Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Review: Best Intentions by Emily Listfield

Book Info:
Best Intentions by Emily Listfield
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Atria (May 5, 2009)
ISBN-13: 9781416576716
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5

After tossing and turning all night, thirty-nine year old Lisa Barkley wakes up well before her alarms sounds. With two daughters about to start another year at their elite Upper East Side private school and her career hitting a wall, the effort of trying to keep up appearances in a world where long weekends to St. Tropez are the norm, has become increasingly difficult, especially as Manhattan descends into economic freefall.

As Lisa looks over at her sleeping husband Sam, she can’t help but feel like their fifteen-year marriage is in a funk that she isn’t able to place. She tries to shake it off, telling herself that the strain must due to their mounting financial pressures. But later that morning, Lisa checks Sam’s voicemail, and hears a whispered phone call from a woman. Is he having an affair?

When shares her suspicions with her best college friend, Deirdre, at their weekly breakfast Deirdre claims it can’t be true. But can Lisa trust her? When Deirdre’s former college flame comes to town and the two couples meet to celebrate Jack’s fortieth birthday, the stage is set for an explosive series of discoveries with devastating consequences.

I was expecting pretty much a standard women's fiction with Best Intentions, and was pleasantly surprised to find it was so much more. It is a character driven novel that explores relationships, but with a twist. The added element of a murder mystery really set it apart from other books in the genre.

Emily Listfield does a great job of taking the reader on a roller coaster of emotion. Lisa's life is in turmoil on all fronts, and I could really feel her apprehension and misgivings coming through every page. There were a few times I got frustrated with her and wanted to tell her to do things differently, but I think this is a great sign that you are emotionally invested in the characters.

I really enjoyed seeing how actions, performed with the best of intentions, can spin wildly out of your control. 3.5 stars


Jennifer Taylor said...

This sounds like a good book. I like mysteries weaved in with romances and inspirational stories.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I hope to read this one some time in 2009 LOL Thanks for the review.

Literary Feline said...

This does sound good! I'm with Jennifer, I like to see mysteries woven in now and then. Great review!

Sandy Nawrot said...

This has been making its rounds, and has forced its way onto my radar! It has been duly noted on my List!

Zibilee said...

I like character driven novels, so this one is of real interest to me. Thanks for the great review, I will be checking this one out.

Darlene said...

I felt the same reading. There were a few times I thought, geez if you'd just say something or do something but you're right, this means you care about what you're reading. I really enjoyed this book.

Jess said...

Great review -- I really enjoyed reading this book.