Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Length: 320 pages
Audiobook Length: 8 hours and 15 minutes
First Published: 2022
After the unexpected death of her mother, singer Greta James has a mental breakdown on stage and the viral footage threatens to ruin her career. Adrift in her career, Greta agrees to go with her father on the Alaska cruise he had booked for his fortieth wedding anniversary. When she meets a charming historian, Greta finds herself set on a path of healing.
I thought my friend had recommended this on Instagram (she hadn’t) so I’m pretty sure I picked this book from Book of the Month because of its memorable cover. Which was about the best thing about the book. I found the story to be extremely cliche: the love story lacked chemistry and the father-daughter struggle lacked depth. There was a really tender moment at the end of the book at Greta’s concert, but I would only recommend The Unsinkable Greta James to readers who like sappy contemporary fiction.
Right after the sudden death of her mother—her first and most devoted fan—and just before the launch of her high-stakes sophomore album, Greta James falls apart on stage. The footage quickly goes viral and she stops playing, her career suddenly in jeopardy—the kind of jeopardy her father, Conrad, has always predicted; the kind he warned her about when he urged her to make more practical choices with her life.
Months later, Greta—still heartbroken and very much adrift—reluctantly agrees to accompany Conrad on the Alaskan cruise her parents had booked to celebrate their fortieth anniversary. It could be their last chance to heal old wounds in the wake of shared loss. But the trip will also prove to be a voyage of discovery for them both, and for Ben Wilder, a charming historian, onboard to lecture about The Call of the Wild, who is struggling with a major upheaval in his own life. As Greta works to build back her confidence and Ben confronts an uncertain future, they find themselves drawn to and relying on each other.
It’s here in this unlikeliest of places—at sea, far from the packed city venues where she usually plays and surrounded by the stunning scenery of Alaska—Greta will finally confront the choices she’s made, the heartbreak she’s suffered, and the family hurts that run deep. In the end, she’ll have to decide what her path forward might look like—and how to find her voice again.
About Jennifer E. Smith
Jennifer E. Smith is an author whose works include The Unsinkable Greta James, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, and Field Notes on Love. Smith currently lives in Los Angeles. Visit the author’s website →