Greta James is a successful indie musician with her second album about to be released. Her biggest fan was her mother Helen, who would go to her concerts cheering her on. Her father Conrad, being a practical man, couldn’t find it in himself to encourage his talented daughter in a career he felt was too uncertain. When Helen unexpectedly passes away, Greta is crushed and puts her career on hold. She agrees to go with her father on a cruise to Alaska, which was to be a 40th wedding anniversary celebration for her parents. This trip could mean a chance for Greta to finally connect with her father, who also deeply mourns the loss of Helen. And perhaps the cruise could be a chance for Greta to heal and get back to what she loves, making music.
The Unsinkable Greta James tugs at the heart as it deals with loss, regret and the journey to forgiveness. I fully enjoyed author Jennifer E. Smith’s first adult novel, after writing many popular YA books. The family dynamics will probably be relatable for most people. The loss of a parent, in this case a wonderful mother, resonated so deeply that I found myself tearing up often. There’s also some romance mixed in and some light moments. Greta is a very appealing character and all of the people in this book feel very real. The setting of an Alaskan cruise was well done – I’ve never had an interest in going there but this book might have changed my mind.
Many thanks to Ballantine Books / Random House for gifting me this enjoyable and touching book in advance of its release.
Rated 4.25 out of 5 stars.
Publication Date: March 1, 2022.
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