The Debutante Ball is thrilled to welcome back former Deb Sarah Pekkanen! Sarah is the internationally-bestselling author of four novels, including THE BEST OF US, which won a starred Publishers Weekly review and is the Marie Claire book pick for April. Hailed as a “rising star” by publications including Library Journal, her novels are often compared to those by Jennifer Weiner and Emily Giffin. Her books have won rave reviews from People magazine, Entertainment Weekly, O the Oprah magazine, Booklist, Cosmopolitan, Glamour magazine, and Ladies Home Journal. She is an occasional book reviewer for The Washington Post and is the back-page columnist for Bethesda Magazine.
Sarah has been so kind as to share an excerpt with us from her latest book, THE BEST OF US, which has received the following advance praise:
“The perfect book to curl up with on a rainy day.” Maire Claire Magazine
“Fans of Jennifer Weiner and Emily Giffin will strongly appreciate this rising star in women’s fiction.” Library Journal
“A deeply enjoyable page-turner.” Publishers Weekly STARRED review
Please join us in welcoming Sarah and enjoy this sneak peek into her latest novel!
Tina Antonelli stared at the heavy, cream-colored invitation like it was a loose diamond she’d found in the sandbox at the neighborhood playground. No, it was even more valuable than a diamond, she decided as she leaned against her kitchen counter and felt her nightgown-clad hip squish into something. Grape jelly, she thought absently, recalling her early-morning frenzy of sandwich-making for school lunches. She re-read the first line of calligraphy:
Please join us in celebrating Dwight’s 35th birthday!
Dwight Glass. Her old friend. How could he be turning 35 when she still pictured him at 20: thin and awkward as a praying mantis, with a shock of brown hair always falling into his eyes? Dwight had lived in one of the coveted private rooms that encircled the grassy quad at the University of Virginia. While other students had tossed around Frisbees or footballs on the sprawling lawn, the guys shirtless in the springtime and the girls wearing bright miniskirts or sundresses, Dwight rarely ventured past the little awning in front of his room. He always seemed to be sitting in a straight-backed chair, wearing an oxford shirt with one too many buttons done up, a thick textbook on his lap.
Our plane departs from Dulles International Airport on Sunday, August 18 at 10 a.m. and returns Saturday, August 25 at 5 p.m.
“Our plane,” Tina said, the words as airy and sweet in her mouth as a spoonful of chocolate mousse. She’d heard that Dwight had bought his own Gulfstream a few years ago.
“Mommy?” a hoarse voice called from the living room. “I need you!”
“Just a sec, honey,” she said.
We’ll stay in a villa in Jamaica that comes with a chef who will fulfill all of our culinary requests. You can choose to surf or snorkel, take a helicopter tour of the island – or do absolutely nothing but relax on a private beach and lift a champagne glass for the birthday toast.
A little moan escaped from Tina’s lips. A cook. A private beach. Champagne. She envisioned a whitewashed villa with floor-to-ceiling windows thrown open to reveal a white sand beach; white couches in the living room – and on the beds, crisp white sheets. Everything could be white because she wouldn’t have to worry about four small children and one large dog spilling, shedding, messing and breaking.
“MOMMY!” Or yelling.
She imagined herself in a new bathing suit, bronzed like the girls in the Ban De Soleil ads, and mentally erased the pouch of her belly and the crow’s feet framing her eyes. Why not? She was being offered the trip of a lifetime, from a guy she’d kissed once in college (alcohol was involved, of course; lots of alcohol and dim lighting and the bittersweet knowledge that graduation was just around the corner) and who had drifted in and out of her life in the decade and a half since then. Anything was possible.