Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: April 9, 2013
Source: Personal Copy
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, " 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. "Pauline is married to Dwight, a billionaire, and what do you get your billionaire husband on his birthday when he has everything else? You invite his college friends to spend his birthday in a private villa in Jamaica. Pauline does this very thing and pays attention to every single detail of the trip. There's helicopter rides, a private beach, a chef, waiters, unlimited drinks, hot tubs, infinity pools, and of course, Jamaican sunshine. All of Dwight's close friends attend and everything is going swimmingly, until there's alcohol feud antics and drama made worse by an impending hurricane. This trip forces each person to come to grips with their lives and many secrets unfold. Sarah Pekkanen's The Best of Us is quintessential summer reading.
Pekkanen focuses on each character equally and while it may seem like there too many characters in The Best of Us, she does a good job not overwhelming the readers with many subplots. All of the characters are intertwined, in a sense, and readers should be able to find at least one character to relate to.
There's Allie, who is hiding a heath issue, and no one knows about it...yet. This possible heath issue is serious, but Allie hasn't really come to grips with the reality of the situation before she boards the plane to Jamaica. She hasn't even told her husband Ryan! Then there's Tina, an overworked and under appreciated mother of four, who can't wait to lay on the beach and do nothing. She feels guilty for leaving her four young ones, but she know she deserves this trip and can't wait to reconnect with her husband as well.
Next, there's Dwight, the birthday boy, and his life seems perfect. Obviously, he is SUPER rich, has a private plane and lives a life that the others can only imagine, but there is something missing. To make matters worse, Pauline is hiding a secret from him. Lastly, there's Savannah, the effervescent party girl who is always looking to be the center of attention. Everyone expected her husband Gary to come along this trip, but she attends alone and this has raised many questions. So, needless to say, The Best of Us isn't short on family secrets and relationships filled with drama.
The setting of a private Jamaican villa is what initially sold me. I love Jamaica and Pekkanen does a great job of bringing the relaxed Jamaican atmosphere to life. The ocean, the infinity pool, the drinks, boats, helicopters, chefs, etc....all the makings of a once in a lifetime vacation are in The Best of Us.
If you are looking for a light summertime read that will have you longing for a day spent in the Caribbean sipping a frozen cocktail while Bob Marley tunes play in the background, look no further. I will admit some of the drama got old at times as I didn't always agree with each character's decision, but The Best of Us was very entertaining overall. Simply put: Books like this are made to be read at the beach.