When I started reading Best Intentions, by Erika Raskin, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I hadn’t heard very much about this book. Now that I have finished, I must say, this one became the surprise hit of my summer. I cannot believe more people are not talking about this book!
The way Raskin chose to narrate the novel and roll out the plot was absolute literary brilliance.
The novel opens with Marti, our narrator, looking back on the events of the story. Something bad has happened. She is facing charges. Her world has been torn apart. And, at this point, the reader has no idea why. Needless to say, I was hooked. Told through a back and forth type of narration, the reader is able to see how the events played out and the repercussions. At about the 60% point is where the reader is finally privy to the events that led Marti to her situation and I was actually shocked with how things played out; I had my suspicions and I had my theories but Raskin does a phenomenal job at leaving small breadcrumbs so the reader stays in the dark.
Marti was a complex and likable character, a social worker and mother of three; she is living the “semi-perfect” life with her OBGYN husband. When she heads back to work and starts working at her husband’s hospital, she is hesitant but eager to share her enthusiasm counseling young women as they prepare to give birth. As she gets closer to her patients and becomes involved emotionally, she finds herself caught up in the darker side of medicine and politics.
When I think domestic suspense, I usually find myself thinking of books like Behind Closed Doors by B.A Paris or The Couple Next Door by Shari Lepena. I was pleased to find that Raskin chooses to weave a completely different tale under this genre; a tale that looks at the high-stakes of hospital politics, court proceedings, pressures of family life and balancing career and family and also the consequences of trying to do the right thing.
I absolutely loved Best Intentions; fast-paced prose, complex characters and a plot that left me thinking, I would highly recommend this book to lovers of Jodi Picoult. It is up that same alley. 5/5 stars from me!