I was emailed by the publishers to see if I wanted an advance review copy of The Jetsetters – and when I saw it was a Reese Witherspoon book club pick (and she’s previously picked ‘Eleanor Oliphant‘) I jumped at the chance with high hopes.
Here’s the blurb:
“A family reunited on a holiday of a lifetime…what could possibly go wrong?
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A 2020 REESE WITHERSPOON HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICK
When 70-year-old Charlotte Perkins enters the ‘Become a Jetsetter’ contest, she dreams of reuniting her estranged children: Lee, an almost-famous actress; Cord, a handsome Manhattan venture capitalist; and Regan, a harried mother who has never got over Charlotte’s gift of a Weight Watchers voucher for her birthday.
But when she wins that once in a lifetime trip, all doesn’t exactly go to plan…
As long-buried secrets are revealed, and lovers new and old appear, can these four lost adults find their way back to each other? And more importantly, can they do it without killing each other?
A hilarious and deliciously sun-scented novel about the courage it takes to reveal our true selves, and the pleasures and perils of family.”
When I first started reading it I was confused. It felt like a self published, badly written novel – and I double checked I hadn’t misread Reese Witherspoon, and it was actually a trick – and some ‘Reice from Wetherspoons’ had started a book club and I’d been hoodwinked. But no – I hadn’t.
I persevered – but it really wasn’t great at all.
The book is told with different chapters by different characters – Charlotte, Lee, Regan and Cord. None are particularly deep or likeable, all have their problems – but none of them seem motivated to help themselves. All of them needed a motivational chat to sort themselves out – probably independently of each other.
The descriptions of European destinations are SOOOOOO written by an American – it was hideous to read. Yes – Europe has loads of history (most countries apart from America do!) and No – Europeans aren’t naked at all times on the beach. It was written like some voyeur marvelling over a guidebook of Europe.
It also made me 100% definite that I NEVER want to go on a cruise.
It flirted with some sex scenes without ever getting down and dirty (it made me wonder if it was a ‘Christian’ romance – but I don’t think so?)
I persevered, hoping to find whatever Ms Witherspoon had seen in it, put I didn’t particularly care about any of the characters or what happened to them.
Overall a waste of a few hours – and I wouldn’t actively read anything by this author ever again.
Not often I am negative about a book – but this was poor. But thank you to the publishers for an ARC – and for letting me prove I’m not always gushing about books!!