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The Vacationers (2014)

by Emma Straub

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1,0719313,212 (3.19)23
Celebrating their thirty-fifth anniversary and their daughter's high-school graduation during a two-week vacation in Mallorca, Franny and Jim Post confront old secrets, hurts, and rivalries that reveal sides of themselves they try to conceal.
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Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
Absolutely delightful read. Would be perfect for a beach/pool read. Who doesn't love a good ole' family vacay full of drama? I'm sure a lot of people will find this book lacking -- no great character depth, no fleshing out of anything, really. But, I think Straub hit the mark with an easy read, beautiful scenery descriptions and delicious drama. Hat-tip to Riverhead Books for timing the release perfectly. ( )
  amandanan | Jun 6, 2020 |
The summer vacation - two weeks in a beautiful rented home in Mallorca - has been long planned, but recent developments have changed the tone of the trip and given everyone something to think about. New Yorkers Frannie and Jim are struggling with the aftermath of infidelity, and need to figure out if they can save their marriage. Their daughter Sylvia has just broken up with her boyfriend, with whom she had hoped to lose her virginity before heading off to college. Their son needs to decide if he wants to stay with his floundering real-estate career and his much older girlfriend in Miami. And their gay friends, Lawrence and Charles, are waiting to hear from the adoption agency if they have been approved by the birth mother who chose them as potential parents.

The narrative is straightforward (Day 1, Day 2) and nothing really earth shattering happens. This was a pleasant if unambitious novel that was fine to pass time in the car. If you think it might be fun to hang out on an island with a nice family for two weeks and see what they get up to, this book will work for you. ( )
  AngeH | Jan 2, 2020 |
I read this book relatively quickly. Didn't particularly like any of the characters, the daughter being too smug, the son an ass, the father just uninteresting. The mother, Fanny, with all her quirkiness was probably my least disliked, though she was privileged and perhaps justifiably so. Couldn't figure out why Joan, the tutor was a dick. Maybe because he was so beautiful. But, I suppose it was left to our imagination.

A family in crisis but everything works out in the end.

Synopsis, a failing marriage, the naive unsophisticated 18 yr old daughter, two gay friends, an estranged brother and his girlfriend from Miami Beach (12 years older than him) go vacay together on an Island off of Dpain.

Everyone works out their differences, for good or had, and return state side changed people. ( )
  Alphawoman | Dec 26, 2019 |
Screwed up Manhattan family of four goes on summer vacation to a villa in Mallorca, Spain for two weeks. They are joined by the son's way older personal trainer girlfriend and the mom's best friend and his husband. What could possibly go right? Not much for most of the time, but in a sublimely amusing way. Magazine editor Dad, sixty, gets fired for tumbling into an abortive affair with a board member's seductive twentysomething daughter. Mom finds out when he crawls home jobless and in shock. Daughter, headed to freshman year at Brown U. in the fall, has a crush on her Mallorcan Spanish tutor. Son is in debilitating debt due to a dumb business decision and has to humbly beg for a bailout. Everyone in the vacation party resents son's overly critical, super-fit girlfriend. The married male couple are stressed out, awaiting news on the decision of a birth mother in their pursuit of fatherhood. Mallorca casts its spell.

Quotes: "It was the classic Euro look - shiny and well-groomed to the point of New Jersey."

"Jim didn't know it was possible to see actual wavy lines of anger around someone's head, like a cartoon come to life, but there they were, clear as day." ( )
  froxgirl | Sep 24, 2019 |
This one was a disappointment to me. I received a copy from the Penguin First To Read program, and picked it because it appeared to be a good summer read, complete with a family vacationing on a beautiful island. Unfortunately, the book got off to a slow start and never really picked up. The highlight of this book was the description of the scenery.

The Post family is incredibly dysfunctional. Jim has recently lost his job due to a very poor decision he made. He is married to Franny, who is ready to leave him because of his mistake. She is justifiably angry, and normally I would be in her corner, but within the first few pages, I began to wonder why Jim was even worried about her staying. He should have been out of there long ago! She is self-centered, loud, and controlling. Their son Bobby is a needy, 20-something, who brings his 40 year old live-in girlfriend, Carmen, along on the vacation. They have been together for quite some time, but Carmen is still treated like an unwanted outsider, tolerated but not welcomed. Daughter Sylvia has just graduated high school, dislikes everyone from her school and can’t wait to move on from them, and seems to have the sole goal of losing her virginity on vacation. Accompanying them on vacation are Franny’s gay friend, Charles, and his husband, Lawrence, who is about the only semi-likeable character in the book! This is about as dislikeable a cast of characters as I’ve come across.

While there is some resolution of the problems at the end of the book, it comes just a bit too neatly.

Just one example, Lawrence really wants to adopt a child but Charles is not sure he is on board with that, and neither of them really hold out much hope that as a gay couple, they will be chosen as adoptive parents anyway. Miraculously, by the end of the two weeks, a baby has become available to them and Charles is completely ready for this baby to come into their lives. I don’t remember him ever even discussing his hesitation with Lawrence!

This book did not work for me, but if you take a look at Goodreads, you will see ratings are all over the place. Just because I didn’t like the book does not mean you will not like it. Read through some of the reviews on Goodreads and at First To Read to help you decide if this book is for you!

I received an advanced review copy of this book through the Penguin First To Read program in return for an honest review. ( )
  Time2Read2 | Jan 25, 2019 |
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