Belong to Me begins a few years after Love Walked In ends. I don't want to divulge too many details because I want you to read the first one! But this one continues Cornelia's narrative, and adds two new ones. One is a woman who is Cornelia's new neighbor, the other a young man whose path will cross her's. I missed Clare, but she does play an important role in the story too.
I like these characters. Even the seemingly un-likable Piper is so well developed that you are rooting for her in the end. And she's not un-likable anymore.
I have to say I'm a huge Marisa de los Santos fan right now. I can't wait to see what she'll write next.
Here are some quotes that I liked:
"The fact that I was thus diverted from my self-righteous indignation didn't mean I wasn't still indignant. And the fact that my indignation was self-righteous didn't mean it wasn't also righte
"So the rest of the day Dev walked around with the sentence 'What Dev said yesterday made me think of this poem' stretched over him, like a rainbow only he could see." (And his whole experience at his new school make me want to teach highschool, and be that kind of cool teacher--in my dreams.)
There is this perfect paragraph that I have to share even though it is so long.....
"As she performed these tasks, Piper had a sense that they were more than tasks, that they were the edge of something large that would unfold, pushing its way into the future. As Piper tidied Emma's ponytails, wiped peanut butter off Peter's chin, assembled potatoes and wedges of onion around the chicken, she understood that she would go on to fill days and weeks with helping, would wake up mornings feeling the day's emptiness, how it stood waiting to be filled with duties the way you'd fill a jar with coins." (It makes me want to cry having just re-read it because a) I've felt exactly that way, and because b) it is written so beautifully.)
There is a great excerpt from a letter written to Cornelia by her sister that says while men operate on the "fight-or-flight" response in a new environment, women cope with stress through "tend-and-befriend" behavior. I love it.
"Whenever Dev remembered that night, and he'd remember it for a very long time, what never stopped amazing him was how normal it felt. Not everyday, no-big-deal normal. More like extragalactic, superradiant, night-in-a-million normal. " I think this is a good description of how you feel after spending time with a new friend or group of people that you just know are going to be important to you for a long time, but that feel completely natural to be around.
And just like the comments Teo makes in the first novel about mental illness, he has some great insight on to suicide on page 276. "Maybe she wasn't even really thinking about death, but just about ending how bad she felt right at that particular moment." (Spoiler--she didn't die, and she's not a character from Love Walked In. Just in case you are worrying.)
I'm so happy to have read this book. Don't you love the title and the cover art? They work perfectly for me.