Where You Belong

( 12 )

Overview

With all the glamour, drama, and passion that have made Barbara Taylor Bradford an international favorite, Where You Belong is the captivating story of a beautiful young woman making her way through a world filled with the dangers of war.

A talented young American photographer, Valentine Denning leaves behind the comforts of her home in Paris to record the war in Kosovo from the front lines. Drawn together by the perils of war photojournalism, Val and one of her colleagues, the ...

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Where You Belong

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Overview

With all the glamour, drama, and passion that have made Barbara Taylor Bradford an international favorite, Where You Belong is the captivating story of a beautiful young woman making her way through a world filled with the dangers of war.

A talented young American photographer, Valentine Denning leaves behind the comforts of her home in Paris to record the war in Kosovo from the front lines. Drawn together by the perils of war photojournalism, Val and one of her colleagues, the British Tony Hampton, find themselves in the throes of a romance that is tragically cut short when Val, Tony, and their American colleague Jake Newberg are caught in a nightmarish ambush. When Val wakes up in a Belgrade hospital, she learns that Tony has died.

Later, when she and Jake attend Tony's memorial service in London, Val's memories of Tony are gravely shaken by the realization that throughout their relationship he had lied, telling her that he was divorced. Reeling from his death and betrayal, Val and Jake return home to Paris, where they recover from their wounds and try to make sense of Tony's lies to both of them. As they begin to build a relationship and leave the events of the war behind them, Jake confesses his longtime love for her.

But for Val, peace with herself is elusive, as she tries to reconcile her love of photography with the perils of her career, not to mention the claims on her heart. The desire for a fresh new beginning leads her to trade the grueling world of war photojournalism for a glamorous position as a photographer of celebrities--which lands her in Mexico, snapping the dashing Alexander St. Just Stevens (born Bill Smith in Leeds, England), an artist of international renown whose reputation as a playboy doesn't steel him against a powerful attraction to Val. Finding a new mode of photojournalism--and a new admirer--still can't ease her sense of searching for something, a sense that will lead her to retrace paths she thought were left behind.

Where You Belong
is a moving story about a young woman's realization of her own inner strength and her ability to find her way to where she belongs in life...in love...and within herself.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Lively...suspenseful."
-- Publishers Weekly

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Injecting her new novel with timeliness, bestselling Bradford (A Sudden Change of Heart) makes her setting war-zone Kosovo, where gorgeous and talented photojournalist Valentine Denning is covering the action with two equally gorgeous men: American Jake Newberg and Val's lover, Brit Tony Hampton. All three are caught in an ambush on the ground, and Tony dies. Val doesn't even have time to grieve for her boyfriend before she discovers Tony lied to her: he was already married. Attempting to cheer Val, Jake takes her to a beautiful villa in Cap-Ferrat, and predictably, the heroine decides that he is really the one for her. The world intrudes on their idyll when they help Françoise, the caretakers' daughter, to escape from her abusive husband. Meanwhile, Val is pestered by calls from Donald, the younger brother she resents because their mother lavished attention on him while ignoring her. Jake and Val jet back to New York, excited about a book project they've thought up, and knowing that Val has to face her family demons. There, Val is devastated when her mother finally reveals the secret of her lack of maternal feeling, and they tangle over who will take over the family cosmetics company. Val and Jake are separated when he goes back to Kosovo, but handsome artist Alexander St. Just Stevens adds intrigue to Val's lonely life. Despite a lively story line and a suspenseful buildup to various revelations, the narrative is formulaic and predictable; each new development is obvious. While this novel will probably satisfy Bradford's more loyal fans, it may not generate excitement for new readers. (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440235156
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/28/2000
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 1,079,593
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Taylor Bradford was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, and was a reporter for the Yorkshire Evening Post at sixteen. By the age of twenty, she had become both an editor and columnist on London's Fleet Street. In 1979, she wrote her first novel, A Woman of Substance, and that enduring bestseller was followed by fourteen others. Most recently, she is the author of the bestselling A Sudden Change of Heart, which marked her return to Doubleday, her original publisher. Her novels have sold more than fifty-nine million copies in thirty-nine languages worldwide. She lives in New York City with her husband, producer Robert Bradford. Visit her Web site at www.barbarataylorbradford.com.

Biography

Barbara Taylor Bradford was born and raised in Yorkshire, England. A voracious reader since childhood, she took her first job at the age of 15 with the Yorkshire Evening Post and by the age of 18 was the newspaper's women's page editor. Two years later, she headed for London and became a reporter for the London Evening News, Today Magazine, and other publications.

After meeting her husband-to-be, Robert Bradford, in 1961, she relocated to the United States. Continuing in journalism, Barbara created the syndicated column "Designing Woman," which ran nationwide for 12 years. Children's books and 8 works on decorating followed.

In 1979, Bradford published her first novel, A Woman of Substance, introducing the Emma Harte saga and beginning an almost uninterrupted string of bestsellers. Her work has been published in more than 90 countries in 40 languages, and total sales of her books now surpass 75 million.

