The Best of Us
Written and read by Joyce Maynard
Joyce Maynard is her own best reader, especially for The Best of Us, a memoir of her life with her second husband, Jim, whom she wed at the age of 59. Both had been divorced for close to 25 years, both had grown children, and she had entered the relationship believing she was done with marriage – although the full meaning of that bond would become clear only as theirs was drawing to a close. Jim, whom she had met on a dating site, died of pancreatic cancer just before their third wedding anniversary.
Maynard’s fiction fans will be especially moved by their story, which, despite the sad ending, shows the promise of late-life love affairs. He, a lawyer, is the “catastrophiser”; she the “voice of wild optimism”. He made her a kinder, better version of herself. This memoir remembers how.