SEEDS OF DOUBT — A Review of “Best Intentions”

Best Intentions

Into a world of privilege that includes private schools, high-level careers, and upward mobility, the seeds of doubt are planted and lie fallow, waiting for the opportunity to blossom and spread like a malignant disease.

At first, Lisa Barkley begins to feel the doubts about her career, which seems to be hitting a wall – an outside company has purchased the public relations firm where she works – and the expenses that barely allow them to keep afloat seem to be growing rapidly. And Sam, her loving husband, seems remote. Secrets crop up, nurturing those seeds of doubt, until finally everything escalates into a terrifying morass of fear, dread and panic.

Best friend Deirdre, always so reliable, now seems unpredictable. An old lover from Deirdre’s past joins the troops, reminding them all of their carefree college days, but his presence only complicates the situation.

Outsiders inflict their own worrisome thoughts into the mix – one David Forrester is there to offer support, but also to fan the doubt flames – and soon Lisa doesn’t know who to trust or what to believe.

Then, finally, a tragic death brings everything to a crashing climax, escalating the doubts to suspicion, mistrust, and fear.

Will all of their worlds crash and burn? Can anything be salvaged, and if so, what will fall into place after the final resolution of who did what, with whom, and why?

A fascinating portrayal of a privileged world that lends credence to the warning to “be careful what you wish for,” Emily Listfield’s Best Intentions: A Novel delivers all that it promises. The author carefully reveals the multi-layered social universe that, on the surface, appears untouchable and successfully drives home the point that none of us are exempt from life’s tribulations.

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