The Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer E. Smith | Audiobook Review

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The Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer E. Smith | Audiobook ReviewThe Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer E. Smith
Narrator: Mae Whitman
Length: 8 Hours 15 Minutes
Also by this author: The Geography Of You And Me, Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between, Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, Windfall, Imprison the Sky
Published by Random House Publishing Group on March 1, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Family Life / General, Fiction / Literary, Fiction / Sagas, Fiction / Women
Pages: 320
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

An indie musician reeling from tragedy and a public breakdown reconnects with her father on a weeklong cruise in "a pitch-perfect story about the ways we recover love in the strangest places" (Rebecca Serle, bestselling author of In Five Years)

"The characters are drawn with a generosity that allows them to be wrong but also right, loving but also prone to missteps, and ultimately deserving of a resolution that's full of hope."--Linda Holmes, New York Times bestselling author of Evvie Drake Starts Over


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.

Why Did I Listen To The Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer E. Smith?

I have been a long time fan of Jennifer E. Smith. There was something special and deeply absorbing to me when it comes to her young adult contemporary books. When I heard that she was coming out with a book aimed at adults, I knew I had to get my hands on it and read it. As my life has been so jam packed with different things lately, listening to the audiobook of The Unsinkable Great James meant that I got to this book much sooner than anticipated. Also, I love a good adult contemporary fiction audiobook.

What’s The Story Here?

Smith’s The Unsinkable Greta James follows main character Greta James who is an indie musician who has hit it big. Greta’s number one fan was her mother Helen who would often come to Greta’s concerts with a sign that said Greta’s mom. Helen dies quite suddenly. Greta, while performing, has a meltdown on stage in her grief and it goes viral. Unlike Helen, her father Conrad, grew up quite poor and so he’s not all about Greta’s career and would prefer to see her in a much more stable job. The two get along like oil and water.

Greta agrees to go with Conrad on an Alaskan cruise which was supposed to be for their parents fortieth anniversary. Along the way, Greta must lick her wounds, heal and eventually make her way back to performing. She also begins the work of healing her relationship with her father. Oh, and there’s a little romance with a professor on board named Ben Wilder who also happens to be going through something as well.

How Did I Like The Unsinkable Greta James?

I ended up really enjoying The Unsinkable Greta James. The backdrop of the Alaskan cruise was a fabulous setting. I loved the portions delving into nature — particularly when they see this bird that turns out to be a big deal. Greta’s healing was so special to read — I am not sure if that makes sense. However, I always root for a character who experiences a level of personal growth and change –and that’s Greta. The romance wasn’t too bad either, but for me, not the focus or rather where I had my focus while reading. I also liked the complicated relationship between Greta and Conrad and could understand the perspective of both characters.

How’s The Narration?

The audiobook is narrated by Mae Whitman. I believe this may be the first time I have listened to a book narrated by Whitman. It will not be the last. Whitman does a wonderful job voicing Greta’s story and keeping my attention. Looking back, this audiobook was actually longer in length than it felt. It is eight hours and fifteen minutes long, however, it does genuinely feel faster.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.