The Cruise by Caroline James

Title: The Cruise

Author: Caroline James

Published on: 20 April 2023

Genre: Women’s Fiction

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Kath, Jane, and Anne are at their fortieth high school reunion when they decide to go on a Christmas holiday. The ladies are now in their early sixties and life hasn’t been kind to them. Kath is now a widow while Anne is almost divorced. Jane never found love.

The book tickets on a two-week Christmas cruise around the Caribbean on The Diamond Star. Meanwhile Dicky Delaney, a comedian, is on his way for his new job – a performer on a cruise ship. Selwyn Alleyne is recently widowed and, on a whim, decides to go on a Christmas cruise. His decision is not taken well by his local church or his older daughter. But Selwyn feels he must… for the sake of his late wife.

The Cruise by Caroline James is a sweet, laugh out loud, and naughty read. A perfect book for beach read. The story makes you laugh, and at times, cry.

The three ladies are in their early sixties. Kath lost her husband in a freak accident – he fell down the stairs. Anne’s husband was always travelling or golfing – turns out, he was having an extra marital affair. Anne would soon be divorced and homeless. Jane was working as a chef in a famous restaurant and was let go due to her age. She never found love and has low self-esteem issues – very much concerned about her weight.

As the three ladies embark on their Caribbean cruise journey, they learn to let go of their past – affairs, unfairness, abuse, and much more. They are on a mission – Anne is to find her next husband on the cruise. That’s how it all started – at the high school reunion where one of their classmates was recently married for the fourth time.

As the story proceeds, we see the trio meet various people onboard – Selwyn, Harold, Nancy, Captain, Dicky, and Bridgette. One of them is the bad guy while the other unexpectantly falls in love with one of the trios.

The character I liked the most was Jane. It felt so good to see her walk out of comfort zone – or should I say sashay out of her comfort zone? She struggled a lot but at the end, she learned to let go of her low self-esteem.

Kath’s role in the story, especially in the second half of the book, was impressive. We learn a lot about her ‘happy marriage with Jim.’ I felt so bad for her – seems like she was in a controlling relationship. Anne and Dicky – though they play a significant role in the story, I won’t say I liked the way things ended for both of them. Maybe Anne is too forgiving but that’s just my opinion.

Overall, this was a nice read. If you love stories based on older women, you might want to give this book a try.

I received an ARC from One More Chapter and NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.

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