Meant to Be
by Emily Giffin
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Pub Date 31 May 2022 | Archive Date 30 Sep 2022
Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, Ballantine Books
“I’m a sucker for an iconic, against-all-odds love story, and Meant to Be truly delivers.”—Tia Williams, author of Seven Days in June
“A chic, history-inspired summer read [that] strikes a careful balance between simply retelling the true story of JFK Jr. and his wife, Carolyn Bessette, and crafting an entirely new one.”—Bookreporter
The Kingsley family is American royalty, beloved for their military heroics, political service, and unmatched elegance. In 1967, after Joseph S. Kingsley, Jr. is killed in a tragic accident, his charismatic son inherits the weight of that legacy. But Joe III is a free spirit—and a little bit reckless. Despite his best intentions, he has trouble meeting the expectations of a nation, as well as those of his exacting mother, Dottie.
Meanwhile, no one ever expected anything of Cate Cooper. She, too, grew up fatherless—and after her mother marries an abusive man, she is forced to fend for herself. After being discovered by a model scout at age sixteen, Cate decides that her looks may be her only ticket out of the cycle of disappointment that her mother has always inhabited. Before too long, Cate’s face is in magazines and on billboards. Yet she feels like a fraud, faking it in a world to which she’s never truly belonged.
When Joe and Cate unexpectedly cross paths one afternoon, their connection is instant and intense. But can their relationship survive the glare of the spotlight and the so-called Kingsley curse? In a beautifully written novel that captures a gilded moment in American history, Emily Giffin tells the story of two people searching for belonging and identity, as well as the answer to the question: Are certain love stories meant to be?
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 602 members
Emily Giffin hits another homerun with Meant to Be. I have to tell the truth - I haven't read anything by Griffin that I haven't liked, but this is one of my favorites. The characters are well-developed and likable. They go through some typical romance novel challenges, but also some not-so-typical challenges. Through it all, I rooted for them to succeed.
I read this ARC while I was on a cruise, and I found myself reaching for it again and again when I should have been doing other things - like enjoying the views from a beautiful foreign island. It is that good. My only regret it that I can't read it again for the first time.
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.