The Floating Feldmans

🐞 🐞 🐞 🐞


Elyssa Friedland


July 23, 2019

368 Pages


Annette is turning 70, and even though she never talks about her age, she’s decided that this year she wants her whole family to celebrate this milestone with her. She books an all-expense-paid cruise for her adult son and daughter and their families. On board is:

  • Annette—wearing just the right shade of lipstick. Always.
    • David—Annette’s retired physician husband
  • Elise—Annette and David’s uptight homemaker daughter
    • Mitch—Elise’s easy-going husband
    • Rachel—their college-age, good-girl daughter
    • Darius—their ever clueless and lazy son
  • Freddy—Annette and David’s problem child
    • Natasha—Freddy’s hot, young girlfriend

Each person has his or her own secrets that they’re trying to hide: job transitions, shopping addictions, arrests, crushes, health issues, and the list goes on. The families are trapped on a boat for less than a week, but it only takes a couple of days for them to start turning on each other. Unfortunately, Annette’s wish for family bonding will take more effort to achieve than she originally anticipated…


This book didn’t completely knock my socks off, but I still kind of loved the Feldmans! They were each so uniquely themselves, and I appreciated their detailed backstories. Elise’s shopping addiction, in particular, was so interesting to me. You don’t see a lot of characters struggling with that issue, and I was intrigued by her journey. The strained family dynamics were relatable, and even if they were predictable at times, too, I still was happy to follow along as their blunders unfolded.

The only thing I disliked about The Floating Feldmans was the pace. Some parts of the book were definitely stronger than others, almost like really good vignettes surrounded by weaker filler material. I think the book needed to be just a little bit tighter, quicker—and maybe no protracted epilogue either—and it would have read more enjoyably.

But still, this was a fun read. The description of cruise life was horrifying and wonderfully entertaining. I’ve never been on a cruise, but, wow, do the people really storm the all-you-can-eat buffets like that?! Eek, no thanks. I originally gave this book 3.5 stars but, ultimately, decided to round up to 4. It’s worth checking out.

Thank you Net Galley and Berkley for the ARC!

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