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Publisher's Summary

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 “glorious, satisfying” (Adriana Trigiani) new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of All We Ever Wanted 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 

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?

©2022 Emily Giffin (P)2022 Random House Audio

What listeners say about Meant to Be

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Swing and a miss.

Oh man. I have read Giffins books over and over and preordered this one. Unfortunately, I have to say: this was not it. It was a really bad lifetime movie with an even worse protagonist. There is nothing more irritating than a woman who is insecure, ashamed and non communicative in her relationship pushing a man away and he still somehow fawns over her for her to get her fairytale. Ugh. And in the end she’s so pathetic that he can’t help but love her through it. Hard pass for me. Super had pass.

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Basically story of JFK Jr

Great story, especially if you have interest in the Kennedy family. The whole time I was listening to it all I could think of was “this is basically the story of JFK Jr and Caroline B. “ Definitely kept me listening, finished in two days.

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For Kennedy Fans and History Buffs

After a bit of a slow start, Giffin creates compelling characters that are original and complicated. Although inspired by the Kennedy family, the story only uses the premise of an American family that felt an obligation to serve—one that captured our collective imagination. It is at once a romantic and suspenseful novel. I could not stop listening.

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Awesome story

This was so good. I couldn’t stop listening for long; finished in two days. Well done to all who were involved in this!

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Perfection!

This book was so beautifully written! I enjoyed listening to it very much. Will be recommending it to everyone as the perfect summer read!

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Really good!

Awesome story. Didn’t want to cut it off when I needed to! Good summer read!

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best book by far

This was Giffin’s best book so far. I couldn’t put it down. It was such an easy read and Hewitt and Petkoff were terrific narrators.

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She had me at the first chapter,

Emily has grabbed me again with one of the most memorable love stories based on 2 families that could not be more different. I loved all of the references to the gifts of family we have been blessed with or not and what two people with their gifts. Thank you Emily for another terrific read one of your best yet!

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Loved it!

Great story- you think you know what’s going to happen and then she changes it up! Loved the character development.

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Meh

I usually love her books but Emily Giffin has let me down with this one. With only about two hours to go, I’m giving up. So boring. Might go back and re-listen to Something Borrowed, and Something Blue. Those had characters to care about.