Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Ballentine Books
Publication Date: March 1, 2022
Book Description: 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.
Rating: 4 Stars
Review: Greta James who recently found success with her career as a musician and on the verge of releasing her second album, is dealt a hard blow when her mother dies suddenly and unexpectedly. Before her mother’s death, her parents planned a dream vacation, an Alaskan cruise with their closest friends. On a last minute decision, Greta decides to join her father, only problem is their relationship is not stellar.
On the cruise she meets professor and author Ben Wilder. Ben is separated from his wife, but one thing she knows for sure, is that Ben adores his two daughters. Neither Greta or Ben are in a state of mind to start a relationship, but while on the cruise they develop a close bond.
Of course, the crux of this story is Greta’s relationship with her father. Greta continually feels like a disappointment to him, but here is another truth, he loves his daughter very much.
This is a story of self-healing, reconciling with the people we love. Getting back on that proverbial horse, when all you think is you might fall off again. Of course, there is that wonderful romance element that Smith sprinkles in throughout.
This was a fun palate cleanser after reading some serious books lately. Have fun with this one. Smith will make you feel that you are on that cruise, right along with Greta and her father.
Thank you NetGalley and Ballentine Books for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.