Belong to Me

Belong to Me

by Marisa de los Santos


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061838415
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/31/2009
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Marisa de los Santos is a New York Times bestselling author and award-winning poet with a PhD in literature and creative writing. She lives in Wilmington, Delaware, with her family.


Wilmington, Delaware

Date of Birth:

August 12, 1966

Place of Birth:

Baltimore, Maryland


Un. of Virginia, BA in Eng; Sarah Lawrence College, MFA in Poetry; Un. of Houston, Ph.D. in Eng. and Creative Writing

Read an Excerpt

It hit me then: Lake needed a friend, probably more than I ever did. She wasn't desperate (I thought that in her own way, Lake must be as immune to quiet desperation as Toby), but she needed a friend, and her need made her fragile as I'd never imagined she could be. So, with the sudden tenderness tugging on me as a gentle current and because I've required enough second chances myself to be a true believer in them, I took three big steps toward Lake, hugged her, sat her down, and made her talk.

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Belong to Me 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 530 reviews.
bookloverme More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I had not heard of this author but since reading Belong to Me I have purchased her previous writing and have purchased two additional copies of Belong to Me to give as gifts. There are so many books that I read just because I bought them but this was one of those books that you can't wait to get back to. The writing style is so readable and the author is "spot on" in describing life in suburbia today. The dual plots kept me reading late into many nights. Definitely a book for gals - probably not something the guys would enjoy.
Liz_beth More than 1 year ago
Loved Walked in has become one of my favorite books, so I looked forward to reading Belong to Me. I couldn't help but to compare the two books and they are different so it took me a moment to adjust and once I got past that, I enjoyed Belong to me immensely. It had a slower start and build up but the characters turned out to be as rich as the first book, complex and utterly human. The story was beutiful and complicated, and happy and sad and everything rolled into one. You care about the people in the story, they become your friends for the lenght of the book and you laugh and cry when they do. At the back of the book, Marisa gives the slightest hint of someday writing Clare and Dev's story and I can't wait for the day that story comes. Great read!
galkj More than 1 year ago
What a lovely story. In the beginning, I was as uncertain as the main character as to whether I'd like the place or the people. But what a genuine and interesting story. And Marisa de los Santos is a very good writer. The way she wrote Cornelia's character reminds me of the way I talk and think. And how Piper responds is how I'm sure a lot of people respond to me. And having just moved from Claymont, Delaware, I could picture exactly the type of community in which this story is set. And and uplifting.
IrishGeekReader More than 1 year ago
The beginning didn't immediately grab me and pull me in as other books have but progressively got better as I got farther into the book. There are definitely some twists you may not see coming. I enjoyed all of the characters but one...because it is not just one story but segments put together, it can be hard to keep things on track if you only read a little at a time or if you really enjoy a chapter only to start the next one and discover it's about a different character but over all it was good. Not the best literary reading for me but I was satisfied in the end, just wish the whole book was that way.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A lot of hype about the release of this book made me want to read it. I could barely make it to the end. Yawn
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very disappointing. It was a novel of stereotypes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The stories of Cornelia, Piper and Dev intersect in a number of compelling ways, resulting in some good plot developments. Yet, overall, this is a character-driven novel, and it is the inner lives of the three main figures that make it such a page-turner. Cornelia's portions are written in first-person narration while those of Piper and Dev are told in third person. Her shift in perspectives is successful because the tone and pace remain consistent, and each character has a worthwhile and unique point of view. The secondary characters --- Elizabeth, Dev's friends, Teo and Cornelia's brother --- are all given just the right amount of attention, adding to and not distracting from the story. Thankfully, unlike many second novels from authors who have had a successful first book, readers can pick up and enjoy this book without knowing anything about de los Santos or the characters who inhabited her first novel. The joy from the beginning to the end of this story is complete unto itself, without history or explanation. De los Santos's strong characters and lyrical writing engage from the first pages and hold the reader's interest to the end. In the end, "Belong to Me" is a great book because of its solid storytelling. It stands alone with its vulnerability and virtue, and it's likely that readers everywhere are going to be hearing a lot more about Marisa de los Santos. Highly recommend this book.   
Out_on_the_deck More than 1 year ago
I was very excited to read this novel and left it until last of a recent shipment, based on Love Walked In. I could not be more disappointed. Not by the story as a whole; but, the lack of "something" in the story near the end. The story started out very well written from the beginning through the end of the middle, wonderful plot & character development. But the story seemed to go astray from the moment it began addressing the issue of Lake, Teo & Dev. It felt like something BIG went missing and/or wasn't developed appropriately. It was at that moment the novel took a turn that I couldn't take with it. Such a shame. It feels like a great story was rushed to publication.
