Sunday, May 17, 2009

Review: Best Intentions

"The trajectory of any life, laid out across a table, reduced to jottings in a pad, would no doubt seem both damning and inane, our imperfections difficult to justify despite our best intentions."

For Lisa Barkley, life is in a state of transition. Everything she's known for sure is out of sorts...all that had run smoothly on its tracks is now bumpy and uncertain.

Her position as vice president of a Manhattan PR firm is threatened when the company is sold. Her marriage to Dan, a business journalist, has grown distant, and a few unsettling discoveries lead her to believe he is having an affair...even as he assures her that his preoccupation is finding the next "big" story for his career.

Her longtime best friend, Deidre, is considering giving up her penchant for bad-boy relationships after an encounter with her college boyfriend, with Lisa as the go-between as they test the waters with each other again.

Lisa even feels out of place at her preteen daughters' private school, as the only working mother on the annual fundraiser committee among perfectly put together "career moms."

When Lisa meets businessman David Forrester as a potential client, the two form a friendship, with e-mails that border on flirtations and lunches where they reveal more and more about themselves. He becomes her advisor, in both her precarious job situation and in her doubts about her marriage. It is the one bright spot in the murkiness that Lisa's life has become...but is she playing with fire?

While Part I of this novel is an examination of marriage, motherhood, and friendships, Part II is a murder mystery. It's somewhat of an abrupt shift, but Listfield keeps the "whodunit" interesting and the reader guessing.

There's so much going wrong in Lisa's life that it's easy to get bogged down with it at times, and I was eager for something good to happen to her. That said, this was an interesting read with a great setting and some riveting suspense at the end.

10 comments:

bermudaonion said...

I keep reading good reviews of this one, so I have it on my wish list.

Mary said...

Nice review, Jill. I'm thinking about reading it. Lots of titles before it on the list though.

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Literary Feline said...

This sounds like an interesting book. The shift from one type of book to another in the middle can be a bit disconcerting, but it doesn't sound like it threw the book too off balance. Thanks for the great review.

Jess said...

I really enjoyed this book as well -- great review.

Serena said...

wow, sounds like there is a lot of harsh stuff happening to the main character. thanks for the honest review.

Marie said...

Great review. Sounds like a pretty intense read.

S. Krishna said...

I enjoyed this book. Nice review!

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

I thought the writing in this was fairly strong - so much so that I couldn't stand any of the men and was irritated by Lisa's choices (to me, evoking emotion is a sign of strong writing).

I thought it was interesting that the murder happened when it did (so far into the book), and almost wish that I didn't know it was coming ... but it's a major part of the promo for the book!

Nice review :)

Lori said...

I added it to my TBR list! Thanks for the review!