The Best of Us by Joyce Maynard

The Best of Us

The San Francisco Chronicle's Best of 2017 List 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)In 2011, when she was in her late fifties, beloved author and journalist Joyce Maynard met the first true partner she had ever known. Jim wore a rakish hat over a good head of hair; he asked real questions and...

Details The Best of Us

TitleThe Best of Us
Release DateSep 11th, 2018
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Biography, Biography Memoir, Audiobook, Medical, Abandoned, Death

Reviews The Best of Us

  • Elyse
    This is a very difficult review for me to write. I really love Joyce .....and I'm still very sad for Joyce's loss. I was sooo happy for her when she married Jim!!! Jim died of pancreatic cancer. When Bloomsbury sent me Joyce's book from Netgalley the other day -- It was unexpected. -- ( but 'many' thanks) --I had no idea Joyce's book was going on Netgalley. I made a donation to the Cancer Society months ago - in honor of Jim ( and Joyce), ... and...
  • Debbie
    Wow. What an experience! This is the saddest true love story I’ve ever heard. This memoir is well-written and infused with emotion. It’s so vivid, I felt like I had a front-row seat. I couldn’t put it down—which is weird, given that the book is about a man dying of cancer. Not the most upbeat subject. The story is told by the writer Joyce Maynard, who, in her late 50s, found and married the love of her life, Jim, only to lose him to pancr...
  • Cheri
    !! NOW AVAILABLE !!”Let us be lovers, We’ll marry our fortunes together. I’ve got some real estate Here in my bag.””So we bought a pack of cigarettes, And Mrs. Wagner pies And walked off To look for America.” “America” by Simon & Garfunkel, words by Paul SimonI began the year reading Joyce Maynard’s “Under the Influence” and years before that, I read “Labor Day,” which later became a movie. I have not read her 1998 me...
  • Diane S ☔
    It is only fairly recently that I have begun reading memoirs or biographies written by author whose book I love to read. I am amazed at the insight this provides when I next read their books, makes ten more meaningful in a way. This book is a wonderful, if heartbreaking, homage to a man she met and married late in her life, a man she had for too short a time.She allows the reader into the most personal of thoughts, actions, mistakes, regrets and ...
  • Esil
    Joyce Maynard's memoir of her husband's battle with pancreatic cancer hit awfully close to home. My father died of pancreatic cancer close to eight years ago. It's a particularly nasty cancer because it is almost always a death sentence, and it can move brutally fast. I have vivid memories of my father through different stages of his illness, which in his case lasted relatively long -- two years. Thankfully, by now, when I think of my father I do...
  • PorshaJo
    I love to, listen to books by Joyce Maynard. I find them so comforting and so far have listened to the narrations of each of the books that I've read by her. But this one, I was on the fence about starting. I knew what it was about. I knew it was going to be rough. But I had to find the right time to listen to it. My father inlaw died of pancreatic cancer and I was not sure if I wanted to revisit the memories by listening to this. Event...
  • Cathrine ☯️
    4➕★I did not ponder much whether a memoir about a beloved husband’s battle with pancreatic cancer and its inevitable outcome was a book topic I wanted to embrace. Generally speaking, who would?The author and I are close in age and I’m a fan of her writing. There was much to relate to as we share many personality traits and quirks. Up to the half way mark I enjoyed the narrative chronicling life before Jim, and then how they met and marrie...
  • JanB
    This memoir is a later-in-life love story between Joyce and Jim, who passed away last year. Joyce writes honestly and beautifully - I love her 'voice". Her story is full of a passion and zest for life, with hard-won wisdom about what a partnership really means. By the end I felt I knew Joyce and Jim and I cried at her loss. Joyce found Jim, her soul-mate, in her late 50's, after being alone for 25 years. They married, and were dealt a devastating...
  • Jennifer Blankfein
    Follow me for all reviews on highly recommend reading The Best of Us , just make sure you have a box of tissues. Joyce Maynard finds the love of her life in her 50s, many years after being divorced and raising her children as a single mother. She and Jim, her new love, had a wonderful connection and were enjoying life to the fullest. And then their future was shattered when he was diagnosed with pancreatic ...
  • Karen
    THE BEST OF US:: A MEMOIR by JOYCE MAYNARDSPOILER ALERTAs said in the Good Reads synopsis I will quote "THE BEST of US is a heart-wrenching, ultimately a life-affirming reflection on coming to understand true love through the experience of great loss." I can wholeheartedly agree with that quote because I have experienced it before myself. I have read somewhere recently where someday in the future there is going to be a medical scan that will show...
  • Dana
    I first discovered Joyce Maynard when I picked up a copy of Under the Influence. I loved it right away and went over to her Facebook page to read more about the author only to discover her husband of less than three short years (19 months of it fighting cancer) was dying of pancreatic cancer. I followed the journey and was saddened to read he had died. From there I went on to listen to her read her book After Her. So when I saw her memoir about h...
  • Sherri Thacker
    Wow! What a heartbreaking story!! I would’ve gave this 5 stars because she wrote with such passion but I just felt it was “too long of a book”.
  • Cindi
    As a young wife and mother I loved Maynard's writings about motherhood and marriage. I am glad she found happiness with a loving spouse, but this book reeked of narcissism and self envolvment. She writes about adopting two girls from Africa only to rescind the adoption, without explaination except to say it was difficult.The next chapter is about being driven around by her boyfriend in his Porsche, traveling to Europe and staying at her one of he...
  • Margerywieder
    Although this is a very engaging memoir, my rating is influenced by my opinion of the writer, who (though she tells the story of her deep love for her husband), seems so narcissistic/egocentric. One example that stands out for me is her negative description of her husband's daughter. Honest, I guess, but very ungenerous, it seems to me.
  • Karen
