Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Vacationers: A Novel

Title:  The Vacationers:  A Novel
Author:  Emma Straub
Publication Information:  Riverhead Hardcover. 2014. 304 pages.
ISBN:  1594631573 / 978-1594631573

Book Source:  I received this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program free of cost in exchange for an honest review.

Favorite Quote:  "Everything was fine, except the things that weren't."

The Vacationers is the story of one family and one two week vacation. Through the day by day account of the two weeks, it tells the story of the cracks in the family and the issues they are collectively and individually dealing with.

The vacationers are the Post family. Jim and Franny Post are married 35 years and facing a crisis. Their son Bobby is a real estate agent turned yoga aficionado. He comes to vacation with his girlfriend Carmen. The Posts' daughter Sylvia has just graduated from high school and will work on her language skill with a tutor over the summer although she has more on her mind than languages. Also along for the vacation is Franny's best friend Charles and his partner Lawrence and their quest to adopt a child.

The setting is the beautiful island of Mallorca because as Franny says, "Mallorca was less cliché than the South of France, and less overrun by Americans than Tuscany." The Posts have rented a house on the island for two weeks.

Throughout the book, we learn about the cracks in the family. An affair. A loss of a job. A career that is not going anywhere. A relationship that may not be grounded for long term love. A tension between a friendship and a marriage. An adoption process fraught with heartbreak. The tensions emerge throughout the two weeks, coming to different resolutions by the end of the book.

This book is a summer beach read. My biggest issue with it is that I do not like any of the characters. The book follows an expected plot line. As such, I end up not caring about the characters, their problems or the resolutions. The best thing about the book for me is the beautiful setting.

Please share your thoughts and leave a comment. I would love to "talk" to you.

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