The Best of Us

( 25 )

Overview

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 ...

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The Best of Us: A Novel

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Overview

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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611737998
  • Publisher: Center Point Large Print
  • Publication date: 5/28/2013
  • Edition description: Large Print
  • Pages: 424
  • Sales rank: 1,468,592
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Pekkanen

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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 25 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 9, 2013

    Are you close with your college buddies? College friends can t

    Are you close with your college buddies?

    College friends can truly be a beacon in your life. This book just shows how connected they can be even after many years have passed. Tina, Allie, Savannah and Dwight are college buddies. They get together to share occasions and keep in touch. Their friendship p is tested and reshaped when Pauline, Dwight’s wife decide to throw him a lavish thirty fifth birthday party with his college friends. Sparing no expense, she reserves a private villa in Jamaica for a week of pampering, sun, swimming, and good times.

    Tina and Gio are your ordinary middle class family. Tina, a former RN, is currently a stay at home mom with their four children all under the age of 8. Gio works long hours which cause him to be exhausted by the time he gets home. Their money is tight but they are managing yet the little perks are just not something that is within their budget. Tina is stressed beyond belief and needs a vacation.

    Ryan and Allie are also parents however Allie, a social worker, has gone back to work as their two children are older. Allie finds out that she has a 50 / 50 chance of becoming deathly ill and feels that Ryan is not observant enough.

    Savannah and Gary are upper middle class. Savannah is a realtor while Gary is a doctor. They have no kids and seem happy. The friends don’t know that Gary has left Savannah for a younger woman.

    Dwight, the nerd from school, has made a fortune but money really means nothing to him. Pauline however feels that she must flaunt it and become the typical rich mans wife. Dwight wants kids but Pauline is struggling with her own secrets.

    As the week unfolds the struggles and ties that bind them will almost break not only the couples but their friendship. This story digs in quick and deep to the individual lives of these four couples. Each family has their own unique situation which makes them seem realistic and relatable. There were several instances that Tina describes that I can see myself in the midst of. I felt for all of them. The escape made me want to immediately book a lavish trip to Jamaica. This book highlights the highs and lows (some very low) and how each couple deals with their own personal quandaries. Anyone with a family or spouse that irritates them at times but they wouldn’t know what to do with out should read this novel. Overall, this was a fun, fast paced, entertaining read!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    Good for a day at the beach or a even a rainy one on the couch,

    Good for a day at the beach or a even a rainy one on the couch, but would only make you WISH you were on the beach. :p
    This book was okay. The author writes well and I enjoyed her characters. They were very well developed and easy to relate to.
    The story itself was sort of boring really, but I shouldn't say that because it kept me entertained before bed for a few nights. 
    I would reccommend it for fun, escapist reading. Not if you want a real, meaningful book. 

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 1, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Great Read-Too Funny!!!

    This was my first Sarah Pekkanen novel and I really enjoyed it! (the front cover was a draw). I purchased the audio which was excellent! I have read all Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner books and she is a similar author—so would encourage fans of these authors to read this book! It was so realistic and each and every woman or man in a married relationship or single would enjoy ---especially young mothers.

    I am so looking forward to reading more from this author and purchasing another audio or e-book tonight! Very sexy, funny, and will keep you laughing ---very well written! Good food, sex, romance, travel, and more!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    JudyK

    I found this book boring and extremely predictable. Page after page after page of seven adults trying to return to their college days...complete with nonstop drinking and pot smoking. The fact that they realized at the end that their lives were not as bad as they originally thought came as no surprise to the reader. Anything would seem better than the week they spent together!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2013

    Good early-summer read. Well-written, but predictable. 

    Good early-summer read. Well-written, but predictable. 

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2013

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings A group of frie

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings

    A group of friends from college are invited on all expense paid trip to Jamaica to celebrate a birthday, although some of the friends haven’t stayed in touch, so the trip is a little out of the blue.  Each of them are escaping issues at home to the paradise of Jamaica, except sometimes your problems can come with you on vacation.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by JoAnne Book provided by NetGalley for review Review

    Reviewed by JoAnne
    Book provided by NetGalley for review
    Review originally posted at Romancing the Book


    I found this book tedious and kept losing interest and my place as I read. The premise of the book sounded great – college friends getting together to celebrate one of their birthdays and they are invited to a week away in Jamaica to do so – relaxing at a sumptuous villa, all expenses paid. But it was anything but. The characters did not do much except drink, drink and drink some more and then smoked some pot as well.

