I was picking up a book or two at the little library by my work when I noticed their book sale cart. Unlike the Mid-Manhattan branch, most of these books are pulled from the shelves which is kind of cool. One of these was Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos. I remember hearing about this book and author and I thought I'd give it a try. I actually really liked the book! I recently had a huge test for my graduate degree so this book was a great reprieve from all the work.
The whole story revolves around a group of neighbors in suburbia. Cornelia Brown, married just a couple of years, has just made the recent transition from city dweller to urban living. She and her husband want to settle down in a nice place to start raising a family.
Her next door neighbor, Piper Truitt, is exactly the type of person Cornelia was worried about meeting. She critiques everything from Cornelia's clothing to her lawn care. Cornelia also makes friends with a local waitress named Lake and her son Dev, a brilliant and gifted kid.
On the surface, what's so special about the story? Well, the way Marisa de los Santos writes about the interactions between the characters is amazing. I fell in love with Dev and his story. Piper, amazingly, became one of the more interesting and dynamic characters who's evolution in the story was heart-wrenching and great at the same time. All the characters are going through their own trials and problems:
--Dev is trying to figure out why Lake moved them to this small town and if it has anything to do with his father whom he's never met.
--Corniela is trying to start a family and settle in a new town and find her place.
--Piper is dealing with fact that her best friend is facing life threatning cancer.
I just really fell for all the characters. And I just realized that it's the second book from Cornelia's perspective. The first book is Love Walked In, but you can read Belong to Me as a stand alone. Although, now that I got to know the characters, I sort of want to check out the first one.