Cover Image: The Best Part of Us

The Best Part of Us

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I was drawn to this book because of promises that the reader would be brought on a tour of the natural world. I really loved the Kristin Hannah novel, The Great Alone and The Four Winds because of how they drew me in and make me feel at home there, as if I too had visited Alaska and Texas respectively and ultimately both have made me add  visiting those destinations to my bucket list. This book did indeed treat me to many delightful locations. I loved the island and really wanted to visit myself. I could truly feel the de-stressing that occurred once the city was left behind and rest and relaxation became possible, compulsory even on the the island. It brought me back to my childhood most definitely as we too used to gather together at a seaside location, all the cousins together and stay out late into the night free from all the cares in the world. This is a lovely tale of family dynamics, beautiful surroundings and a heartfelt tale. It was very good.
Was this review helpful?
A lovely read with hidden depths. This is a story about family and nature. I really enjoyed the descriptions of nature, particularly when comparing it to the city of Chicago. I would say this is a book for all those who love nature. 
The book has a slow build which I found difficult at times as I wanted to know what happened to cause Beth and her family to leave the osland
 This book requires some patience but this patience will definitely be rewarded
Happy reading!
Was this review helpful?
Such a beautiful picture of northern Ontario and the First Nations Ojibway life. Descriptive and evocative, exploration of family and bonds to places and time. Well written.
Was this review helpful?
The Best Part of Us is a slow paced read about family, nature, and respect for the First Nation. Beth and her family summer on their own private island in Lake Wigwakobi in northern Ontario, Canada. Beth's grandfather, bought the island from members of the Ojibwe tribe decades ago. Many Ojibwe still live in the area surrounding the lake and Beth and her family regularly interact and socialize with them. Beth and her 2 older siblings thrive on their island. Beth loves hiking the trails, building forts, swimming, sailing, and watching the various birds. The siblings regularly hang out with several kids Ojibwe kids. One summer in the late 90's the siblings discover what appears to be Ojibwe artifacts on the island. Their grandfather asks them not to tell anyone because he is afraid the island will be taken from him as an important tribal site. Beth and her siblings are torn...

This book is about family and secrets and what the impact can be. It is a quiet story about family and community dynamics and how one summer can change things forever. I enjoyed this beautiful story and it is ideal if you are looking for a calm and soothing story.

What to listen to while you read...
For Me This is Heaven by Jimmy Eat World
Last Words of a Shooting Star by Mitski
Save Tonight by Eagle-Eye Cherry
Swimming by Florence + the Machine
Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer
Bird Set Free by Sia
Sunset by The xx
Holocene by Bon Iver
White Flag by Dido
I Will Remember You by Sarah McLachlan
Was this review helpful?
Beth is living her life in urban Chicago when a letter from her grandfather pulls her back to her childhood and the summers spent with her family on their island in northern Canada.  We read of the family's traditions, love of nature, and interactions with the native neighbors and inhabitants.  
Discoveries on the island lead to family conflict and strife and finally drive the family away.  This letter not only allows all of these memories to surface, it encourages Beth to return to the island to determine its future.
Was this review helpful?
An absolute diamond of a book! Takes the reader into a visitation of a beautiful world! Freedom, fun, family angst and deep loyalties! So well described ! Will stay with me! Loved it!
Was this review helpful?
i went it with the expectation that this would be a light read but It was a solid story about family dynamics, If you have ever spent time growing up in nature, around water, you'll relate to the surroundings...which is almost a secondary character in it's self
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed this book very much. It was written beautifully, with great detail and descriptions of nature that felt like I was there.  I guessed the ending, but wish it had gone a little further. Beth is the type of person every family needs, but wants to see grow.  Very good.
Was this review helpful?
A wonderful family drama in which Beth has a decision to make. Stay where she is and continue living the life she put together for herself or go back and take another direction. Beautifully written it raises the question if change and is going back home the right one. Read it to find out what Beth's choice and how it impacts her. Happy reading!
Was this review helpful?
Beth grew up loving the lake where she went to with her family each summer. This was her happy place, here with the people, the wildlife and the fresh air. Her family cherished this place as well, as a part of their love and dreams for each other, and for their heritage and their culture.  one summer, however, it all seems lost. The right to the property is questioned, and then they are betrayed by nature, by weather. As an adult, Beth builds her own wall, as a barrier against what she once had and what she has lost. 

This book is very beautiful. and shows how the whole world that we live in becomes a part of us. We are not separate from the natural world. In fact, the world around us and how we respect (and others) is truly the best part of us. 

This is a beautifully written book, and it is obvious that the author has a real love and respect for her subject. I can’t talk about the ending, of course, except to say that it was well worth reading.
Was this review helpful?
A beautifully written story about family, love and loyalty, woven tightly with a silken-threaded connection to nature and what makes us come alive.  This is the story of a summer vacation home and the family who goes there year after year, until something unthinkable drives them away, perhaps, forever.  As the title suggests, but as many family members don't realize, the memories of the home and the strong bonds made on the island, are quite possibly holding the best parts of each of the characters.  Unknown, though, is if they will try to reconnect with nature, their shared roots, and the home, thus finding their way back to one another.  This story is filled with magical visions of water, sky and land, as well as figurative language so beautiful you will find yourself wishing for a summer home as lovely and as meaningful.
Was this review helpful?
I highly recommend this book for its exquisite story telling and attention to detail. From the moment I started reading, I was drawn into the story as if I was actually there watching it unfold. The author has an amazing talent for describing nature in such vivid and emotional detail that you are immersed with all of your senses. A beautiful story written throughout the main character's life where family dynamics, the power of nature, tragedy, love and culture all swirl into one. And how the importance of remaining true to oneself can bring a sense of peace and fulfillment like no other.
Was this review helpful?
A family's idyllic summers spent on a small Canadian island are brought to an end by an unexpected discovery and a tragedy.

A story about memory, loss, grief and injustice.

Many thanks to She Writes Press and Netgalley for the ARC.
Was this review helpful?
One of the best books that I have read this summer (and because of Covid 19, I have read a lot).  Set in Canada, a family returns to an isolated island that is their summer home.  Vivid descriptions of the land and the water(, I feel cold thinking of swimming there) ,family traditions are celebrated every year.  (Grandparents are Welsh, a lot I did not know about the Welsh and the celebration of the harvest).  When an unexpected discovery of Indian relics are discovered, the story sets family member against each other and what is important in their lives.  A must read!
Was this review helpful?
Wow. 
I picked this advance readers' copy thinking I was choosing a happy chick-lit type book to read before sleeping but what I got was a powerful novel revolving around family dynamics and what happens when people aren't true to themselves or instead fall into line with family expectations/patterns. The last quarter of the book was a total surprise! This author has a great ability to write a story as a tween/young teen - all the angst, all the hope and excitement about the small things that adults tend to forget or give up as they age. At times it seemed she struggled to bring the adult Beth into focus but as you got closer to the end you realized why the adult was so different from the child (spoiler: integral to the plot). If you were a kid lucky enough to spend time outdoors at a lake or river during the summer and miss how much it became part of you, read this book.
Was this review helpful?
One of the best books I've read this year.  Sally Cole-Misch found a way to put together a story that will resonate with readers for a long time to come. Let all of us who read this book take home lessons concerning how we treat one another, nature, and other cultures - with a great deal of respect.
Was this review helpful?