Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

I was provided an advanced copy of this book on NetGalley.

Pineapple Street is a story split between the perspectives of three sisters (one by marriage, two by birth): Sasha, Darley and Georgiana, as they navigate life in the upper crust neighbourhood of Brooklyn Heights. Built on old money, the residents of said neighbourhood are used to a certain way of life and are skeptical of anyone they consider to be from lower classes - Darley and Georgiana come from one of these ‘established’ families, while Sasha hails from farther afield and is cast as an outsider, having married their brother and, as they see it, inserted herself into their family. All are connected by the Pineapple Street home that Cord (the brother), Darley and Georgiana grew up in, and we follow the tangled web of their lives as they revolve around - and evolve within - the house.

I must say, I expected a bit more from this book. I kept waiting for an inciting incident to take place, something that got the plot moving and piqued my interest, but it never really managed to get off the ground. Sure, there are a few key points that kept me reading, but once I’d gotten past the halfway mark, I continued to do so more because I hate leaving a book unfinished than because I was hooked in by the "how the other half live" story.

The multi-character POV seems to be having a moment right now, and while it’s generally a useful plot device to allow the author to show varying aspects of the narrative, I didn’t feel any of the three sisters voices were strong enough to anchor it. From the outset of reading the blurb, I really thought Sasha was going to be the main protagonist. However, each of their perspectives has equal weight, and we find ourselves reading about the individual aspects of their somewhat bland lives, rather than following along with a particular heroine. At one point, I remarked to my husband “wouldn’t it have been clever to have the house as a narrator that anchored the storyline?”, to which he agreed, but thought it’d be quite difficult to pull off.

I don’t know whether it was the fact that the family’s lifestyles felt quite unrelatable, or that, save a couple of vaguely interesting revelations (no spoilers, I promise!), the aspects of their lives seemed a bit mundane that made me find the story somewhat dull. I think it came together quite nicely in the end; however, I felt a little cheated out of a more exciting event that might’ve brought them together sooner. Like their relationships, it was as if we were being held at arms length, much as Sasha was - whether this was intentional or not, I don’t know. If it was, it’s a shame, because it really put the kibosh on establishing a relationship with any of these main characters.

Something else that irked me was the way Darley and Georgiana's 'good deeds' were used to excuse their shitty, "I'm too good for you" attitudes towards others, particularly Sasha. Almost as if the fact that they're "still learning" to be decent human beings lets them off the hook. I know this happens in real life, but I'd hoped for some more enlightened thinking, or at the very least, an eye rolling acknowledgement of how cliche it is. It's 2022 - you can't get away with using the "we're so rich that we've only just realised we're lagging behind the times and discovered 'everyday' people have feelings" trope any more.

All in all, a good read if you want something fairly docile to take the edge off. If you’re looking for scandal or excitement, perhaps give it a miss.

Originally posted on Goodreads