Friday, April 12, 2013

Review: "The Best of Us" by Sarah Pekkanen

Tina is the mother of four young children and she finds herself drowning under their demands, and losing a vital part of herself in the process. Allie has just discovered that a genetic illness runs in her family and is devastated by the news and how it will affect her family. Beautiful Savannah is reeling from the news that her husband has been cheating on her. These three friends from college come together to celebrate their old friend Dwight's 35th birthday. Dwight's wife Pauline invites the women and their husbands along on an all- expenses- paid vacation to Jamaica in the hopes of disguising the cracks in her own new marriage.

While at first the friends indulge in gourmet meals and relaxing days on the beach, as a literal hurricane approaches the beach a figurative one does as well. As each woman's story is fleshed out and secrets begin to form among the various group members, the turmoil grows and each woman will have to take a step back to re-evaluate themselves and their friendships.

I can't help it, I have loved every one of Sarah Pekkanen's books to date and I begin counting the days to her next publication as soon as I'm finished her most recent book. The plot of The Best of Us is so decadent that I couldn't help but dive in as soon as I received my copy. Who among us hasn't dreamed of an all-expenses paid vacation away from everyday life before? I devoured the book and each one of the women's stories quickly. The writing is spot-on as usual, and topics such as love, marriage, friendship and motherhood are touched on with considerable insight.

Pekkanen has done an excellent job of showcasing each of her character's flaws in a way that presented them as being "real" people. Granted, I didn't like any of the characters all of the time. Tina seems unable to ever put herself first, Allie fails to confide in her husband when it's crucial that she does so, Savannah is selfish and that girl that you love to hate, and it seems that Pauline doesn't love her husband quite enough. However, that's real life, and I appreciated that dose of reality.

Although I wish that The Best of Us had been a little more focused on the theme of flawed marriages, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I will be recommending that it be in every beach bag this summer. The only bad news about finishing it? Now I have to wait impatiently for her next book to come out. I already can't wait!

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