Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson

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Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Pineapple Street is Jenny Jackson's first novel. On the basis of this book, I can't wait to read her next. This is a cracker and highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 320 Date: April 2023
Publisher: Hutchinson Heinemann
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1529151183

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Pineapple Street is the story of three women: Sasha, Darley and Georgiana. Darley and George are sisters and Sasha is married to their brother Cord. They're Stocktons, only Sasha isn't a Stockton by birth so she isn't readily accepted into the tribe. The problem's exacerbated when the clan matriarch, Tilda, asks Cord and Sasha if they'd like to move into the Pineapple Street property. Tilda and Chip have renovated and downsized to another property, a street or so away, which they own. They won't need any of the furniture from Pineapple Street, so Sasha and Cord can move straight in. Nominally, they had a choice but that wasn't the reality. Darley and Georgiana start to call Sasha 'the gold digger'. She's living in their family home. They use it so often that they abbreviate it to 'the GD'.

Darley's the eldest and has never had to worry about money: there's always more than enough for everything she wants. She's married to Malcolm, who's big in the banking side of aviation. He's generally accepted by the clan because he does make big money, but - like Sasha - he's an outsider. Occasionally he and Sasha will murmur NMF (not my family) to each other when the Stockton shenanigans get too much. Darley used to have a high-flying career but gave it up when her second child was born. She's even given up her trust fund (she wouldn't enter into a prenup with Malcolm, so that was the consequence): it's not as though she's going to need it, is it? It will go straight to her children.

Georiana's the youngest and unmarried. She has a job with a charity but not out of necessity. The mortgage on her apartment is paid out of the interest on her trust fund. It could have been bought from the principle but this was better financial management. She doesn't actually know what her trust fund is worth: she's never bothered to open the statements. Georgiana makes the mistake of loving the person she shouldn't love and is then forced to confront the person she has become.

I don't often do chest infections but when I do, I pull out all the stops. I needed comfort reading: a book which would engage me before I got to the bottom of the first page and hang on tenaciously, even in those early hours when you just can't sleep. The characters have got to be relatable but certainly not perfect. The writing has got to be exquisite - so good that you hardly notice that it's there - but with the sharp observations (Tilda's obsession with tennis and tablescapes) which make you smile and go back to reread a paragraph just for the sheer pleasure of it. Was I asking too much? Not at all: the review fairy was looking out for me with Pineapple Street. I loved it, and I'd like to thank the publishers for letting Bookbag have a review copy.

If you enjoy books like Pineapple Street we think you'll also enjoy Other Parents by Sarah Stovell.

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