BEST DAY EVER by Kaira Rouda


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A husband and father has a very, very special weekend planned for his wife in this creepy little chiller.

Ohio couple Paul and Mia Strom are heading up to their lake house on the shores of Lake Erie for the perfect weekend, and Paul is determined to make it the best day ever. Their two young sons are with a babysitter, and Mia, who has been struggling with a mysterious illness, is feeling better. And why shouldn’t it be a perfect day? Paul and Mia have a perfect family, and Paul is the perfect husband (he even says so) and Mia, the perfect housewife. All is...well, perfect. Or so Paul would have everyone think. After 10 years, the shine has worn off for Paul, but he chose Mia for a reason, and he’s determined to make it work; he’ll do it on his terms, though, and this weekend will be a turning point. But Paul’s skeletons are falling out of the closet in droves, and Mia isn’t the wilting housewife he thought she was. The Stroms seems to have it all and are a king and queen of their suburban domain, but there’s a creeping rot underneath, and his name is Paul. There are children at stake, though, not to mention Mia, who has endured this man for far too long. Rouda’s (The Goodbye Year, 2016) choice to have Paul narrate is a compelling one, and he is about as awful as he can possibly get without going completely over the top (although a laughable attempt to whisk his mistress off to Disneyland in the middle of the night pushes it a bit). He laces his narrative with just enough snippets about his fraught childhood to give his warped pathology some psychological heft. The conclusion even leaves a little bit of uncertainty for readers to chew on.

Darkly funny, scandalous, and utterly satisfying.

Pub Date: Sept. 19th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-5258-1140-1
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Graydon House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2017


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