September 25, 2013

The Best of Us - Sarah Pekkanen

The Best of Us - Sarah Pekkanen
The Best of Us by Sarah Pekkanen
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Publication Date: April 9, 2013
Source/Format: NetGalley (Thanks, S&S!) || e-galley
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

Following a once-in-a-lifetime invitation, a group of old college friends leap at the chance to bring their husbands for a week’s vacation at a private villa in Jamaica to celebrate a former classmates' thirty-fifth birthday.

All four women are desperate for a break and this seems like a perfect opportunity. Tina is drowning under the demands of mothering four young children. Allie needs to escape from the shattering news about an illness that 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 husband an unforgettable birthday celebration, hoping it will gloss over the cracks that have already formed in their new marriage.

The week begins idyllically, filled with languorous days and late nights of drinking and laughter. But as a hurricane approaches the island, turmoil builds, forcing each woman to re-evaluate everything she’s known about the others—and herself. (from Goodreads)

The Best of Us is a reminder of why it is good to dip into adult reads every now and then. The intensity of the character relationships set against the idyll backdrop of Jamaica is certainly a winning combination, contrasting the whimsy of the all-expenses paid adventure to the reality of each woman's real life. Ultimately, the authenticity of what Allie, Tina, Savannah and Pauline experience really captured my attention and kept me turning the pages until the very end.

Pekkanen certainly has a knack for writing characters. Each of her main characters are completely different from each other, and not in a way that feels stereotypical. These differences between them make their relationships extremely interesting, as they might be head to head with each other even with their friendship and shared history. I particularly enjoyed seeing how it was at all possible for Savannah, Allie and Tina to have been friends; their history and the fact that they were definitely a part of each other's lives ever since their college days resonated strongly with me. 

While in Jamaica, each of them is being forced to deal with their own life crises -- all while being faced with unlimited drinks, fun in the sun, budding flirtations, unexpected visitors and so much more. I think it was extremely interesting to have placed everyone on what should have been a relaxing trip, and instead having it turn into a trip full of secrets, revelations and shenanigans. Even though there was certainly a good dose of craziness, the story still felt surprisingly real too.

The Best of Us managed to combine the loveliness and fun of a vacation with a dose of heartfelt reality and interesting relationships dynamics. While reading about the extreme indulgence Jamaica offered was certainly enticing, it was, in the end, reading about how these four women managed to gain a different perspective on life that really made this novel enjoyable. 


  1. Oh I'm excited to hear that you enjoyed this one! I have read two other books by this author, but I wasn't sure about this one because I'm always hesitant about books with multiple perspectives. I'll definitely be looking into this one now!


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