    This 448-page love letter highlighting Joyce’s abbreviated love story with soulmate Jim is one chock full of emotion and packed a powerful punch. This beautifully written tribute is simply stunning. I mourn Maynard’s loss and reading this book serves as a reminder to not take my own marriage for granted; it could all change tomorrow.The book is also a reinforcement of the old saying “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have love...
  • Judy Collins
    From the author of (2016) Under the Influence, Joyce Maynard once again delivers a mesmerizing and beautiful journey and love story. I loved THE BEST OF US! A deeply moving and powerful tribute. One of the best memoirs I have read in 2017. Love, loss, grief, and marriage. Cancer, and its battles. Life changing experiences. The New York Times Raw and honest, a poignant and beautifully written memoir that accompanied me for a 20 hr. car ride in b...
  • Megan
    Having never read Joyce Maynard, this book introduced me to a woman who married her soulmate Jim, only to lose him to cancer. However, I found the first part of the book hard to get through. As I meet Joyce and her new beau, I often found myself rolling my eyes at the constant use of superlatives. (Everything was the best or the happiest). She was repetitive on stating her age and how long she had been since single as well as continually griped a...
  • Jean Jenkins
    Reading a 'personal experience' book seemed like a good idea at the time. Some years back, a member of my family had a bout with pancreatic cancer, and I was curious how others went through the process. But the disease is both an uphill battle and an uphill climb. I almost put this book down a couple of times but am glad I didn't. Maynard's writing is clear and honest, sleek yet warm. She lures the reader inside her relationship with Jim, her hus...
  • Christina Kline
    What does it mean to find the love of your life when you’ve given up on love — and to journey with that person right to the end? Clear-eyed, unsentimental, yet infused with joy and gratitude, THE BEST OF US is a later-in-life love story. Filled with passion and humor and beauty and aching sadness, this memoir gets at the heart of what love is: a willingness to open your heart completely to another person despite the risk of heartbreak. I flew...
  • Michelle
    As a NYT bestselling novelist and memoirist, Joyce Maynard shares the chasm between tender happiness and searing heartbreak in her memorable love story, “The Best of Us: A Memoir” When Maynard married for the second time, at age 59, she had no way of knowing time with her beloved second husband would not be long, Jim’s life would be cut so short, after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.Before Maynard met Jim, her life as a successful ...
  • Kelly
    The Best of Us: A Memoir by Joyce MaynardSept 2017 I received this digital book from Bloomsbury Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.What a touching and honest memoir! Joyce Maynard displays remarkable strength in sharing her story. Every author has a story to tell, not just the ones conjured up with imagination. This is a deeply personal exploration into her brief but moving relationship with her soul mate. Most divorced peo...
  • Terry ~ Huntress of Erudition
    Thank you Netgalley, for the chance to review an advance copy of this wonderful book:The two most important issues to me in a book are personal enlightenment and character growth - I feel I have learned so much through reading Maynard's account of her husband's struggle with pancreatic cancer. My husband and I are about the same ages as Joyce and Jim when the book was written, so a lot of what she describes about the relationship rings true to me...
  • Keep Calm Novel On
    NetGalley provided a copy of the ARC in exchange for an honest review.Joyce Maynard’s memoir The Best of Us is a personal and touching glimpse of her journey with her second husband Jim. In her fifties, she was living an independent life until she met Jim. She quickly discovered emotions she had never experienced before. He opened up her heart to true love and a real partnership. The quick courtship and short marriage gave her the tools to move...
  • Caryn
    On the surface, this is a memoir about a woman who loses her husband to pancreatic cancer. But in its core, it’s a love story. It was expertly written and allowed a rare glimpse into their lives as they fell in love. I loved reading the little stories that included both their ups and downs. She was unflinchingly honest, even as she shared her own faults. It was, of course, sad, but left me with hope. Will definitely be recommending.
  • Riva Sciuto
    This memoir can best be described as "painful" for many reasons. Joyce Maynard chronicles her husband's battle with pancreatic cancer and his untimely death because of it. And while that is unfathomably sad on its own, the memoir itself -- which extends far beyond the scope of Jim's illness and Maynard's grief -- is torturous to read. 'The Best of Us' should have been an essay in The Atlantic, not an entire book. Instead of focusing on the grief ...
  • Geneviève
    The Best of Us is definitely one of the best books I've read so far this year, if not the best one. I had never read a book by Joyce Maynard and I am glad that I discovered this author. The Best of Us is a memoir by Joyce Maynard relating her story of finding true love, her first true partner in her late fifties, Jim. She tells the readers about a few failed encounters and brief relationships and how one day, via Internet dating, she met Jim. She...
  • Cindy
    If you judge a memoir by how vulnerable and real the author is with us, the readers, than this is a 5 star book! After having read this book I have tremendous respect for the author, Joyce Maynard, who I have never read before. She opens her heart and soul by showing unlimited vulnerability as she shares her life story. Based on the synopsis of the book I thought I would immediately begin to read about her late husband's illness but his diagnosis...
  • Syrie James
    A heartbreaking novel about a woman (who happens to be a well-known and successful author) who, after after a nasty divorce and many years living as a single mom, finds the love of her life at age 58, only to have him be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, go through the hell of treatments, and then pass away far too young. My husband was diagnosed with the same deadly and terrifying disease this year, and it was even more painful for me to read th...
  • Marika
    Author Joyce Maynard has always been a controversial figure in the literary world. From her affair with author J.D. Salinger, then selling the letters he wrote her, to a difficult divorce Maynard has had a rocky relationship with love and perception. Maynard finally finds true love with an equal partner when she is in her 50's only to be devastated when her husband is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. This is her love story, although it's not an ...