By: Joyce Maynard
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication Date: 9/5/2017
My Rating: 5 Stars
From New York Times bestselling author Joyce Maynard, a memoir about discovering strength in the midst of great loss--"heart-wrenching, inspiring, full of joy and tears and life." (Anne Lamott)
From the author of (2016) Under the Influence Joyce Maynard once again delivers a mesmerizing and beautiful journey and love story. Love, loss, grief, and marriage. Cancer, and its battles. Life changing experiences.
I loved THE BEST OF US! A deeply moving and powerful tribute. One of the best memoirs I have read in 2017.
Raw and honest, a poignant and beautifully written memoir that accompanied me for a 20 hr. car ride in bumper-to-bumper gridlock traffic while evacuating Hurricane Irma from South Florida. This was supposed to be a birthday weekend trip with my sons coming into town from NC to Florida. Then with IRMA, the hotel canceled and the airlines. Not happening.
Recalculate. Now, I had to evacuate and leave Florida. The perfect book would be THE BEST OF US. Loaded on all my devices and synced to my car. I knew she would carry me through.
What was supposed to be a trip to Highlands, NC (Western Mountains north of Atlanta) to escape Florida and IRMA on Thursday before the upcoming disaster. With only two roads out of Florida and 7 million people in South Florida trying to evacuate. This would have been a 12-15 hr drive.
However, it turned into a 20 hr. drive and never even got out of Florida, much less cross into Atlanta or NC. I could not wait to get out of the car and no hotels on this strip of the turnpike. I only made it a little north of Orlando, in Ocala, FL. (On a normal day, would take you 4 hrs.). At the end of the Florida Turnpike, when I saw I-75 after driving all night, lack of sleep, lack of fuel for travelers, overcrowded highways, and no vacancy; you can bet I grabbed the first hotel I could find when they had a last minute cancellation.
I recall sitting there in the heat, trying to decide where to go, with my A/C running at a truck stop on the turnpike with hundreds of stranded families with their children and pets, sitting in my car listening to THE BEST OF US.
I looked around at all the hundreds of families that may never see their homes again and are sleeping in their cars. While listening to Joyce and her brave fight as well as Jim's courage and tenacity.
I am currently riding out the impending storm here in Ocala, FL at the same hotel for its duration before I can return home to Palm Beach. This central location may still face issues as well, but at least I will not be on the waterfront in South Florida. Still waiting it out until Monday and beyond to see what will happen.
Without the audiobook, to accompany me on this stressful journey, narrated by Joyce, not sure I could have made it thru this time. I always purchase her audiobooks. Her voice is spellbinding. Her stories grab you by the heartstrings and never let go.
While listening, filled with anxiety and stress worrying if I would (will) have an apartment to return to on the water, top floor in West Palm Beach and on the heels shortly after my dad's death in June (heart) and mom's (cancer) last August, I had to take a moment to think beyond my current situation, while listening to this beautiful and heartbreaking love story. I related on so many levels. I have so much to be thankful for. Her voice was calming and soothing.
Being around the same age as the author, and single (divorced), I found it refreshing —two courageous and talented people were able to find one another and bring so much joy to one another if only for a short time.
From the love, tears, fears, and sorrows, I adore Joyce Mayard's writing and highly recommend this amazing book. Flaws and all, she shares a personal story with passion, heart, and soul; filled with humor, wit, love, grief, honesty, and raw emotion. From the darkest hours to the magical moments.
An added bonus for the audiobook readers, the author, and Jim share their wedding vows. Priceless! Readers, you have to meet Jim. An incredible man and one which will not be forgotten.
An inspiring story! For readers who enjoyed When Breath Becomes Air. Highly Recommend the author and this amazing book. Buy the audio! An ideal choice for book clubs and further discussions. Book Guide
The New York Times