Thursday, June 4, 2009

Review: Best Intentions

After reading the dust jacket, I have to admit I was thinking that Best Intentions by Emily Listfield would be just another novel about a cheating husband and what happens to a family once he has been found out. I wasn’t expecting this novel to grab me with its twists and turns. The story builds, step by step, as we continue to learn more about each of the main characters, and I came to realize that this was so much more than what I expected.

Lisa and Sam seem to be the perfect couple living in New York. They met in college and have been happily married for years. Through a series of missteps and bad investments, are now feeling some financial pressure. Adding to that pressure is their daughters’ private school tuition.

Deirdre is Lisa’s best friend since college. She is a free spirit, single, but looking to settle down. Unfortunately, her current boyfriend – a popular and well traveled photographer, Ben – isn’t interested in that. Their on again, off again relationship is shaky at best, but factor in some rough sex, and it borders on dangerous.

Jack, who had moved away and married a much younger woman, completed the foursome of friends in college. Deirdre and Jack were in a serious relationship that ended in an ultimatum. Then, Jack comes in to town and gets the old gang together for a 40th birthday celebration.

Lisa is faced with some major trust issues at the beginning of the novel, when she hears a voice message on her husband’s phone – a soft whispering voice, suggesting a meeting at the same time, same place. The evidence seems clear that her husband is having an affair, but throughout the novel, different pieces of evidence can be interpreted in different ways. I went back and forth thinking “CHEATER!” and “no, he’s telling the truth!” Through Emily Listfield’s writing, you can really feel the struggle between trust and mistrust, and it was easy to sympathize with Lisa’s character during her struggle.

This novel poses a few questions such as, “how well do you ever really know a person?” I guess you have to read on to find out!!!

Emily Listfield is the author of six novels, including Waiting to Surface and the New York Times Notable Book It was Gonna Be Like Paris. You can read more about Emily Listfield and her work at her author website, or visit the Who Killed Deirdre? web pages.

Thanks to Lauren for sending me this book to review!!!


bermudaonion said...

Sounds interesting - sometimes I wonder how well we really know ourselves.

Arielle Lee Bair said...

I love when you write reviews, because you're always so honest. Sounds like a decent read. Thanks for sharing. :)