Review: Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson

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Because of events in my own life, it took me a little bit of time to get into this book. But once I did I was hooked. It’s been a long time since a book has enticed me to stay up past when I should be going to bed and it was a welcome feeling. That was how I spent my childhood until I graduated high school and real life got in the way of escaping to books. What a nice change of pace to fall completely into a book.

Pineapple Street is the story of a family and how they each cope with personal challenges. There’s a wife who never felt accepted by her husband’s family, a daughter too embarrassed to tell her parents her husband lost his job, a younger sister struggling with loss, and a brother caught in the middle. The book is told from three different perspectives which I loved. Each chapter is told from a different person’s perspective, the two sisters and the sister-in-law. I’m naturally a curious person and always wondering why someone did or said something, fictional or not, so it was a relief when something happened and I knew in the upcoming chapters I’d find out what everyone thought about it. I thought the pacing was spot on and didn’t feel the story lagged in any spot.

I’ve been working in nonprofits for most of my adult years and was thrilled to see an accurate portrayal of one. It’s not too often grant writers or members of marketing get to be a named character. Yes there were the important program staff who are the legs of the operation, but the admin staff were also shown centre stage without being shamed for how much they get paid. When the chapters followed Georgia, I couldn’t help but compare her office to mine. The things she and her colleagues discussed or worried about, being trained to watch every dollar spent, going to conferences, and throwing elegant galas/benefits (without spending too much money). This portrayal really struck me while reading the book – the author or someone they know has obviously spent time working in a nonprofit office.

10/10 would recommend to anyone who enjoys contemporary fiction and family drama. You’ll feel a whole range of emotions towards the characters but in the end feel satisfied where they end up (or at least I did).

I received an advanced copy of this book through Net Galley.

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