Reviews for Pineapple Street

by Jenny Jackson

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

This family drama gives readers a look inside the lives of the affluent Stockton family, who reside in a historic brownstone in Brooklyn. Sasha has recently married into the family and just can’t seem to navigate the upper-class waters of her new in-laws. Loving Cord has always been easy, but loving his tight-knit family is another story. Cord and his two sisters, Darley and Georgina, have grown up and lived around the fruit-named streets of Brooklyn most of their lives. The family’s wealth and status have sheltered the Stocktons for generations and informed many of their habits and perceptions of life; letting an outsider in will prove to be tricky. Each family member’s first-person narration offers a glimpse into their thoughts, unique perspectives, and experiences, allowing the reader to examine the same situation through many eyes. Filled with humor, love, the ups and downs of marriage, and tennis whites, this family’s story is both endearing and exasperating. Readers will enjoy the author’s exploration of both the perks and downsides of generational wealth.

Publishers Weekly
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Jackson’s clever if tepid debut chronicles the struggles of three women born or married into an old-monied New York City family. Cord Stockton, the family’s middle child, marries Sasha, and the couple takes over the family’s Brooklyn Heights house. Sasha, who comes from a middle-class Rhode Island family, is referred to as “the GD” (gold digger) by Cord’s sisters. Darley Stockton, the oldest, gives up her banking career to be a full-time mom. Georgiana, the youngest, is mainly a directionless party girl with a gig at a nonprofit, where she’s sleeping with her married boss. Tensions come to a head as Darley’s and Georgiana’s fortunes shift and Sasha decides to beat it for Rhode Island. Unfortunately, most of the characters aside from Sasha are underdeveloped (Stockton matriarch Tilda delivers predictably cartoonish lines, like “Sasha, would you like to tell us what it was like growing up poor?”), though Jackson shines in her incisive observations about the ravages of contemporary real estate developments (at the former Hotel St. George, “ghosts of the original remained, the green balconies that once overlooked the swimming pool... now home to a series of elliptical machines where old people and college students climbed to nowhere”). Despite the dusty feeling, this has its moments. Agent: Brettne Bloom, Book Group. (Mar.)

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Money makes the world go round, particularly the world of an elite Brooklyn family. "On good days, Sasha could acknowledge how incredibly lucky she was to live in her house. It was a four-story Brooklyn limestone, a massive, formal palace that could have held ten of the one-bedroom apartments Sasha had lived in before. But on bad days...." As Sasha finally admits in a gloves-off monologue following a gender reveal party gone awry, on bad days, it's "a janky Grey Gardens full of old toothbrushes and moldy baskets." A wealthier cousin of Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney's The Nest, Knopf editor Jackson's fiction debut is a comedy of manners charting the fates of the Stockton siblings and their spouses, circling around the house where they grew up in Brooklyn Heights, now inhabited by Cord and his wife, Sasha, who is referred to as the Gold Digger by Cord's sisters, Darley and Georgiana. That's unfair, though: Sasha signed a prenup. Meanwhile, Darley and her husband, Malcolm, a Korean American aviation-industry analyst who did not sign a prenup, are living off their own money as Darley fights the tedium of the entitled mommy lifestyle. Georgiana, much younger than her siblings, still single, is considered the do-gooder of the family because she works for a nonprofit, where she becomes involved in a passionate and very ill-advised relationship. From the opening scene, where Sasha's mother-in-law shows up to dinner with an entire replacement menu and a revised "tablescape," Jackson has a deft hand with all the passive-aggressive interactions that are so common in family life, perhaps particularly in this socio-economic stratum. She knows her party themes, her tennis clubs, her silent auctions, and her WASP family dynamics. Rich-people jokes, cultural acuity, and entertaining banter keep this novel moving at a sprightly pace as the characters learn their lessons about money and morals, though some of the virtuous reform seems a little much. A remarkably enjoyable visit with the annoying one percent, as close to crazy rich WASPs as WASPs can get. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.