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The Best of Us: A Novel
By: Sarah Pekkanen
List Price: $16.00
Your Price: $8.71
(as of: 05/23/18)
Manufacturer: Washington Square Press
ISBN: 1451673515
Publication Date: 2013-04-09
Release Date 2013-04-09
Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours


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Product Description:

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 reevaluate everything she knows about her friends—and herself.


Amazon.com Review:

Guest Review of “Best of Us”

By Jennifer Weiner

Jennifer Weiner

Old college friends, reuniting to celebrate a birthday of the geeky guy down the hall who’s now a billionaire. A gorgeous villa in a tropical paradise. A weekend getaway where the private jet whisks you off to the private beach, and a private chef prepares gourmet feasts. Add a trunk-load of secrets, old resentments, clandestine kisses – not to mention enough booze to float a cruise ship – and you’ve got the ingredients for a beach read with humor and heart.

Fifteen years ago, Tina, Allie and Savannah were friends at the University of Virginia, and Dwight Glass, “thin and awkward as a praying mantis,” was their brainy, socially awkward friend.

Now Dwight’s made a fortune from the dot-com he founded, is married to pretty Pauline, who does volunteer work and has turned trying to get pregnant into a full-time job. Tina Antonelli is a stay-at-home mom, happily married, if a little overwhelmed by the mechanics of managing four children: “the enormous jumble of dirty laundry on the basement floor, the egg-encrusted dishes littering the kitchen sink, the new stain on the rug, which already resembled a Rorschach test.” Allie Reed, Tina’s best friend from college, a girl who read to the blind, “loaned out her class notes to anyone who asked…smiled at everyone she passed on the street,” and dragged Dwight into some semblance of a social life, is a social worker. She works part-time, enjoys her two daughters…and if she and her architect husband “had sex a bit less often these days, if all of their activities seemed to revolve around the girls – well, wasn’t that to be expected when you had young kids?”

Savannah McGrivey, a glamorous real-estate agent with a gym-toned body and a flashy wardrobe, has it all – except for a husband. After putting Gary through medical school, he’s dumped her for a nurse. “She’d been so proud when he could officially add the initials M.D. after his name, feeling as though it was their shared triumph. How ironic that an anesthesiologist had caused her the most pain she’d ever felt in her entire life.” When an Internet date goes disastrously bad, Savannah decides to join her friends and their spouses in Jamaica, without telling them that Gary’s jumped ship.

These women might have been cardboard-thin clichés – the burdened mother, the good girl, the cougar, the trophy wife. But with Pekkanen’s sharp eye for detail, and her generosity toward her flawed-but-trying cast of characters, the ladies of The Best of Us emerge as full-bodied and believable, with more dimensions than you’d expect. Pauline’s arc, in particular, is surprising and heartbreaking, as Pekkanen peels back the layers to show why social-climbing Pauline is so obsessed with security, financial and otherwise, and to show us the depths of Dwight’s love. The dialogue will ring true to any reader who’s ever wondered about the road not taken, or found herself in the breakdown lane of the road she did take. “Want to know the first thought that pops into my mind almost every morning after opening my eyes?” Tina asks. “I start anticipating being able to go to bed at night. I’m just so tired all the time.

You won’t always like the women – Tina can be a martyr, Savannah can be a handful, and Pauline’s high-handed tone with her staff will grate on anyone who’s ever toiled in the service sector – but watching them reveal their true selves during a long weekend in Paradise is a wonderful escape, and a chance to vacation vicariously. You may not spend your spring break flying in a private jet, or get a chance to vacation with your BFFs in a posh villa that sits on a bluff overlooking a white-sand beach, enjoying jaunts on helicopters or a chartered catamaran (or, in Savannah’s case, the attention of the catamaran’s hunky first mate)…but The Best of Us is surely the next best thing.



College is an exciting time to gain relationships and explore differing emotions while gaining an education. But life passes quickly, and that mostly carefree lifestyle turns to responsibilities which cause one to contemplate life’s choices. Such is the case with three close friends from the University of Virginia who now are facing the rigors of middle-age.

Allie Reed is blissfully happy with husband, Ryan and her two precious daughters. That is until she learns a shocking secret about her past which could be life threatening to her and her children.

Tina Antonelli finds herself hanging by a thread. Her beloved Gio works long hours while Tina is in complete charge of their four children and home. She wonders how much more she can handle before breaking.

The third in the trio of these women’s friendships is Savannah McGrivey. Though she does not live near her friend in the DC area, she stays in touch from her home in Charlotte, NC. Savannah’s husband, Gary is busy a doctor who is overly pretentious, but seems to go well with Savannah’s drama queen persona.

Imagine how surprised they three are when they receive an invitation to all-expense-paid trip to Jamaica to honor classmate Dwight, the nerdy introvert they hung around with. Dwight, who has become a millionaire, has not been in contact with the women for many years. His wife, Pauline wants to surprise him on his thirty-fifth birthday by making it extra special.

At first they refuse Pauline’s offer, but decide to throw caution to the wind, realizing they all need a break. Savannah, sans husband flies to meets Tina and Allie at Dulles’s air strip. There they meet Dwight and Pauline to be whisked away to a tropical paradise.

They are astonished by the luxury of Dwight’s private jet.  Then there is the exclusive seaside villa…  Its opulent surroundings, and gourmet food is something most can only dream about, but apparently things Dwight is totally accustomed to.  It is unlikely this scenario would actually happen, but it opens one’s mind to riches and luxuries, making this a read almost like the Calgon slogan…”take me away!”

While together, the friends discover things about themselves and each other which cause them to question certain choices they have made. When near tragedy strikes, they are faced with the reality of their situations putting their lives into perspective. A luxurious week’s vacation with not having a care in the world does not stop confessing secrets, hurts, and true feelings among the group.

 
By: Nancy Lepri, ReaderToReader.com


 
     
 
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