The Feldman family – David; Annette, Elise, her husband Mitch; their kids, Darius and Rachel; and Elise’s brother Freddy and his girlfriend, Natasha – go on a Caribbean cruise. The family is somewhat estranged and they are all hiding things from each other. After a disastrous dinner on formal night, the family tries to patch things up and rediscover each other.
I loved this book. It was funny and touching. The characters were well-drawn and all of them were well-written. The story moved along and got different perspectives as it was written in the third person. What I enjoyed most about Elyssa Friedland’s book was the way she wrote Darius in particular. She captured so well the feelings and emotions of a teenage boy. She wrote Darius in a way that made me feel like I really, really knew him. I liked all her characters, but Darius was my favorite. Sensitive, insecure, nerdy, and all things teenage boy.
I particularly liked this books because it wrote the family dynamic between all of the Feldmans really well. You picked up on the angst Annette has over the whole family; the people-pleasing nature of Elise; the easy-going Mitch; the fuck-up Freddy. They are so richly drawn. It also makes a point of showing how looks and reputations can be deceiving, we are not the worst thing we do, and all families have some form for dysfunction and crazy.
No matter what kind of family you have or come from, you will identify with this book. It reminded me so much of my parents and grandparents and children and siblings. It’s a really good book that you can’t help but be sucked into and become a part of. I highly recommend this book.
I won this book and received no compensation in exchange for this review. The opinions expressed herein are mine and mine alone.