Narro-quod-eruditio More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be one I was able to pick up and put down. It did not require that one be a scholar in any manner. Our book club had just finished Pillars of The Earth and this selection was chosen to 'wind us down' a bit. While not truly predictable, it was a touching and wonderful feel good story in which heartache, happiness and predictability kept you turning the pages. It was an enjoyable read that I would recommend.
VirtuousWomanKF More than 1 year ago
Although this book is brillantly written, throughout the first 1/3 of the novel I felt as though it was very disjointed; And then BAM!; everything comes together. This is a story of family, maybe by birth but mostly not.  It is a story of lives intertwined; full of sorrow, joy, forgiveness and love.  Great read for yourself or to discuss at book club. 
luv2readWI More than 1 year ago
I normally gravitate to books that have a single protagonist and plot line, but the stories of the different characters in this book were all engaging. The writing style was conversational and yet filled with poetic observations.
Wrighty More than 1 year ago
Cornelia Brown and her husband Mateo have been married for 2 years and have had enough of city life. They find a house in the suburbs in a nice neighborhood. Fitting in does not come easy at first to the very friendly Cornelia. She meets Piper first who lives across the street and is the embodiment of perfection - in her mind. She is rude and has her standards set too high. Not everyone is so hard to get along with and soon they have found friends. It doesn't take long to discover that even in the suburbs people have serious problems of their own - marital difficulties, illnesses, financial issues - can touch anyone. Cornelia and Mateo are good people and good friends and they find ways to help those in need. Funny characters and touching moments. I received this book as a gift and I was thrilled! I heard such good things about it and was happy to find them true. This is a new favorite for me. Loved the cover!
Heather Frechette-Crowl More than 1 year ago
This is one of those rare books that I wished I had never begun to read. Halfway through you've already invested enough time in it that you want to see how it plays out, but in the end it doesn't even make sense. There are one too many story lines taking place and an extremely weak attempt to have them meet in the middle. The author's failed attempt at introducing mystery doesn't even make sense - with an outcome that is more convenient for the writer than plausible. I rarely write reviews, but save yourself the time and money and skip this book!
Cathy28 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the book. I felt the author really developed her characters well. I found myself wanting to jump ahead to see what happens next. She expertly weaves the lives of the four main characters. The story line was engaging. The author truly brings her subjects to life. You feel you definitely know someone like them.The title fits the story well. It was a very touching story about people and their perceptions of others. After reading this I am looking forward to reading more by this author. I would highly recommend it for a good summer read, a book to take to the beach or the mountains.
KerryAnnWI More than 1 year ago
Hard to keep my attention. When I would put it down for more than a day and try to come back, it was hard to figure out what the story line was again, until I was well into the book. The chapters change first person narrative with the characters, but not all of them, just enough to keep you slightly off balance for awhile. Unless you can spend a good chunk of time reading each time you pick it up, I would not recommend lightly.
sara_p More than 1 year ago
Marisa de los Santos writes with a voice that is truly compelling. She puts you in the same place as the characters about which you are reading. I would recommend this book to anyone I meet on the street - it's inspiring and presents a new view on relationships that other authors have tried to convey but haven't quite as successfully as de los Santos. Excellent!
Crowned82 More than 1 year ago
With the last word of Love Walked In beautifully bringing it to a close, I had a sense of fulfillment- I felt at peace with the path Cornelia, Clare & Teo¿s lives would take (I say ¿path¿ singularly, because I knew in my heart that they would be on it together). Marisa de los Santos majestically captures each character¿s susceptibilities, hopes & jubilations. This book has an abundance of quotes from other literary figures but some of the most profound words I read were those of Ms. de los Santos thru her brilliantly real, emotional, relatable characters. While Belong To Me is also about friendship, love & soulmates walking into our lives when they are already in it or when it¿s least expected & sometimes when the timing is so wrong it¿s right, it is also about family (whether bound by blood or circumstance), not fitting in, acceptance, undeniable realizations, the blessing of life not always going as planned, `certain people changing the way time moves¿, `the soul selecting its own society¿ & belonging...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It is the continuation of a story line that began in 'Love Walked In' by the same author. Although this book can easily stand on its own, I think you realize the full flavor of the story if you have read that prior novel. The characters are so very well written. The plot takes a variety of twists and unexpected turns. The emotional impact of life's major events is vividly conveyed. This was a most pleasant and fascinating read.
gmcootie 16 days ago
When I learned that Belong to Me was a continuation of Cornelia Brown’s story from Love Walked In I knew I had to read it, but I wondered if Marisa de los Santos could do it again: could make me feel so full, so satisfied, so in love with her beautiful writing and wonderful characters. Well, she did not disappoint. I would have been happy if Belong to Me was 1,000 pages or went on forever so I would never have to leave this marvelous world the author has created. Old favorite characters were back, new ones introduced. Once again I was surprised by the behavior of some characters and had my faith in others validated. The setting and atmosphere made me feel I was part of the story, and there was just enough uncertainty and surprise in the plot to keep my interest until the very last page. Another very satisfying read from Marisa de los Santos that I highly recommend.
