Adult Fiction book review · Beach Read

The Jetsetters by Amanda Eyre Ward

thejetsettersThe Jetsetters was the March 2020 Reese’s Hello Sunshine Book Club pick. With Reese’s stamp of approval and that summer-vibes, bright and sunny cover, I knew this would be a good one. This novel is perfect for fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Emma Straub. It is the quintessential summer escape read.

The Jetsetters is about the highly dysfunctional Perkins family, who set off on a Mediterranean cruise where lavishness and drama are overflowing. Seventy year old Charlotte Perkins submits an essay to the “Become a Jetsetter” contest, hoping to win a cruise and bring her three estranged children back together. Lee, the oldest child, is an almost famous actress. She appears to be happy, her well-toned physique clad in the latest fashions, but deep down she is anything but content. Cord, the middle child is a venture capitalist in New York. He is gay, but he can’t seem to find a partner to settle down with and he dreads bringing his current boyfriend to meet his mother. Regan is the youngest sibling. She is married with two children, but her marriage is lacking of any real love and she is horribly lonely and unfulfilled. Fun fact to muddy the waters a bit: Regan is married to Lee’s old boyfriend. There’s also an added layer to the story of Charlotte raising the three children as a single mother after her alcoholic husband left. Each of the siblings has some unpleasant memories from their childhood on account of their father’s temperament.

Charlotte’s essay (which reveals her first love interest from many years ago) wins and the family pack their baggage, literally and figuratively for an over-the-top, glamorous cruise on the Splendido Marveloso. As others join the vacation, the dysfunction and drama increase, delighting readers with hilarious banter and outrageous moments.

Will the four lost members of the Perkins family find their way back to one another, or will the tumultuous seas of their lives prove too much for them?

This is a wonderful story about finding the courage to be our truest selves, the joys and perils of being part of a family, and the often rough and difficult navigation through adulthood. I highly recommend this book for a quick, enjoyable, and laugh-out-loud funny escape read.