The Best of Us: A Memoir

  • From the Publisher
March 29, 2018

At the age of 59, Joyce May­nard met the first true part­ner she had ever known. She mar­ried Jim Bar­ringer on a New Hamp­shire hill­side with friends and chil­dren gath­ered, fire­works explod­ing as they talked about the trips they would take, the olive trees they would plant, the food they would make togeth­er. How lucky, every­one said, that they had found each oth­er when they did.

Just after their one-year anniver­sary, Jim was diag­nosed with pan­cre­at­ic can­cer. And nine­teen months lat­er, hav­ing shared a strug­gle that con­sumed both their lives, Joyce lay beside him while he took his last breath.

The Best of Us is their sto­ry. Joyce writes about the ear­ly days of their romance, their wed­ding, their adjust­ment to liv­ing togeth­er decades after each had been divorced. And then, how every­thing changed dur­ing the months of Jim’s ill­ness, and she began, painful­ly, to imag­ine a life with­out him. It’s a love sto­ry, but it’s also a sto­ry about see­ing beyond the dream of romance and find­ing a deep­er kind of connection.

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