Review of “The Unsinkable Greta James” by Jennifer E. Smith

Rating: 4.5 star review


A famous musician, Greta, mother passes away. She is grieving in her own way. Greta and her father really have not bonded. He has always questioned her life choices. Greta and her mother were always close. Her mother always supported her musician lifestyle. Greta’s father and mother were supposed to go on an Alaskan cruise with their friends. Greta’s brother wants her to go with her father. Through this cruise, Greta and her father try to bond, grief, and heal wounds.

My thoughts:

It was a slow burn. But overall, the pace was decent for me. I think it was the characters themselves that kept me reading. This book covers a lot of emotional topics with grief. I found myself shedding a tear or two at the end of the novel.

I really enjoyed the characters. I am not sure about the romance arc within the novel. I just did not see sparks between them. If they had something in common, I may have bought the romance. I really did not see those two together. I also wish that it was less on the romance and more with her father. I would have really enjoyed some tense or even funny moments with her father more than a romance.

Speaking about Greta and her father’s relationship…I really enjoyed the dynamic relationship. Greta desperately seeking approval from her father really felt realistic and relatable. The novel showed how different Greta and her father were on grieving, career, relationships, etc.

I also liked the setting was on a cruise in Alaska. It was unique. I also liked how it was remote. It took the main character out of her busy life and onto a cruise ship where she was able to bond with her father and grief properly. I also liked the descriptions of the places that they saw along the way of the cruise.

I lost a parent as well. I know the feelings of you grieving but also worrying about a parent grieving. You not only have to worry about yourself but also your siblings and living parent. I think this novel was a realistic depiction of grief.

Trigger warnings: death of a parent/spouse, grief, relationships with parents, etc.

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