Meant to Be: A Novel
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • He’s American royalty. She comes from a troubled past. Is their love story meant to be? This “lively page-turner” (The New York Times) offers a nostalgic, hopelessly romantic escape—from the author of Something Borrowed and The Lies That Bind.
“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?
Praise for Meant to Be: A Novel
“Meant To Be is the most golden, heart-crunching, epic love story, which swept me away into another time and another world.”—Sophie Kinsella
“A dependably down-to-earth, girlfriendly storyteller.”—The New York Times
“[A] modern-day Jane Austen.”—Vanity Fair
“A sweet and sensible romance firmly placed in the real world . . . Meant to Be balances classic romance scenes with nuggets of history and nuanced takes on modern issues. . . . Giffin’s writing is consumable and rich, balancing dialogue and descriptions to build a parallel world with convincing characters. Meant to Be proves you can have your romance and think deeply, too.”—Associated Press
“This lively page-turner is inspired by the courtship of John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy.”—Elisabeth Egan, The New York Times
“The novel strikes a careful balance between simply retelling the true story of JFK Jr. and his wife, Carolyn Bessette, and crafting an entirely new one. Readers who have an abiding interest in the Kennedys will be fascinated . . . Meant to Be is a chic, history-inspired summer read that you will want to take with you to the beach.”—Bookreporter
“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 reimagines the love story of John F. Kennedy, Jr., and Carolyn Bessette in her absorbing new novel. . . . Giffin convincingly dramatizes the challenges the couple faces, inducing readers to invest in them and hope desperately for a happy ending.”—Booklist
“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.’”—Kirkus Reviews