Thursday, August 20, 2009

Best Intentions

Best Intentions: A Novel Best Intentions: A Novel by Emily Listfield

Published by: Atria, part of Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 1416576711 (isbn13: 9781416576716)
Date published: May 5, 2009
Number of Pages: 338

Book 94 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Book 25 of 50 for the New Author Challenge

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This isn't the sort of book I'm in the habit of reading. But, I've always enjoyed a good mystery, so I was delighted when the publisher sent me a copy to review.

The plot follows Lisa Barkley, a working mom in New York City. She has a lot of stress in her life--a precarious job situation, her two middle school-aged daughters, and a husband who seems to be distancing himself emotionally, perhaps because of mounting financial concerns. Money is tight, but the daughters are enrolled in an exclusive Upper East Side school in an attempt to give them advantages Lisa never had. In the process Lisa always feels the pressure of keeping up with the Joneses, which just isn't a possibility. Lisa becomes convinced her husband is having an affair, but her best friend Dierdre tells her she has nothing to worry about. Dierdre herself is in a dangerous relationship, and Lisa doesn't know who to turn to.

In the first part of the book, the characters are richly and intricately drawn. The plot was slow in parts at the beginning, but it set the stage so well for what was to come. The second part contains the whodunnit element, and I could not put it down! If I have a complaint about the second half, it was that it was all over a little too quickly and there were a couple of details I would have liked to have seen fleshed out a little more.

The book was so well-written, the prose was a pleasure to read. The overall tone of the book is melancholy, but would make an excellent fall-to-winter read. There were a few passages where I thought the author strayed into some moralizing that I didn't agree with. But I was riveted to the characters and their story and I felt a vested interest in what was happening.

This is an adult book with some very adult issues and themes, although not overly graphic. There is the use of expletives in parts, but it wasn't over-the-top for me.

I enjoyed this and would definitely read something else by the same author.

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Source: Publisher


Diane said...

Great review Trica. I really want to read this one. Glad u liked it.

bermudaonion said...

Sounds like a winner to me!

Veens said...

Sounds great! Adding to my wish-list!

alisonwonderland said...

I've added this to my to-read list. Thanks for the review!

Holly said...

Terrific review. I've been wanting to read this one!

Luanne said...

Great review Tricia - it was one I probably would not have picked up on my own. I was glad to have the publisher offer it. I too enjoyed it.


Anonymous said...

Steve just reviewed this...he said it was a well written book, but not his cup of tea. Guess it wasn't a guy!

Tricia said...

J. Kaye, Yeah, I don't think I would recommend it for a guy. :)