Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Best of Us by Sarah Pekkanen

The Best of Us: A NovelAuthor: Sarah Pekkanen 
Publication: April 9, 2013
By: Atria/Simon & Schuster 
4 Stars

Paradise isn’t quite what it seems as four college friends meet for an island vacation in this captivating new novel from the acclaimed author of These Girls.An all-expense paid week at a luxury villa in Jamaica—it’s the invitation of a lifetime for a group of old college friends. All four women are desperate not just for a reunion, but for an escape: Tina is drowning under the demands of mothering four young children. Allie is shattered by the news that a genetic illness runs in her family. Savannah is carrying the secret of her husband’s infidelity. And finally, there’s Pauline, who spares no expense to throw her wealthy husband an unforgettable thirty-fifth birthday celebration, hoping it will gloss over the cracks already splitting apart their new marriage.

Languid hours on a private beach, gourmet dinners, and late nights of drinking kick off an idyllic week for the women and their husbands. But as a powerful hurricane bears down on the island, turmoil swirls inside the villa, forcing each of the women to re-evaluate everything she knows about her friends—and herself.


Thank you Atria Books for this ARC. This was my second Sarah Pekkanen novel and I'm finding that I really enjoy her writing.  The Best of Us is an engrossing story about four friends reuniting for the vacation of a lifetime.  Things start out well, but quickly turn dangerous both inside and outside the villa as a hurricane threatens the safety of the island and hidden secrets (and feelings) are brought to light. (Excessive amounts of alcohol don't help matters inside.) When all is said and done, each of the women will come away with a new appreciation of what they have and what matters most.   

Each of these characters, the men included, are flawed, making them more relateable. I felt like I could identify with each of the four women in some way, and there's one scene Tina flashes back on that hit me right in the feels. I had a similar experience a couple of years ago and it was a much needed wake-up call for my husband and me. I'm probably going to catch flack for this but I really liked Gary. (So says the person with a zero tolerance for infidelity.)  I think he was misunderstood in the beginning by Savannah's friends because he was different and yes, he made a big mistake but the choices he makes later show his true character, I think.  

I could also identify with being boarded up in a beach house during a hurricane. I spent several days boarded up in a house on stilts in NC with my husband, his brother and wife when hurricane Isabel swept through a few years ago. Feeling the house sway back and forth was fun, no one said, ever.  My oldest son, who was 3 at the time, was also with us and we couldn't let him go outside for fear he would blow away, literally. It was definitely a memorable vacation but one I don't care to repeat. 



 

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