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Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson

Hutchinson Heinemann, 2023


I love a bit of glitz and glamour, but that has most definitely been out of vogue in fiction for the last decade or more (though the same can't be said about screen: see Succession, White Lotus, And Just Like That, Emily in Paris).

So I was intrigued by this New York Times bestselling novel about the trials and tribulations of an uber-wealthy family in Brooklyn Heights.

Enjoyment factor

It would have been a mistake to have expected a resurrection of the '80s bonkbuster - Jackie Collins et al - in 2023, but at the same time, there was the danger that this might be a send-up of the wealthy, which would been disappointingly lacking in nuance (and killed the glamour factor).

But it didn't disappoint. Whilst the novel is (rightly) contemporary in its constant exploration of social issues, its main characters are fully three-dimensional.

It left me thinking

That, hopefully, if novelists feel free to write about the world of privilege once more, we might be nearing the end of the age of polarisation.

In the context of fiction, this novel offers a new lens on that world of privilege - a much more nuanced lens than its predecessors, which, without taking itself too seriously, treats the characters as individuals rather than caricatures.

And if that takes away the aspirational element - do we really want to be like them? - then that's probably not a bad thing.

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