Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson: ‘Let’s talk about something real’  

Cover image for Pineapple Street by Jenny JacksonThe blurb for Jenny Jackson’s debut suggested a satisfying, unchallenging read which fit the bill for me at a time when I was too tired for much in the way of incisive thinking. It also has a very enticing cover which intriguingly shows an orange rather than the titular fruit. Pineapple Street is about two generations of the Stocktons, old money and proud of it. Chip and Tilda have passed the baton on, giving their Brooklyn family home to their son and daughter-in-law who feels just a tad out of place given her own family background.

Sasha spent the months following her wedding trying to settle into her new Pineapple Street home. She decided that she was an archaeologist, studying the ancient civilisation of her in-laws. 

Cord is firmly ensconced in the family property investment business, Sasha’s a graphic artist, successful albeit in a small way. Her sisters-in-law are both convinced she’s a gold digger, even more so after her hesitation over the prenup. Darley’s married to Malcolm who earns enough to keep them in the manner to which she’s accustomed although were it not for having their children so close together, she’d have preferred to continue her own career. At twenty-six, Georgiana is still considered the baby of the family, working for a not-for-profit company involved in overseas aid. Installed in Pineapple Street, still full to the brim with Stockton belongings, Sasha never feels it’s her home, not least when her mother-in-law breezes in with supper, ignoring the meal Sasha has taken trouble to prepare. By the end of this entertaining novel, the older generation will be left staring in wonder and puzzlement at their children’s decisions before shrugging their shoulders and carrying on as usual.

Am I actually a good person? Or am I moving through this world making things a little worse rather than better?

Jackson tells her story through the three younger women, taking enjoyable swipes at the rich, delivering her message about money and privilege with a pleasing humour if not subtlety. Sasha feels constantly out of step, always second guessing what she should wear, say or do at family occasions. Darley feels closer to her Korean in-laws who helped her with her babies rather than send the family servant around. Georgiana’s world is shaken by a tragedy which sees her rethink everything, coming up with a scheme that sets her parents in a spin. I enjoyed this story of Generations Z’s conversion to philanthropy which I’d love to find more credible than my cynical head will allow. It’s top and tailed with a prelude and an epilogue; shame about the latter which spoiled what I’d thought was a brilliant ending.

For another take on Jackson’s novel, try Liz’s review at Adventures in Reading, Running and Working From Home.

Cornerstone: London 9781529151183 288 pages Hardback (Read via NetGalley)

21 thoughts on “Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson: ‘Let’s talk about something real’  ”

  1. Although some of these characters wouldn’t really engage me, I think I might enjoy those swipes taken at the wealthy. This does sound like an entertaining read.

  2. Well dome review. Its staying on my TBR now. I loved this: “enjoyed this story of Generations Z’s conversion to philanthropy which I’d love to find more credible than my cynical head will allow.

  3. Based on both Liz’s and your reviews I think I am getting intrigued by this one, and I think it will end up on my TBR. It reminds me the slightest bit of Julian Fellowes’ Snobs.

  4. I’d wondered if this was similar to The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney. I don’t think I’ll rush to read it, but if my library acquires a copy I’ll consider it. (As for Pineapple vs. other fruits, I just visited a Dorset apple orchard that is on a Pineapple Lane!)

    1. Similar family background but a different spin, not to give too much away! I wonder if Pineapple Lane led to a kitchen garden where they grew them. Much prized by the eighteenth-century gentry I seem to remember. Have fun in Dorset. I hope you’ve had some applecake.

  5. Great review, I think you were a bit more cynical than me, I sort of believed that some people might give away their trust funds! Why the orange, though: why???

    1. I think this one would suit readers looking for something entertaining but not taxing who would enjoy a few amusing swipes taken at the rich. I do wish she’d omitted that epilogue!

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