Sink Or SwimToo Bad Her Kids Didn T Get The Memo Between The Troublesome Family Secrets, Old Sibling Rivalries, And Her Two Teenage Grandkids, Annette S Birthday Vacation Is Looking And Like The Perfect Storm Adrift Together On The Open Seas, The Feldmans Will Each Face The Truths They Ve Been Ignoring And Learn That The People They Once Thought Most Likely To Sink Them Are Actually The Ones Who Help Them Stay Afloat. This is a wonderful women s fiction novel Often funny, other times poignant, the book is told from multiple points of view So, we see the grandmother, Annette, dealing with her grown children that she feels distant from She remembers all she did for them when they were children up through college The son, Freddy, remembers how he was never good enough compared to his perfect sister The daughter, Elise, remembers how her mother endlessly gives her beauty tips that make her feel belittled Then there are Elise s husband and two children and their secrets.All of them have their own secrets, which we, the readers, quickly become privy to, but because the family won t tell each other what s actually going on in their lives, we can just wait for this combustible situation to explode when they all meet aboard a cruise to celebrate Annette s 70th birthday I chuckled I teared up I identified with the challenges of being in a family and not always saying what s on our minds, including apologizing and thanking one another Recommend Thank you to NetGalley and Berkely for the opportunity to review this novel, which RELEASES JULY 23, 2019 For reviews, please visit Elyssa Friedland has constructed a clever and compelling story An evocative family drama filled with tension, secrets and a splash of humor The setting of the cruise ship added even to the claustrophobic feel of the story Imagine three generations of a dysfunctional family confined to a cruise ship Meet the Feldmans Annette thought it would be a good idea to bring the family together for her 70th birthday Her two children, their significant others, and her grandchildren Sounds like a great idea, doesn t it This was such an engaging story, that kept my amateur therapist invested throughout We got The point of view of all the characters and this made us privy to a lot of secrets Some characters I connected with than others and some characters I liked than others I thought the dynamics between the siblings, and parents and children were spot on I am part of that sandwich generation, both my parents and my children are getting older As time consuming and challenging as it is to parent little kids, it is so much trickier when they become adults I kept waiting for everything to hit the fan in this book, and when it did oh boy All I m going to say is Baked Alaska This was such a relatable story infused with heart and humor The perfect book to add to your summer reading list Big thanks to Berkley for my copy of this book 3.5 starsThis was a pretty enjoyable read about family members who all seem to be hiding some sort of secret from one another I do think it was a clever idea by the author to have most of the story take place on a cruise ship as it led to some interesting situations Annette Feldman decides she wants to do something special for her 70th birthday so she organizes a vacation on a cruise ship for her family So Annette, her husband, her daughter, her son in law, two grandkids, her son and his girlfriend all climb aboard the ship, some excited than others Hmm, complicated family dynamics playing out in a confined space for a week I m sure nothing could go wrong wink, wink.The story follows the different family members so you do get an opportunity to see things from each person s perspective I can t say I liked each person but at least there was nobody I outright hated which was a problem I had when reading the author s book, The Intermission Now I wouldn t say this is the most memorable book I have read exploring family dynamics but it was decent Each person has their own issue they are dealing with but for the most part it is a light and easy read.Thank you to the First to Read program for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion. 3.5 stars, rounded downAnnette Feldman has the bright idea to celebrate her 70th birthday on a 4 day Caribbean cruise surrounded by her family This is not one of those close knit, lovey dovey families No, her two children seem to resent each other and neither is particularly close to their parents They have trouble spending a few hours together let alone days in each other s company Add in a few secrets, such as a shopping addiction and a very young girlfriend, and as the book blurb says, you ve got the perfect storm The question, dear reader, is what you are expecting from this book If you re in the market for a family drama with glimpses of humor, read on If you are expecting humor, along the lines of Jonathan Tropper s This Is Where I Leave You, look elsewhere The book switches from one POV to another, giving us insights that the rest of the family don t have Friedland nails the sibling rivalries and the parental anguish I found myself feeling sorry for the characters yet unable to relate to them Elise, in particular, just seemed pathetic and whiny I would have jumped ship if I was stuck dealing with her And Julian, the cruise director, seemed entirely unnecessary as a character Large portions of the book struck me as dry Friedland s humor shines through best when describing the cruise itself The cruise seemed like one of the circles of hell and reminded me why you ll never catch me on one When things finally reach a crisis, I finally felt a connection with the characters As Elise says, I feel like I speak family as a second language My thanks to netgalley and Berkley for an advance copy of this book. I initially started The Floating Feldmans while sitting poolside at home then, as much as I was enjoying it, had an epiphany and thought, Wait I need to take this with me on my family cruise dad, stepmom, hubby, two sons, and daughter and read it because what could be perfect than that, right It turns out that I have some really great ideas at times because reading this family drama set on a cruise ship while sailing the high seas was fantastic fun Annette Feldman is celebrating a milestone birthday she s turning seventy and to celebrate the momentous day, she plans a family cruise for herself, her husband, daughter and her husband, her son and his much younger girlfriend, and two grandkids This is a family with a very complicated dynamic even before they re thrown together on a cruise, a fact you immediately glean in the first couple of chapters Deep secrets and a lack of communication are at the core of their relationships and it s apparent that the Feldmans really know nothing about each other With that in mind, what could possibly go wrong among all of them when they re stuck together in a relatively