Monday, August 8, 2022

Book Review : Meant to Be by Emily Giffin

The Kingsley family is practically American royalty, beloved for their military heroics, political service, and unmatched elegance. When Joseph S. Kingsley III is born in 1960, he inherits the weight of that legacy. Growing up with all the Kingsley looks and charisma, Joe should have no problem taking up the mantle after his father’s untimely death. But he is also a little bit reckless, and can’t seem to figure out how to channel the expectations of an entire country.

No one ever expected anything of Cate, on the other hand. She, too, grew up in a single-parent household—just her and her mom scraping by in their small apartment. As a teenager, though, Cate is discovered for her looks. Modeling may be her only ticket out of the cycle of disappointment that her mother has always inhabited. Before too long, her face is everywhere, though she is always aware that she’d be a pariah in her social circles if anyone knew her true story.

When Joe and Cate’s paths cross, their connection is instant. What remains to be seen is whether their relationship will survive the glare of the spotlight that follows Joe everywhere. And just as they find themselves in the make-or-break moment, the tragedy that seems to run in Joe’s family right alongside all that privilege will repeat itself.

In a beautifully written novel that recaptures a gilded moment in American history, Emily Giffin tells a story of a love that may or may not have the power to transcend circumstances that seem arrayed against it... and the difficulty of finding your way to the place you belong


It has been a while since I have picked up an Emily Griffin book. I enjoyed her books Something Borrowed and Something Blue, but then seemed to lose track of her, that is until I was searching Amazon for a new audiobook and come across Meant To Be. I knew nothing about the book going into it, and that it was new and sounded decent, so I jumped in.

The first thing I noticed was that the story seemed to somewhat mirror the relationship of John F Kennedy Jr and Carolyn Bessette. I grew up in a huge Kennedy family, everyone in my family was a fan of all the Kennedy's so naturally, I knew a bit about them. I also was a huge fan of Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, I thought she was elegant, the perfect wife for JFK Jr, who I was also a fan of, and loved reading George every month. Also, as a lover of fashion, I thought Carolyn Bessette had fantastic taste in clothes and loved that she loved Yohji Yamamoto, one of my favorites.

Griffin did a great job keeping me entertained with this story. While Joseph’s family background def mirrored the Kennedys, Cate’s family was nothing like Carolyn’s. She came from a lower-class family with one parent, and that played heavily into the story. I like both of the characters, which isn’t usually the case with me reading a romance. I won’t lie, I think the similarities in the story with the real-life romance, helped me quickly zoom through the book, it was something I really enjoyed and I loved seeing the ways she veered off from real life to make it her own story.

I think if you are a reader of Kennedy books you would really enjoy this, even if you basically know the story, and if you know absolutely nothing about JFKJr and Carolyn Bessette, you will enjoy just a great romance. 

Luckily for Joe and Cate, Emily Griffin gave them a much happier ending than what JFKJr and Carolyn got, and I have always felt, that would have been the way RL would have went for those two.

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