Meant To Be
By: Emily Giffin
Publisher: Ballantine Book
Publication Date: 05/31/2021
Narrators: Caroline Hewitt and Robert Petkoff
My Rating: 5 Stars
A restless golden boy and a girl with a troubled past navigate a love story that may be doomed before it even begins in this irresistible new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Something Borrowed and The Lies That Bind.
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.
“Meant To Be is the most golden, heart-crunching, epic love story, which swept me away into another time and another world.”
“A dependably down-to-earth, girlfriendly storyteller.”
—The New York Times
“[A] modern-day Jane Austen.”
“Giffin’s writing is true, smart, and heartfelt.”
“Giffin [has a] trademark ability to capture the complexities of human emotions while telling a rip-roaring tale.”
—The Washington Post
“Giffin is a worldwide bestselling author because she gets under your skin—by creating relatable characters wrestling within believable situations.”
—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“If you’ve never read Emily Giffin, Meant to Be is the perfect place to start. This glorious, satisfying novel from the master storyteller of contemporary fiction is impossible to put down. It’s Giffin’s best novel yet—and they are all exceptional.”
—Adriana Trigiani, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Left Undone
“Meant to Be elegantly captures love in all its passionate, messy, wonderful glory. Emily Giffin’s writing is addictive—from the first page to the final line. This warm hug of a book is the perfect literary escape.”
—Jill Santopolo, New York Times bestselling author of Everything After
“I’m a sucker for an iconic, against-all-odds love story, and Meant to Be truly delivers. This fun, addictive read is a must for anyone enchanted by family dynasties, the private lives of the rich and famous, and soul connections that cannot be denied.”
—Tia Williams, New York Times bestselling author of Seven Days in June
“Giffin’s latest charts the course of true love between an American aristocrat and a troubled fashionista. . . . An intriguing meditation on the meaning of 'meant to be.’”
About the Author
Photo Credit Emmanuelle Choussy
Emily Giffin, a Chicago native, graduated summa cum laude from Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law. After law school, she moved to Manhattan and practiced litigation at a large firm for several years while she paid back her school loans, wrote a novel in her very limited spare time, and dreamed of becoming a writer.
Despite the rejection of her first manuscript, Giffin persisted, retiring from the legal profession and moving to London to pursue her dreams full time. It was there that she began writing Something Borrowed (2004), a story of a young woman who, upon turning thirty, finally learned to take a risk and follow her heart. One year later, Giffin’s own gamble paid off, as she completed her manuscript, landed an agent and signed a two-book deal on both sides of the Atlantic. The following summer, Something Borrowed, hailed as a “heartbreakingly honest debut” with “dead-on dialogue, real-life complexity and genuine warmth,” became a surprise sensation, and Giffin vowed never to practice law again.
Dubbed a “modern day Jane Austen” (Vanity Fair) and a “dependably down-to-earth storyteller” (New York Times), Giffin has since penned eight more New York Times bestsellers, Something Blue (2005), Baby Proof (2006), Love the One You’re With (2008), Heart of the Matter (2010), Where We Belong (2012), The One & Only (2014), First Comes Love (2016), and All We Ever Wanted (2018). All of her novels, filled with endearingly flawed characters and emotional complexity, have resonated deeply with both critics and readers around the world, achieving bestseller status in a number of countries, including the United States (#1), Canada (#1), United Kingdom, France, Brazil and Poland (#1). The books have been translated into thirty-one languages, with over eleven million copies sold worldwide. In addition, five of her novels have been optioned for the big screen and are in various stages of development. The first, Something Borrowed, hit theaters in May 2011, starring Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin and John Krasinski.
Giffin now resides with her husband and three children in Atlanta. Her tenth novel, The Lies That Bind, was released on June 2, 2020. WEBSITE