Paul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he’s the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That’s why he’s planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And he’s promised today will be the best day ever.

But as Paul and Mia drive out of the city and toward the countryside, a spike of tension begins to wedge itself between them and doubts start to arise. How much do they trust each other? And how perfect is their marriage, or any marriage, really?

My Thoughts: Our first person narrator throughout Best Day Ever is Paul Strom, husband, father, and a man intent on controlling everything about the day…and their lives.

In the beginning, his narrative seemed almost sweet, like someone wanting to have that perfect getaway. But the more we followed his monologue, the darker things seemed. It didn’t take long for me to feel the angst of a day and a life that would surely unravel.

As Mia reacts, and then as Paul reads her reactions, the intensity increases. Soon I am beginning to feel the fear and suspense of someone watching lives crash and burn.

The neighbor Buck adds to the intensity, as he shows up constantly, interrupting the two of them, but soon it begins to feel pre-planned. What is going on, and what will happen next?

A story of power and control, and breaking free of that control and regaining one’s power, kept me turning pages in this brilliant study of dysfunctional family dynamics. 5 stars.



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