    The characters had many layers to them and all were dysfunctional in one way or another. There were so many possibilities that never were explored. I would have been drawn in better if Dwight was more central to the storyline instead of a bystander many times throughout. Some of them were responsible parents, some had careers/jobs and most needed this getaway more than they could say. The infighting, the arguments and secrets did nothing to endear me to any of them. None seemed to want to be with their spouse either so instead of bonding with each other as well as with their friends they seemed more to be pushing each other away.

    The descriptions of Jamaica is what helped this book. I felt like I exited the plane with them and saw everything they saw through my eyes as well as theirs. The words had me picturing white sand, blue sky, sparkling clear water, delicious food, the less than smooth helicopter ride and to die for snorkeling trip. I could see the vividness of the colors and almost taste the salty air and feel the cool sand on my feet as well as hear the destruction of the villa being battered by the storm.

    There was friendship and family, lots of heartache, backstabbing, insecurities, misunderstandings, arguments and some love but almost no romance. Each couples dirty laundry was aired for all to see and the title did not fit the premise of the book since it really wasn’t the best of us for any one of them but the worst of us throughout. The book ended abruptly. It would have been nice to have a few more chapters where the characters resumed their normal lives and showed the impact their week away had on them and their families.

    I haven’t read books by this author before and can’t say that I plan on reading any others in the future.


    Favorite Quote: It had been another flawless day, Pauline reflected as she glanced at the platters of hors d’oeuvres the chef was preparing: pan-seared baby crab cakes, mini London broil sandwiches on sourdough croutons with spicy mustard, tropical fruit skewers, and a trio of tapenades-olive, eggplant, and red pepper-with garlicky crostini for dipping.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2013

    Friendship old and new on vacation.... great read.

    I read this one a while back and recommend it a lot...

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2013

    Heather to Everyone

    Party at us res3

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 25, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This was my first book that I read by Sarah. I found her to be

    This was my first book that I read by Sarah. I found her to be a great author - I also ordered her previous books based on the writing in this novel. Felt like you really got to know her characters. Highly recommend this book and look forward to reading her previous books - not to mention any new ones coming out. She is now on my favorite authors list. Enjoy!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2013

    Good Book

    First book I read by this author and I enjoyed the book. It was a quick read. I would recommend this book to others.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 19, 2013

    Awesome read!

    I thought this would be a great Summer and/or beach read. But since I wasn't going to the beach anytime soon, and Summer isn't here yet, I decided to read it now. I was glad I did! I loved this book and didn't want it to end. I couldn't put it down. Great read!!

    I will be checking out more of Sarah Pekkanen's books! I think I'll look right now!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2013

    Very uneventful

    I was really looking forward to reading this book but found it to be very pedictable and boring

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  • Posted May 10, 2013

    Easy summer read

    While it wasn't the worst book I've ever read, it wasn't the best either. It was an easy predictable read. There were no surprises.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Great!!!!

    What a wonderful book!!!!! Could not put it down your best yet!!!"

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Best of us is Sarah¿s fourth novel. She decided to go a dif

    The Best of us is Sarah’s fourth novel. She decided to go a different direction by bringing her characters to the beach in Jamaica.
    Synopsis:
    Dwight’s wife Pauline has put together the ultimate celebration for his birthday. A trip to Jamaica to a beach house with his college friends. Pauline has experienced them before but will do anything for him to make him happy. Tina is the young mom in search of a break who is encouraged to go by Allie who is the ray of sunshine and seems to have a perfect life. Then there is Savannah the single about to be divorcee. Can she be trusted? Will this trip be what everyone hopes it will be?
    My Thoughts:
    I am always excited to get one of Sarah’s novels. I was especially excited that it would be a beach read this time around. She writes characters that we can all identify with. The mom who is overworked and needs help. The wife who wonders if her husband will really be there for her? Or the friend who is going through a divorce and having to pick up the pieces.
    Who doesn’t need a break? What would make the perfect getaway to you?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 29, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A group of college friends embark on a week long trip together t

    A group of college friends embark on a week long trip together to Jamaica to celebrate a birthday of one of their own. The ladies are excited  to get a break from the reality of their daily lives. Tina is a mom of four and her days and nights seem like a blur. She needs to get a good night sleep and just a little time to herself. Allie recently found out her biological father and his father both died from a genetic family illness. Savannah has been hiding the news her husband cheated on her and is now in the process of a divorce. Last is Pauline, she is hosting the party for her husband Dwight's birthday. She is an outsider to the group dynamic, but she is putting an all out effort to make this trip a huge success hoping to win back some favor with her husband. 




