An irresistible, deftly observed novel about the secrets, joys, and jealousies that rise to the surface over the course of an American family's two-week stay in Mallorca.
For the Posts, a two-week trip to the Balearic island of Mallorca with their extended family and friends is a celebration: Franny and Jim are observing their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, and their daughter, Sylvia, has graduated from high school. The sunlit island, its mountains and beaches, its tapas and tennis courts, also promise an escape from the tensions simmering at home in Manhattan. But all does not go according to plan: over the course of the vacation, secrets come to light, old and new humiliations are experienced, childhood rivalries resurface, and ancient wounds are exacerbated.
This is a story of the sides of ourselves that we choose to show and those we try to conceal, of the ways we tear each other down and build each other up again, and the bonds that ultimately hold us together. With wry humor and tremendous heart, Emma Straub delivers a richly satisfying story of a family in the midst of a maelstrom of change, emerging irrevocably altered yet whole.
"Delicious...richly riveting.... The Vacationers offers all the delights of a fluffy, read-it-with-sunglasses-on-the-beach read, made substantial by the exceptional wit, insight, intelligence and talents of its author.” (People, four stars)
“Set down on the idyllic island of Majorca in the Mediterranean Sea, the Posts confront that universal complaint of vacationing families everywhere: There is nothing to do but get on one another’s nerves. Still, that’s plenty of activity for Straub to spin one beguiling scene after another, exposing spots of annoyance slathered with sunscreen. Much of the comedy springs from the tension between being required to have the best time in the world and wanting to stab someone with an ice pick.... In these pages - so funny, so wise and, yes, even so sweet - she’s created the best feel-good story of the summer.” (The Washington Post)
“Emma Straub puts the fun back in dysfunction.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
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Predictable story about maladjusted New Yorkers
Don't be tempted by the fact that it's set in Mallorca. There is some resolution in the end, though not enough to offset the rest of the book.
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