small, crowded place for 5 days Speaking from someone who just disembarked from a cruise, anything can and will happen, and I don t have any big secrets from my family Elyssa Friedland tells the story through each of the vivid characters in the book, so you get to know all of them as they tell their story There is Elise, Annette s daughter, who has a serious secret that will adversely affect her husband and son when they find out , yet she has no idea her husband has his own secret Freddy, the son, has always been thought of just a stoner with no prospects, yet his secret will shock his family Another big secret is the one being held by David, Annette s husbandand then there are the grandkids Friedland did such an excellent job bringing to life a quirky, dysfunctional family The novel was humorous at times with snarky, witty comments and dry humor Being on a cruise at the time, I especially enjoyed how Friedland made cruises sound absolutely hellish I actually thought about jumping ship at one point while reading the book No matter how challenging the cruise or the situation, what I loved about this book is it showed how relationships are ever evolving and how important forgiveness, acceptance, and love is within any relationship The Floating Feldmans is a clever, insightful summer read that is perfect for a summer vacation or anytime Thank you, Lauren Burnstein, at Berkley Publishing for the gifted copy All opinions are my own. Release on July 23, 2019The Feldmans are than a tad dysfunctional and a non cohesive bunch, and thus for the past few years is reflected in their infrequent gatherings and their choice to be physically distance from the NE, by living in Colorado and California Through the eyes of the matriarch, Annette, we observe her concern One day she has an epiphany to reunite the family in a last ditch effort to encourage forgiveness and harmony between her son,Freddy and daughter, Elise Both Freddy and Elise have big secrets that keep them from being their true self before their family Elise s shopping has plunged her family into extreme debt while her stable, consistent husband, Mitch is playing fast and loose with his career Their children Rachel and Darius are older teenagers about to embark on adulthood, though they often act childish and retaliatory against the other What happens when eight family members are removed from their home environments and distractions They are forced by circumstance to be congenial with others they resent It results in a whole lot of smirks, shaking the head and a few laughs by the reader The novel achieves terrific realism for those who have experienced this type of family or known a family like this The premise is pretty standard fare What made this a great novel was the insights and irony exposed Conundrums viewed How does a black sheep return to the fold How do middle age adults look past childhood resentments and trauma What can we do about our toxic secrets that control us How will we be remembered by those we love Is it possible to lay aside our pain and personal agenda s to support and love someone else during their time of pain and glory It may sound both complex and depressing but there is a lot of hope mixed into the scenario Many dynamic shifts happen during the five days at sea People start to step out of their own perspectives and open their arms to embrace those they ve rejected It ends with much hope for their relationships in the future I loved the characterizations, they were dynamic and evolving Friedland shows us their foibles and successes and we learn to embrace a few and accept the others Annette isn t the warmest person in the room and yet, she knows that her greatest success will be to provide a foundation of love and safety The vacation is a foil to real life and its challenges Their cruise demonstrates that there are always temptations that can distract us from accomplishing our goals and focusing on what is truly important It is critical that we take opportunities to delight in others and look at the potentialities available to us This is a fast and compelling read It stayed with me even days after I closed the book Though at times it was almost whimsical, it had a terrific life lesson for the reader This is a book, you buy as a gift for others and keep a copy for yourself I devoured this story in less than 36 hours I enjoyed it as much Friedland s book, The Intermission Thank you to Berkley, the author and Goodreads for providing this book to me in exchange for an honest review The opinions expressed are solely my own. If you enjoy books about oddly endearing dysfunctional families this is the book for you This was surprisingly poignant look at what happens when on quirky family finally spends than one meal together and the results were highly entertaining and profoundly funny.This is told via multiple perspectives, you hear from almost everyone in the Feldman crew and even a member of staff on the cruise I love a good ensemble cast, and every single one of these people had some pretty juicy secrets If was kind of one of those situations where you think, do ANY of these people talk to each other But it was also really apparent that each had valid reasons for keeping said secrets to themselves I really enjoyed every single one of the characters, they all brought something unique to the table and though I don t think I would want any of them as members of my own family, I was pretty invested in both their individual storylines as well as their dynamics as a group.The author is a talented writer, she has a sharp and witty insight into family that really shines through in the storyline and I breezed through this one, mainly do to her thoughtful and funny observations Recommended as a fun summer read, I definitely had fun with this one and can easily see it being popular, but if you re planning a cruise yourself you may want to wait to read it until after your trip The Floating Feldman s in three words Sardonic, Enjoyable and Dysfunctional A fun read that makes you think about family interactions and laugh out loud Would you go on a cruise as an adult with your parents Think of all the zany things that can happen and multiple by a thousand A great summer read Can t wait to read by Elyssa Friedland Pre order this one today After reading the Floating Feldmans, I find it shocking that the unique hell of a family vacation has never before been captured in this accurate, nuanced, and ultimately optimistic way I loved this book equally if not than the author s prior two books, Love and Miss Communication and The Intermission In fact, I ignored my children on our own family vacation in a compulsive need to discover how each character resolves The dialogue reads like a game of Olympic ping pong The characters are engaging and layered I can t recommend this book enough.
- 368 pages
- The Floating Feldmans
- Elyssa Friedland
- 13 April 2018 Elyssa Friedland