indygo88 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Like its predecessor, "Belong to Me" was a surprisingly pleasant read which explored several complicated topics. I really liked the way de los Santos chose to revisit many of the characters from her previous book, yet chose a completely different story. I love the character of Cornelia, despite the fact that she tends to get rather wordy here & there & has a tendency to try to overanalyze things. But she felt real to me, and I wish I could be her, or at least have her as a friend. I look forward to de los Santo's next book, & hope she chooses again to continue the lives of these characters.
bookappeal on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Cornelia and Teo are back, this time moving from the city to a quieter suburb. Though technically a sequel, you don't have to read Love Walked In first to appreciate this story. The audio narrator doesn't do male voices very well. She's perfect for Cornelia, though. I like de los Santos' stories but her overly descriptive writing style can become annoying. Maybe more so on audio since the reader can't skip past it as easily and the narrator seemed to focus on every, single word. Though sometimes a little over the top, the characters are likable and their interwoven stories are believable enough to be satisfying.
suedutton on LibraryThing 10 months ago
LOVED this book! I love the way the author uses language. Enjoyed every minute of the book. The plot "twists" were predictable, and it was a little sappy, but I know I will read this book again because it was so much fun.
LiterateHousewife on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Cornelia, a died in the wool city girl, moves with her gorgeous, oncologist husband Teo to the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Unfortunately, her prejudices about suburban life become reality almost instantaneously. No sooner had the couple moved in to their new house that nosy, opinionated neighbors, led by Piper, try to ensure that Cornelia and Teo live up to neighborhood expectations. Cornelia was miserable until Lake, a recent transplant from California, moves into the area. Although Lake¿s easy friendship becomes distant as the holidays near, her son Dev quickly becomes a frequent visitor at Cornelia and Teo¿s house. Dev, who has grown up without a father or any extended family feels at home with them and another teenager close to them ¿ Clare. Just as Cornelia¿s life starts to improve, things shake up for Piper and Dev. Soon, all of their lives are impacted as they learn more about themselves and each other. After her move to the suburbs, Cornelia¿s life will never be the same.What made this novel so special to me were the voices of Cornelia, Piper and Dev. They were interesting and distinct individuals. As Cornelia was a first person narrator, I fell in love with her voice first. Her first encounters with Piper had me giggling, but I also quickly felt her pain as Lake started to pull away from her for no apparent reason. Dev is a refreshing adolescent male. He is both extremely smart and highly adaptable. He also wasn¿t a flat, geeky character, either. He easily made friends in the right environment and I enjoyed his take on Clare as their relationship started to bloom. Despite the fact that I instantaneously fell into step with Cornelia and Dev, Piper was the most interesting character in the novel. Her journey from determining and living what was appropriate for all women and learning to be real and to follow her heart was deeply satisfying. Although toward the end of the novel, when Dev and Cornelia¿s worlds are turned upside down, their combined introspection slowed the novel down for me, I admired and enjoyed each of the characters.Marisa de los Santos¿ writing is as fluid and charming as she was when I heard her speak at the National Book Festival this past September. She brings her characters to life and makes them feel real and whole. During her talk there, she mentioned that Belong to Me is the sequel to Love Walked In, but that they were both writtent to be stand alone novels. I haven¿t read Love Walked In yet, but I look forward to finding out more about Cornelia and Clare¿s relationship. Clare is such a wonderful charcter in Belong to Me. I want to know more about her and her family life. Although I won¿t know for certain until I read Love Walked In, I think it will enhance Belong to Me. From what I¿ve read by de los Santos, I believe the opposite will be true as well.Belong to Me, as the title indicates, is about relationships ¿ both biological and chosen. It illustrates so nicely the motto my parents used to have on their license plate frame: Love is a decision. Sometimes love is easy and full of warm emotion, but it is truly love when you decide to care for another person warts and all. It is also a good reminder that if you are not open to others, even when they don¿t make a good first (or second or third) impression. If you shut down your heart, you may be missing out on what that person can add to your life. Belong to Me is both heartwarming and true, making it the perfect novel to read while relaxing on vacation or inside curled up on the couch on a rainy day.
nyiper on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I see there are already tons of reviews on this book and I can only add my delight in the audio version. I absolutely loved this book---and I say that having had tears in my eyes over several parts. The wonderful writing about people's feelings, direct and to the point---we were let inside their heads. And of course the story itself---perfectly told. You could almost see where it was going but I was unable to work out ahead of time just how it would all come out in the end.It really is a perfect description of life---you can just never describe what's coming, no matter how much you think you are putting your dreams into words. Life is full of surprises and this book portrays that fact beautifully.
nycbookgirl on LibraryThing 10 months ago
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.