The Vacationers: A Novel by Emma Straub ~ Add this book to your summer reading list!

Two weeks lounging in a pool, eating tapas and, exploring the island beaches of Mallorca, Spain, what is not blissful with this scenario? Well, when you are spending your two weeks sharing a house with your family – all of your family’s dreams, expectations, disappointments, and hurts get packed right alongside the tabloid magazines and sunglasses.

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Meet the Post family. Jim at 60 was forced to resign from his editorial job. This was a board decision based on Jim’s illicit affair with a 23-year old intern. Franny, Jim’s wife, is a woman after my own heart – she is a writer that loves to cook. She loves to bring the family together for a great meal, hoping the delectable meals can solve all of the family’s hurts. Their 28 year-old son Bobby and his girlfriend Carmen are along for the trip. Even after seven years of dating, the family does still not accept Carmen who is 10 years Bobby’s senior. Bobby is financially floundering as a realtor in Florida. He is not exactly living the life his Upper East Side Manhattan parents had envisioned for their son. The family is rounded out with Sylvia a high-school graduate who is looking forward to starting college in the fall so that she can reinvent herself and start a new life where no one knows her. The family is joined on their vacation with close friend Charles and his husband Lawrence. Charles is a life-long best friend to Franny, and he is there to offer her friendship and unconditional love and support.

The vacation was a long-time planned celebration of Post’s 35th wedding anniversary, but much has changed from the time they planned the trip and the day they all boarded the airplane. Secrets abound on all levels of this family, but family love runs deep and Franny hopes the two weeks together will offer them clarity and perhaps direction. As the family spends time together secrets are revealed. This is a family with history, a family with loyalties, and it all gets tested as they come to terms with who they are and where their future lies.

This was a quick, light novel – a perfect escape for a summer read. The sights, sounds, and food of Mallorca as a backdrop to the all too-human characters’ faults and all, allows for a great, quick summer getaway. Pack this book on your next trip to the beach; you will not be disappointed.

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