Not only does she succeed in getting us not to loathe the Stocktons, the family at the center of her debut novel, Pineapple Street, but she even succeeds in persuading us to love them. A little bit ... An unabashedly old-fashioned story involving wills, trust funds, prenups and property ... While Jackson’s characters are admirably complex and not un-self-aware, and while they do ruminate on privilege and what it provides...the concept of entitlement never quite leaves the novel’s background ... Take these things as they are or don’t take them at all; the novel and its author offer no apologies.
Pineapple Street stands on its own as a smart comedy of manners ... Humor, being topical and dependent on sharp observation of behavior and detail, needs to keep in step with changing times, as Jackson does here. But the shock of social recognition — the moment when a good writer transforms an everyday detail about cheese cubes into an observation about the casual cruelties of class hierarchy — remains as jolting as getting or throwing a pie in the face.
Filled with humor, love, the ups and downs of marriage, and tennis whites, this family’s story is both endearing and exasperating. Readers will enjoy the author’s exploration of both the perks and downsides of generational wealth.
Jackson has a deft hand with all the passive-aggressive interactions that are so common in family life, perhaps particularly in this socio-economic stratum ... Rich-people jokes, cultural acuity, and entertaining banter keep this novel moving at a sprightly pace as the characters learn their lessons about money and morals, though some of the virtuous reform seems a little much. A remarkably enjoyable visit with the annoying one percent, as close to crazy rich WASPs as WASPs can get.