Barbara now lives and writes in New York City with her husband, Robert. In addition to her work as a writer, she is active in a number of major charitable organizations, including the Police Athletic League, Girls Inc., City-Meals-on-Wheels, and the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation.

Good To Know

Queen Elizabeth bestowed the Order of the British Empire on Barbara in October, 2007. The news was announced on the author's website with the following headline: "BTB Gets Her OBE from QEII."

Some interesting outtakes from our interview with Bradford:

"All 20 of my original manuscripts are stored by the prestigious Brotherton Library at Leeds University in England, next to the works of the Brontë sisters."

"My first job was working as a typist for the Yorkshire Evening Post at the age of 15."

"When I'm not writing, (which isn't often) I love to read. Biographies are my favorite genre, though I do like to read fiction to see what others are putting out on the market. Authors whose books I always make time for are Patricia Cornwell, Mary Higgins Clark, and Bernard Cornwell."

"I love to travel whenever possible. Paris is my favorite city to visit, though some of my favorite holidays are spent back in England."

"My husband, Bob, has a vote for the Academy Awards, so I get to see a lot of movie screenings."

"I'm involved in a number of charity organizations on both sides of the Atlantic. From the Police Athletic League and the Literary Guild in America to PACT (Parents and Children Together Again) in the U.K., I devote a fair amount of time to these causes. And as an advocate for world literacy, I am a member of the Madison Council to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C."

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      Christ Church Elementary School and Northcote Private School for Girls in Yorkshire, England
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Kosovo, August 1998

The three of us sat in a small copse situated at the far end of the village, taking shelter from the blistering heat. It was bosky and cool on this scorching summer's day.

The jeep was parked out on the road nearby, and I peered toward it, frowning slightly, wondering what had happened to Ajet, our adviser, guide, and driver. He had gone on foot to the village, having several days before arranged to meet an old school friend there, who in turn would take us to see the leaders of the K.L.A. According to Ajet, the Kosovo Liberation Army had their main training camp in the vicinity of the village, and Ajet had assured us in Pec, and then again on the drive here, that the leaders would be in the camp, and that they would be more than willing to have their photographs taken for transmission to newspapers and magazines around the world. "Everyone should know the truth, should know about our cause, our just and rightful cause," Ajet had said to us time and again.

When he had left the copse ages ago, he had been smiling cheerfully, happy at the idea of meeting his old friend, and I had watched him step out jauntily as he walked down the dusty road in a determined and purposeful manner. But that had been over three hours ago, and he had still not returned, and this disturbed me. I could not help wondering if something unforeseen, something bad, had happened to the friendly young Kosovar who had been so helpful to us.

I rose and walked through the trees, shading my eyes with my hand and looking down the dirt road. There was no sign of Ajet, and, in fact, there was very little activity at all. But I waited for a short while longer, hoping he would appear at any moment.

My name is Valentine Denning, and I'm a New Yorker born and bred, but now I base myself in Paris, where I work as a photojournalist for Gemstar, a well-known international news-photo agency. With the exception of my grandfather, no one in my family ever thought I would become a photojournalist. When I was a child, Grandfather had spotted my desire to record everything I saw and bought me my first camera. My parents never paid much attention to me, and what I would do when I grew up never seemed to cross their minds. My brother Donald, to whom I was much closer in those days and tended to bully since he was younger, was forever after me to become a model, a job that held no attraction for me whatsoever. Donald kept pointing out that I was tall and slim, with long legs and an athletic build, as if I didn't know my own body. I know I'm not pretty enough, but at least I don't look too bad in the pictures Jake and Tony have taken of me. But I'm not much into clothes; I like T-shirts, khaki pants, white cotton shirts, and bush jackets, workmanlike clothes that are perfect for the life I lead.

I'm thirty-one years old, constantly traveling, living out of a suitcase, and then there are the crazy hours, the lack of comfort, even of the most basic of amenities, when I'm on the front lines covering wars and other disasters, not to mention the danger I often find myself facing. But I prefer this life to walking down a catwalk, showing off Paris couture.

Turning away from the road at last, I went back through the trees to rejoin Jake Newberg and Tony Hampton, comrades-in-arms, as Tony calls us. I think of these two men as my family; we've worked together for several years now and we're inseparable. Jake is my best friend, and Tony has graduated from best friend to lover in the past year. The three of us go everywhere together, and we always make sure we are on the same assignments for our news-photo agencies.

I gazed at Tony surreptitiously for a moment, thinking how fit and healthy he looked as he sat on part of a felled tree trunk, loading two of his cameras with rolls of new film. Tony, who is British, is ten years older than me. Stocky and muscular, he inherited his mother's Black Irish good looks, and he is a handsome and charismatic man. But it's his masculinity, his potent sexuality, that women find most appealing, even overwhelming, and certainly irresistible, as I have discovered.

Considered to be one of the world's great war photographers, of the same ilk as the late Robert Capa, he is something of a risk taker when it comes to getting his pictures. This does not unduly worry me, although I know it gives Jake Newberg cause for concern; he has discussed it with me frequently of late.

