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The Best of Us

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ISBN13: 9781451673517
ISBN10: 1451673515
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

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.

Review:

"Pekkanen (The Opposite of Me) sparkles with her latest, a touching tale of college friends whose happily ever afters aren't as perfect as they might have once expected. Dwight, the lovable nerd of the group, is now filthy rich, so to celebrate his 35th birthday, his concerned-about-appearances wife, Pauline, plans a lavish, all-expenses-paid trip to Jamaica for his longtime friends. Each couple, however, is harboring secrets. Sexy real estate agent Savannah is hiding a huge lie: her doctor husband Gary isn't busy 'working,' he's shacking up with his nurse. Stay-at-home mom Tina and construction worker Gio, raising four children, are having more trouble paying their bills than they let on. And social worker Allie is hit with a body blow immediately before the trip: her birth mother may be carrying the ALS gene, although Allie hasn't shared the news with her husband. All are granted a brief respite while enjoying perfect beaches, lazy days, and late-night cocktails, but an approaching hurricane will soon test everyone's mettle — and loyalty. Lovably flawed, realistic characters and a fast-paced story make this a deeply enjoyable page-turner. Agent: Victoria Sanders, Victoria Sanders & Associates." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

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 reevaluate everything she knows about her friends—and herself.

About the Author

Sarah Pekkanen is the internationally bestselling author of The Opposite of Me, Skipping a Beat, and These Girls. Her work has been published in People, The Washington Post, and USA TODAY, among other publications. She lives with her family in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

janmah51, April 19, 2013 (view all comments by janmah51)
Dwight Glass is turning 35. His wife, Pauline plans a big birthday party, since Dwight is an Internet millionaire they spare no expense on the lavish trip and vacation. It's an all expenses paid trip to Jamaica for them and four friends from college. Savannah arrives alone, she says her husband, Gary, a doctor is too busy. In fact, they are getting a divorce because he had an affair with a much younger nurse. Tina has four kids, her husband, Gio works in a local architecture department. She has trouble keeping things together.Then there is Allie, with two teen kids and works as a social worker. Her husband Ryan is an engineer. The trip is paradise, but tensions run high and soon they are tested as friends as well as people. A force of nature in the form of hurricane Betty, brings them together and brings out what is the best in each of them. I enjoyed this book. I liked the character development. Like good friends they are engaging and at times incredibly annoying.
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whatsheread, April 17, 2013 (view all comments by whatsheread)
In Sarah Pekkanen’s latest novel, The Best of Us, four groups of friends - most of whom have known each other since college - gather together for an all-expenses-paid, adults only trip to Jamaica. While the group reconnects and relaxes, a hurricane, and its not-so-subtle symbolism, hurtles towards the island and the group. Even in this dream landscape, surrounded by good friends and the most luxurious settings, the group finds that while they can run from their problems, they cannot hide from them. As the storm outside builds and eventually rages, so too do the pressures and strains of each woman, and friendships are tested in unfathomable ways.

Ms. Pekkanen’s characters are always so wonderfully complex, and the cast of The Best of Us is no different. There is something slightly despicable in each of the women, but that is what makes them so powerfully real. Better yet, Ms. Pekkanen caters to a myriad of women with her characters - from the stay-at-home mothers to the women driven by their careers to the women who have miraculously found that balance between family and work. Tina, Allie, Savannah, and even Pauline are archetypes of the truest kind, and while no one reader will be able to relate to all four of the women, each reader will be able to find one of the women with whom to empathize.

Another reviewer called The Best of Us the best kind of Mommy porn, and this working mother unequivocally concurs with that reviewer. Women everywhere, regardless of maternal status, will agree with the sentiment that the idea of an all-expenses paid vacation to a luxurious private home in the Caribbean, replete with chef, fully-stocked bar, masseuse, and private jet, sounds like a little slice of heaven in spite of the hurricane that hits the island. It is at once a decadent fantasy and a testament to how stressful real life is for women, when even the dangers of a hurricane have some appeal. Ms. Pekkanen excels at the ability to portray the unique stresses and fears women face in modern society, and The Best of Us is just another example of her skill.

In this culture of Mean Girls and Supermoms, where women continue to backstab and downplay other women’s successes in hopes of climbing further up the corporate ladder, where women still struggle with “having it all”, Ms. Pekkanen showcases the positive aspects of female relationships and brings a breath of fresh air to this landscape of female bullies and the ongoing debate of work and family vs. work or family. Her characters have a strong sense of identity and more importantly have a strong sense of friendship. They might disagree and even fight, but they will always forgive and forget. It is at once extremely touching to behold and heartbreaking because of how rare the friendships portrayed in The Best of Us really are. If anything, Ms. Pekkanen shows us what is possible and not what is, and it is this message which readers should take to heart.

The Best of Us is a fast-paced, thoroughly escapist and utterly enjoyable book on the true meaning of friendship. While the circumstances in which the group of friends finds themselves may be extreme and idealized, the substance behind the friendships is not. Add to that a stunning and exotic backdrop and a trip of a lifetime, and the combination is an addicting combination of fun and truth. With The Best of Us, Ms. Pekkanen solidifies her reputation as not only an excellent storyteller but also a superb observer of life as her books drive to the heart of what people want.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781451673517
Author:
Pekkanen, Sarah
Publisher:
Washington Square Press
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literature-Contemporary Women
Subject:
Sarah Pekanen Jennifer Weiner Emily Giffin Jane Green friends reunion 80 s Jamaica storm hurricane vacation private plane thirty-something college couples getaway couples retreat
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20130431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.31 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Contemporary Women
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life

The Best of Us Used Trade Paper
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Product details 352 pages Washington Square Press - English 9781451673517 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Pekkanen (The Opposite of Me) sparkles with her latest, a touching tale of college friends whose happily ever afters aren't as perfect as they might have once expected. Dwight, the lovable nerd of the group, is now filthy rich, so to celebrate his 35th birthday, his concerned-about-appearances wife, Pauline, plans a lavish, all-expenses-paid trip to Jamaica for his longtime friends. Each couple, however, is harboring secrets. Sexy real estate agent Savannah is hiding a huge lie: her doctor husband Gary isn't busy 'working,' he's shacking up with his nurse. Stay-at-home mom Tina and construction worker Gio, raising four children, are having more trouble paying their bills than they let on. And social worker Allie is hit with a body blow immediately before the trip: her birth mother may be carrying the ALS gene, although Allie hasn't shared the news with her husband. All are granted a brief respite while enjoying perfect beaches, lazy days, and late-night cocktails, but an approaching hurricane will soon test everyone's mettle — and loyalty. Lovably flawed, realistic characters and a fast-paced story make this a deeply enjoyable page-turner. Agent: Victoria Sanders, Victoria Sanders & Associates." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , 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 reevaluate everything she knows about her friends—and herself.

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