The Best of Us: A Novel

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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.
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About the author

Sarah Pekkanen is the bestselling author of The Ever After, The Opposite of Me, Skipping a Beat, These Girls, The Best of Us, Catching Air, Things You Won’t Say, and The Perfect Neighbors. 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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4.2
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Apr 9, 2013
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9781451673524
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Family Life / Marriage & Divorce
Fiction / Friendship
Fiction / General
Fiction / Women
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A vibrant, compulsively readable novel about two married couples who pursue a dream to open a bed-and-breakfast in small-town Vermont, from the internationally bestselling author of Perfect Neighbors and The Wife Between Us.

In her previous works including The Best of Us, “rising star” (Library Journal) Sarah Pekkanen captivated readers by penning “refreshingly introspective, sharply realistic, and tenderly humorous” novels (Booklist) that had readers “flying through the pages” (Hoda Kotb, Today show). Now, in Catching Air, Pekkanen turns an unflinching eye on the tangled relationships of two pairs of thirty-somethings.

A chance to run a B&B in snowy, remote Vermont—it’s an offer Kira Danner can’t resist after six soul-crushing years of working as a lawyer in Florida. As Kira and her husband, Peter, step into a brand new life, she quells her fears about living with the B&B’s co-owners: Peter’s sexy, irresponsible brother Rand, and Rand’s wife, Alyssa…who is essentially a stranger.

For her part, Alyssa sees taking over the B&B as the latest in a string of adventures. Plus, a quiet place might help her recover from the news that she can’t bear children. But the idyllic town proves to be anything but serene: Within weeks, the sisters-in-law are scrambling to prepare for their first big booking—a winter wedding—and soon a shy, mysterious woman comes to work for them. Dawn Zukoski is hiding something; that much is clear. But what the sisters-in-law don't realize is that Dawn is also hiding from someone…

Relatable and dynamic, Catching Air delves deeply into the vital relationships that give shape to women’s lives.
Award winner: “Hearing about Down syndrome directly from these young men has a good deal more impact than reading any guide from a professional.” —Booklist

This book is in Mitchell and Jason’s own words. . . . We wanted readers to have a true-to-life sense of their charm, their directness, their humor and warmth, and, yes, their intelligence.
 
At ages nineteen and twenty-two, respectively, Jason Kingsley and Mitchell Levitz shared their innermost thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams―and their experiences growing up with Down syndrome. Their frank discussion of what mattered most in their lives―careers, friendships, school, sex, marriage, finances, politics, and independence―earned Count Us In numerous national awards, including the EDI Award from the National Easter Seal Society. More important, their wit, intelligence, candor, and charm made for a powerful and inspirational statement about the full potential of people with developmental disabilities, challenging prevailing stereotypes.
 
In this edition, with a new afterword, the authors also discuss their lives since then: milestones and challenges, and changes both expected and unexpected.
 
“Their parents were told to expect nothing. But Jason Kingsley and Mitchell Levitz were lucky, because their parents didn’t listen. They gave their sons that chance to show how far they could go—and they’ve astounded everyone!” —Jane Pauley
 
“This single volume will do more to change stereotypes about Down syndrome than any book I have read. These two young men steal our hearts and wash away generations of misconceptions.” —Mary L. Coleman, MD, Emeritus, Georgetown University
 
“An excellent illustration of what it’s like to have Down syndrome . . . Most moving here are the portrayals of strong family relationships.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“Will open eyes and touch the heart.” —Library Journal
From the author of the acclaimed The Opposite of Me, a poignant, witty novel about marriage, forgiveness, and the choices that give shape—and limits—to our lives.

What would you do if your husband suddenly wanted to rewrite all of the rules of your relationship? This is the question at the heart of Skipping a Beat, Pekkanen’s thought-provoking second book.

From the outside, Julia and Michael seem to have it all. Both products of difficult childhoods in rural West Virginia—where they were simply Julie and Mike—they become high school sweethearts and fall in love. Shortly after graduation, they flee their small town to start afresh. Now thirty-somethings, they are living a rarified life in their multi-million-dollar, Washington D.C. home. Julia is a highly sought-after party planner, while Michael has just sold his wildly successful flavored water company for $70 million.

But one day, Michael collapses in his office. Four minutes and eight seconds after his cardiac arrest, a portable defibrillator jump-starts his heart. But in those lost minutes he becomes a different man. Money is meaningless to him—and he wants to give it all away. Julia, who sees bits of her life reflected in scenes from the world’s great operas, is now facing with a choice she never anticipated. Should she should walk away from the man she once adored—but who truthfully became a stranger to her long before this pronouncement—or give in to her husband's pleas for a second chance and a promise of a poorer but happier life?

As wry and engaging as her debut, but with quiet depth and newfound maturity, Skipping a Beat is an unforgettable portrait of a marriage whose glamorous surface belies the complications and betrayals beneath.
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