PLOT:  3/5
OVERALL: 3.5/5

“People could change. People could evolve. Who was she to hold him to some strict moral standard? Everything she had believed about herself had gone out the window when she fell in love with Brady. Good people did fucked-up things.”

Jenny Jackson, Pineapple Street

We all like to read about dysfunctional families, especially those of the ultra-rich. We love escaping into their lives, exploring their issues and character traits, and delving deep into the many facets of their glamorous yet unfulfilled lives. So, after reading the blurb, I figured out that my most recent pick, Jenny Jackson’s “Pineapple Street,” offers us just that.

The plot of Pineapple Street

“Pineapple Street” follows the lives of three Stockton women.

Darley, the oldest daughter, is an ex-investment hedge fund manager and now a stay-at-home mom of two kids under 10. On most days, she can be found running various errands, taking the kids to classes, and supporting her husband Malcolm, an Asian man with a high-profile job.

Georgina, the youngest daughter, works at a not-for-profit organization in its communications department, where she proves her worth by editing articles for the website and their newsletter. However, outside of her job, she is clueless about her trust fund and is a total brat who wants to give away all her money.

Sasha is a self-made businesswoman leading a successful graphic design business and married to Cord Stockton, the middle child and only son. After marriage, Sasha and Cord move into the Stockton family mansion on Pineapple Street, where one can find things that shouldn’t even be present anymore and should have been discarded long ago.

As we delve into their lives, which include dinner parties and brunches leading to hangovers, life choices causing damning consequences come to the forefront, making the rich think beyond, despite having everything in the world.

My Thoughts

“Pineapple Street” is a character-driven story. We see the narrative unfold in alternating chapters featuring three women: Sasha, Georgina, and Darley. It starts off slowly, building each character by exploring their daily lives in Brooklyn Heights and their interactions mainly with other family members. This ultimately leads them to re-evaluate their lives, especially when questioned about money and its significance.

There is no plot as such. I kept hoping for something groundbreaking to happen, but instead, we find a brunch going askew with secrets tumbling out of the closet, putting distances between all of them. This ultimately makes them realize their mistakes and try to amend them before it’s too late.

Coming to the characters – we have an eclectic mix, and Sasha was my favorite. A self-made personality, she makes a genuine attempt to blend into this rich family after her marriage to Cord. However, all her attempts are literally shut down, especially by Tilda, her mother-in-law, leading Sasha to stop caring and eventually blurt out her frustration.

Tilda’s life is all about creating and hosting the best parties, with her tablescapes being the highlight, and avoiding conflicts at any cost. She remains true to herself throughout and is unapologetic about it.

Darley, after a major setback, wants to rebuild her life, trying to do things all by herself, especially when talking about issues that crop up in conversations with her kids. When Darley is about to lose her secure life, she realizes the importance of money and the lifestyle it offers.

Coming to Georgina, she is the most unlikeable character as she is spoiled and clueless. Her actions were questionable and didn’t resonate with me, though they do occur in real life. Her downfall is what leads everyone to opening their eyes, while prompting her to justify her wealth and inheritance.

As a debut book, Jenny Jackson has written an engaging story dissecting the lives of people with class and money effortlessly. Having lived in the same neighbourhood, her writing is witty and quirky.

A lot of scenes had me laughing out loud, my favourite being the one where Cord and Sasha are talking about app ideas with Sasha’s brother and his girlfriend. The app regarding honking had me smirking big time. The humour in this is definitely tongue-in-cheek.

Since this book highlights issues faced by the top 1% of the population, it will appeal more to a certain group of people, especially those who are questioning people born with money, and those not knowing about real life and its struggles. Coming to know the truth about their reality will be a total shock to their system.

Nonetheless, I binge-read this in a day and found it entertaining. So, if you are looking for a short, quick story revolving around the lives of a dysfunctional wealthy family, ‘Pineapple Street’ is the book for you.

Can’t wait to read it? You can buy your copy of ‘Pineapple Street’ using the link below.