I eyed Jake, sitting on the grass with his back to a tree, looking nonchalant as he made notes in the small blue leather notebook he always carries with him. Jake is also an American, "a Jew from Georgia" is the way he likes to describe himself. At thirty-eight, he is also one of the top war photographers, a prizewinner like Tony. I've won many awards myself but I've never attempted to put myself in their league, although Tony and Jake say I belong there, that I'm just as good as they are.

Jake is tall, lean, with a physical toughness about him that makes him seem indestructible; anyway, that is the way I view him. He's an attractive man with an expressive face, blondish curly hair, and the most vivid blue eyes I've ever seen. Yet despite his puckishness and the mischievous twinkle that often glints in those eyes, I long ago discovered that Jake is the most compassionate of men. And I've come to appreciate his understanding of the complexities of the human heart and the human frailties we are all afflicted with.

Tony glanced up as he became aware of me hovering over him. "What is it?" he asked, frowning slightly. "Is something wrong?"

"I hope Ajet's all right, Tony, he's been gone--"

"I'm sure he is," Tony cut in quickly with a certain firmness, and then he gave me a reassuring smile. "It's very quiet, peaceful out there, isn't it?"

I nodded. "There's hardly any sign of life."

"Doesn't surprise me. I think the village is probably half deserted by now. It's more than likely that a lot of locals have already left, are moving south ahead of the Serbian army, crossing the border into Albania as fast as they can."

"You're probably right." I sat down on the grass and fell silent, ruminating.

Jake glanced at me and then pinned his eyes thoughtfully on Tony. He said in a brisk tone, "Let's abandon this shoot, get the hell out of here, Tony. I've suddenly got a bad feeling."

"But we won't get this chance again," I felt bound to point out, sitting up straighter, staring at Jake.

Before either man could address my comment, Ajet suddenly reappeared. He came wandering in from the road looking as if he had no cares in the world. Not only did he seem unperturbed, he actually looked pleased with himself, almost smug.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2
( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2002

    Very dissapointing

    I would have given it half a star, but it wasn't an option. I was very dissapointed by this novel, having read and enjoyed other books by this author. It seems like someone else wrote it for her, it was dull and poorly written.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2001

    A waste of time

    This was a bad book--even worse because I know the author can and does better. It was poorly written, contrived, and trite. I had the impression that she was required to submit a novel and was too busy, so someone else did it instead. It has one star so it is clear that I did rate it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2001

    Don't Waste Your $$$ On THIS

    It is extremely slow...without too much of the point. It only describes the main character and become very one-sided without taking other characters into the whole stories....very boring set up anyway without having any ending....can't really tell what's the point of the whole story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2001

    Just OK

    This was the first novel I had ever read by Barbara Taylor Bradford and I was disappointed. 'Where You Belong' was full of all of this detail but detail I felt never led anywhere. I kept reading, anticipating that this story was eventually going to reach some unexpected climax but It never did. I have worked in book stores and have seen Barbara Taylor Bradford's books sell like hot cakes but if they are anything like this I can't figure out why.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2000

    Pretty good, and better than some touting higher ratings.

    I very much enjoy human interest story with a strong relationship angle and I think 'Where You Belong' is a good, timely book but it seemed to be lacking the zip I have found in Ms. Bradfords novels. It still is a well fleshed out story and is fulfilling.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2000

    A RAMBLING AND EXCESSIVELY DETAILED NARRATIVE

    I HAVE READ EVERY ONE OF BARBARA TAYLOR BRADFORD'S BOOKS AND WAS ALWAYS TOTALLY EN- GROSSED BY THEM. THIS BOOK WAS A COMPLETE DISAPPOINTMENT. I JUST ABOUT SKIPPED OVER THE LAST TEN CHAPTERS AND JUST READ ON TO GET TO THE ENDING.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2000

    Not her best work!

    Ms. Bradford seems to be playing on her success with previous novels, all of which I have enjoyed immensely. This one did not hold my interest. The ending was evident after only a couple of chapters. Ms. Bradford, please give us another Woman of Substance.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2000

    AN OK BOOK

    I REALLY FOUND IT HARD TO UNDERSTAND HOW THIS BOOK HAD SUCH A HIGH SALES RATING. I READ IT TWICE TO SEE IF I MISSED SOMETHING THE FIRST TIME, BOTH TIMES I HAD A HARD TIME KEEPING MY MIND ON THE STORY LINE. I AM SURE SOMEONE MUST THINK A LOT OF IT, SO MAYBE IT IS JUST NOT MY 'CUP OF TEA.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2000

    Say it ain't so, Barbara Taylor Bradford

    After waiting for so long for this new book, it was a very disappointing weekend, novelwise. Cannot believe that the author who memorialized Emma Harte and her family is content to present to her readers such shallow and uninteresting characters. To ask us to embrace these people and not give us a reason to care about them is one of the main problems I encountered. Disappointment prevailed throughout this new novel. Surely this author is most capable of delivering a more satisfying read, and more interesesting personalities.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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