’d also love to have a baby, but it’s been a problem.

We also see the story from the point of view of Piper, Cornelia’s snooty neighbor. She’s like a few women I’ve known. She expects perfection and wants to control everyone and everything. She manages to intimidate everyone into doing what she wants. But there’s more underneath that crusty exterior and Cornelia manages to see the real Piper.

The third character is Dev, a 13/14 year-old boy I loved. He’s very smart as well as intuitive when it comes to people. His single mom, Lake, has just moved them to town because of a special school for gifted kids. Life is so much better for Dev now as he makes some good friends and is treated respectfully by his teachers. I particularly liked Dev’s internal voice. His mind wanders around all sides of an issue with the exception of one emotional issue that occurs near the end of the book.

When Dev’s mom, Lake, hooks up with Cornelia, the whole interconnection of all the characters begins. One of the best things about these people is their intelligence. They’re well read, witty, understanding, and X. These people really touched my emotions. I cried and laughed and shook my head and sometimes my finger – at Piper.

These characters are a credit to this amazing author. Marisa de los Santos has now become one of my must-read authors. I never should have put off reading her books. I’m going to go full-speed ahead to read the rest of what she has written. I think you too should read at least Belong To Me.

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2 Responses to Fantastic Characters: Belong To Me by Marisa de los Santos

  1. I’ve read Love Times Three by de los Santos and loved it. I’ve got this one and need to get to it.

  2. candice says:

    I remember loving this book and I’m so glad you read it! She has another book that tells the pre-story of Cornelia and Teo, its called Love Walked In. Great review, perhaps i should revisit this great read. I have such vivid memories of the world she created.

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