The Best of Us

A Novel

The Best of Us

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.
  • Washington Square Press | 
  • 352 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451673524 | 
  • April 2013
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Best of Us includes discussion questions and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. Which of the women in The Best of Us did you mostidentify with, and why?

2. Discuss the four marriages that are depicted in The Best of Us. What kinds of adjectives would you use to describeeach of them? Do any of your past or currentrelationships have similarities to one or more of thesemarriages? Which marriage seems the strongest and themost appealing to you?

3. What do you think each woman learns from her time inJamaica? How does the trip change each of them?

4. At several points in the novel, Gio makes jabs at Dwightand the way that his financial success is on display duringthe vacation. Allie suggests that Gio’s ability to providefor his family might be a sensitive point for him,saying, “Everyone has different emotional triggers, and evenif they don’t make sense to the rest of us, it’s important torespect them” (p. 109). What is this moment in the novelsaying about both Allie and Gio? And do you agree withAllie’s assessment?

5. Savannah has many, many witty lines over the courseof the novel. Did you h see more

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About the Author

Sarah Pekkanen

Sarah Pekkanen is the internationally bestselling author of The Opposite of Me, Skipping a Beat, These Girls, The Best of Us, Catching Air, and Things You Won’t Say. 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.