A Rather Familiar Family in "The Vacationers", by Emma Straub - Book Review

Author Emma Straub writes of the quintessential New York family.  In The Vacationers, the Post family travel to the island of Mallorca, off the coast of Spain for two weeks to celebrate Jim and Franny’s thirty-fifth wedding anniversary.

Fourteen days of family togetherness….what could possibly go wrong??

Daughter, Sylvia, fresh out of high school, would much rather be with friends in the City or on her iPad. Bobby, the prodigal son returned, brings along his cougar girlfriend (whom no one likes) and a bucket full of problems. Charles, Franny’s dearest friend, tags along, at Franny’s urging, with his husband, Lawrence, much to Jim’s chagrin. Oh, and the couple of the hour? There is most definitely trouble in paradise.

Everything and nothing happens during the two weeks. Relationships deepen and dissipate, alliances shift, and bonds emerge in unexpected places. Straub masters the microcosm of the Post family’s dysfunction while allowing the reader to bask in the beauty of the Spanish isle.

At the end of the day, the Posts aren’t so different than any other family; their lives are full of laughs, heartbreaks, resentments, and tenderness. But also, a whole lot of love that ultimately carries them through the rough spots.

The Vacationers is the perfect vacation read.

Published:  2014
Publisher:   Riverhead Books

Elizabeth's rating: 4 stars