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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, June 2014: Here's the funny thing about family: there's no one you love more than your relatives, and yet they're also the people who push your buttons the most. Emma Straub has captured this dilemma in her pitch-perfect second novel The Vacationers. The Post family’s vacation to the Balearic island of Mallorca is one fraught with jealousy and quiet secrets. It's an anniversary for parents Franny and Jim, who are making amends for some rocky marital misgivings; their son Bobby and his much-maligned older girlfriend Carmen have a financial favor to ask; and high school-age daughter Sylvia has made it her mission to lose her virginity to her Spanish tutor. The novel is warm--not just for the sunny beaches that surround Mallorca, but for the compassion and humor that Straub imbues in her characters. The Vacationers is a summer read for sure, but you'd be hard pressed to find a smarter one. --Kevin Nguyen
Gr 9 Up—In this delightful concoction, family and friends come together for two weeks of summer vacation on the island of Mallorca. Franny is a freelance magazine writer about food from different regions. She's currently not speaking to her husband, a magazine editor recently dismissed for sleeping with an employee only a few years older than their daughter, Sylvia. The teen cannot wait to start at Brown University in the fall. All she wants from this vacation is to lose her virginity and try to forget her best friend's betrayal. Cue Joan, the gorgeous local college boy Franny has hired to tutor Sylvia in Spanish. Also in attendance, Franny's best friend of 40 years, Charles, to provide comfort and counsel. Charles and his husband, Lawrence, are waiting to hear whether they've been chosen to adopt a baby boy. Sylvia's older brother Bobby and Bobby's much-older girlfriend, Carmen fly in from Miami. Straub fleshes out all of these characters, effortlessly illuminating their foibles and mistakes, mitigated by the grace of forgiveness and familial understanding. Just as a great recipe is balanced and spiced, so Straub mixes the stress and comedy of a family vacation spent in close quarters to delightful effect.—Angela Carstensen, Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York CitySee all Editorial Reviews
I picked this up off the library's Hot Reads display with low expectations. Turns out I couldn't put it down. Read morePublished 2 hours ago by H. Hart
Fast read about a totally dysfunctional family. Not a single character did I like.
Don't waste your time and money on The Vacationers.
Unoriginal story, sterotypical characters, who couldn't guess the end?Published 2 days ago by Karen L.
Good beach read-don't have to think a lot because the characters are not very deep! Mindless!Published 2 days ago by Gumboman
This is a quick read that starts out promising but ends with most characters still poorly developed and predictable "we've all learned something about infidelity"... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Osa
I thought this book was weak. Uninspiring characters, a predictable plot and no sense of place. I cannot believe it is a best seller. Read morePublished 4 days ago by J. Gehrt