My latest book was a nice escape into a fluff. It was a great fiction book called The Best of Us by Sarah Pekkanen. I honestly read this one because as I’ve previously mentioned, I’ve had some fatigue with some of my heavier reads as of late, so the last time I was at the library I wandered over to the fiction section. Ollie pulled this one off the shelf and I was going to put it back, but then read the synopsis and was sold.
The story is about four college friends who reunite for one friend’s 35th birthday on an extravagant vacation to a villa in Negril, Jamaica. Each chapter breaks into four segments, basically the view point of four of the main characters. First we have Tina, married to her college sweetheart and mom to four children, and is finding full time motherhood draining and exhausting. Then we meet her best friend Allie, who is also married with two children and has recently learned that a serious illness may run in her biological family after a phone call from her birth mother. After that we are introduced to Savannah, who has recently left her husband after learning he has had an affair. Finally we meet Pauline, who is married to Dwight. Dwight lived next door to Allie in college and was very close with her, Tina and Savannah. He’s done quite well for himself and has a great deal of money. Pauline encourages him to reunite with his college friends for his 35th birthday and together they invite them to Jamaica – all expenses paid.
They set off for their week long journey and while it is definitely paradise, each character is struggling with secrets, lies, self doubt and goes through a transformation throughout the week of finding themselves. At the climax of the book they are all stranded inside the villa during a category two hurricane – but as the storm settles and calm returns to the island, calm also returns to each person and they all go home in a better place than they were at their arrival.
Sarah Pekkanen has been compared to authors like Jennifer Weiner and I can definitely see some similarities. I really enjoyed her writing style and felt this book was a page turner. And I have a huge soft spot for Negril, Jamaica after traveling there last year so this kind of was a way to take me back. I could almost smell the salty air and hear the sounds of Bob Marley music over crashing waves while I read this story! I would definitely recommend this as a nice easy read!