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The Vacationers

Straub, Emma (Book - 2014 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Vacationers
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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.
Authors: Straub, Emma
Title: The vacationers
Publisher: New York :, Riverhead Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA),, 2014.
Characteristics: 292 pages ;,22 cm
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Summary: 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.
Local Note: 6 8 15 16 17 18 35 37 53 57 60 61 79 97 109 112 118 127 133 138 143 148 149 150 151 152 153 159 160 167 172 173 175 176 182 188 193 198 203 210 211 216 222 224 226 228 231 232 243 245 250 262 263 264 268 272
ISBN: 1594631573
Statement of Responsibility: Emma Straub
Subject Headings: Young women Fiction. Majorca (Spain) Fiction. Family vacations Fiction.
Genre/Form: Bildungsromans.
Topical Term: Young women
Family vacations
LCCN: 2013037110
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Aug 30, 2014
  • ksoles rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

"The Vacationers" contains all the elements of a pulpy, hackneyed beach read: generic title, family and friends gathering at an exotic locale, past hurts surfacing then bubbling over. Characters reveal secrets, learn how little they know about each other and return home transformed. But Emma Straub exceeds expectations with her second novel, refreshing a conventional plot through humour and depth of character.

The 35th anniversary of Jim and Franny and the high school graduation of their daughter, Sylvia, form the backdrop to the Post family's two week vacation on the Spanish Island of Mallorca. Joining the trio come Sylvia's much older brother, Bobby, and his even older girlfriend, Carmen, as well as Franny's best friend, Charles, and his husband, Lawrence. No relationship emerges as straightforward, though, and Straub deftly reveals which ones will strengthen and which will dissolve.

Jim had a successful career as a magazine editor until an office romance cost him his job and put his marriage at risk. Franny works as a journalist, specializing in travel pieces while fretting that she has lost both her youth and her attractiveness. Sylvia, the most perceptive character, has one goal for the vacation: losing her virginity. Bobby and Carmen, the enigmatic couple, harbour issues of their own. And Charles and Lawrence can barely enjoy Straub's beautifully described scenery as they wait for "the call" from their adoption agent.

This entertaining novel has much insight to offer on the bonds of relationships, brought forth by a cast of all-too-human characters. Ultimately, it poses the tough question Franny asks about Jim: “What did anyone know about anyone else, including the person they were married to?”

Aug 20, 2014
  • SLS71 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I don't get the love for this book. I think it was pretty boring and the characters underdeveloped.

Aug 13, 2014
  • betsy42 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed this book. The personal struggles of the characters was realistic and there resolutions were believable. The author's style of writing is smooth and easy to follow. I would recommend this book.

Jul 22, 2014
  • ehbooklover rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

One of the reviews that I read called this book a "fun summer read". I respectfully disagree. I didn’t find this book fun at all. It was actually an examination of a family in transition that was just plain sad in parts. I enjoyed the book enough that I finished it, but overall I found this to be a boring read that was full of some very unlikeable and unsympathetic people.

"Set during a two-week vacation in sunny Mallorca, this sharp, funny novel centers on the Post family and their guests, all of whom share the work of narrating what happens over those two weeks -- and the secrets they're all keeping. In structure it's reminiscent of other vacation-set domestic dramas -- Jane Smiley's Ten Days in the Hills, Madeleine Wickham's Sleeping Arrangements, Mark Haddon's The Red House -- and as with those examples the characters are realistic and their individual challenges absorbing; The Vacationers is "a lot of fun to read and has plenty of insight into the marital bond and the human condition" (Kirkus Reviews)." Fiction A to Z July 2014 newsletter http://www.libraryaware.com/996/NewsletterIssues/ViewIssue/b4f6ee64-db77-4e52-b8b4-047c4a840df7?postId=68a5ce8f-6d53-453a-a4fa-045bd063b705

This was entertaining, but I found the ending a little predictable. Also, while some characters were explored in depth, others were not, leading to an uneven feeling. However, for a summer read this is the stuff I like - light, funny, a little sad, and in an unrealistic setting that I could not afford.

Fun summer read - about someone else's disastrous vacation...

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Version pocillo (pocillo) Last updated 2014/09/02 11:42