The Best of Us by Sarah Pekkanen ( web | tweet )
Publication Date: April 9, 2013
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Target audience: Adult
Keywords: college friends, marriage, Jamaica
Format read: ARC from Publisher via NetGalley. (Thanks!)
Summary: Knee-deep in marriage, kids, infidelity, and secrets, college friends reunite for a fully-paid trip to Jamaica for Dwight’s 35th birthday.
There are many days where I sit around and pray for a very successful and kind friend to sweep me out of my routine 9-5 life and take me to a tropical island (all expenses paid!!), where I can frolic in the waves with friends, sipping margaritas, and chatting to all hours of the night.
(Note: Any of these friends can step forward at anytime… really.)
Sadly, I don’t see this happening to me any time soon but I can be happy (cough hate cough) that it happened to this group of friends, while I drool over their opportunity of a lifetime. But in all seriousness, this group of college pals needs this trip more than anything. Case in point: Tina is feeling totally rundown as a mom; Savannah is reeling from her unfaithful (soon-to-be ex) husband; Allie receives some unfortunate news about her health; Pauline is tired of the persona she has built as Dwight’s wife.
You can see how escaping from real life couldn’t come at a better time.
Pekkanen does a great job of weaving the stories of these four women; I really liked seeing how differently each of their lives turned out and how their views on marriage and life-after-college were so vast. There is such truth in how everyone’s relationship is so unique. How do you balance your own interests when you are a mother? Can you forgive someone who betrays you? Does your relationship have what it takes to go the distance? Is it ever too late to let your guard down?
While this crowd is chumming it up like they are back in college, tension builds in paradise when old feelings resurface, flirting speeds into overdrive, unwanted guests arrive, and that hurricane they hoped they would miss is heading right for their house. There’s nothing like being in close quarters to really confront your problems. Despite the drama that ensues, Jamaica proves to be a turning point of every single person in this house — whether that’s good or bad is up to you to find out.
The Best of Us is a book that is meant to be scorched in the sun, stained with your sunscreened fingers, and maybe even splashed with a little ocean water. I was practically salivating over the luxuries these characters were offered, and I literally could not wait to figure out how this little trip would change them all. There’s a great balance to the sexy, sweet, tough, and nostalgic moments that fill the pages. I’m definitely looking forward to checking out more of Pekkanen’s work.
Tequila shots, anyone?