    What could be more perfect than a group of friends spending a week together dining on gourmet dinners, languishing hours on the beach, drinking till all hours of the night? As the weather turns from perfect to a pending hurricane the groups begins to falter. Forcing each woman to reexamine herself and her priorities. Each of the woman seeing even her friends differently than before they arrived. 




    I immediately connected with Tina, what mom wouldn't! I related also to Allie. They were my favorite characters from the beginning, even their husbands. I could picture all of them so easily, their lives are so like mine. Savannah not so much. But I could respect how she was trying to push through better than ever and let's be honest there is always a Savannah in a friendship! You could see potential issues with someone like Savannah, so that really didn't shock me. But I was surprised most by Allie! 




    We try very hard to limit visits with others to just a few days, I swear no good comes after about day four! Not only are the characters dealing with their own issues and each others issues, but a hurricane makes a sudden change of course heading right to them. Reminding them all what matters most.




    I love Sarah Pekkanen's writing! Her characters are always so authentic and their issues seem to easily connect to her audience. It's real life at it's best and worst. When I first read about the book I had this idea of a bunch of ladies getting together and hanging out at a resort living the life, maybe things get a little sexy. I was wrong. It's a story about couples, friendships, and finding your strongest self to get through the hard stuff. 




    I am definitely recommending THE BEST OF US! So as the weather gets warmer this will be a perfect book to throw in your beach bag as you head to the beach!

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  • Posted April 26, 2013

    3.0 out of 5 stars Not the Best- by Sarah Pekkanen, April 25,



    3.0 out of 5 stars Not the Best- by Sarah Pekkanen, April 25, 2013
    By MOONBEAM - See all my reviewsThis review is from: The Best of Us: A Novel (Paperback)
    Having read and enjoyed the prior novels by this author, I anticipated another great read. I was disappointed with this latest novel, and especially how Ms. Pekkanen has taken a different direction in her writing style. It seemed evident to me she is cashing in on the "sex sells" mentality.

    The story is about college friends, who as couples, (with the exception of one single, Samantha, who is later joined by her husband) get flown to Jamaica by a college chum Dwight - ex nerd who is now filthy rich - to celebrate his birthday. Dwight's wife bends backwards and no expense is spared.

    This story is so unbelievable it is laughable. The "steamy scenes" are more "fillers" and it is lacking in substance compared to prior works. It pains me to give 3 stars, but I had such high hopes and I suppose there is a reading community who enjoys a "harlequin" type story.

    Personally, I expected more and hope Ms. Pekkanen 's future novels parallel her earlier work.

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  • Posted April 21, 2013

    On the occasion of Dwight's thirty-fifth birthday, his wife Pau

    On the occasion of Dwight's thirty-fifth birthday, his wife Pauline wants to do something special for him. So she plans an all-expense paid trip to Jamaica for his close group of college friends and their spouses. Tina, a mother of four, is overwhelmed caring for her family while her husband Gio works long hours to keep them afloat. Allie is hiding a secret about her medical history, and her husband Ryan seems unaware of the change in her. Savannah's husband has left her for a younger woman. A trip to paradise seems to be exactly what they all need. But things happen, as they always do, including a hurricane, turning the trip into an opportunity to re-evaluate lives and relationships. To be honest, I had a hard time liking some of the characters in the beginning, but as the story unfolded, I started to get some insight into their personalities. The novel was well written and perfectly paced. I have been a fan of the author's since her first book, but I think that this one may be my favorite. It was thought-provoking and honest, and kept me enthralled from the first chapter. A warm and witty look at relationships of all kinds.

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  • Posted April 17, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    In Sarah Pekkanen¿s latest novel, The Best of Us, four groups of

    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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