The Vacationers by Emma Straub

The Vacationers by Emma Straub

Photo Credit: Goodreads

This book was sent to Traveling With T in exchange for a fair review.

The Vacationers

The Post family (plus 2 friends and a girlfriend) will be spending 2 weeks in Mallorca, Spain. 2 glorious weeks on vacation with friends and loved ones. What could be better? Well…. turns out a lot could be better. This vacation is not the fun filled trip that it should be.

Franny and Jim Post have been married for 35 years- 2 children and a comfortable life. Until Jim made a mistake that could cost him his marriage. Franny is mad, so angry at Jim- but ultimately has not decided what to do about her marriage. Sylvia, Franny and Jim’s daughter, is graduating high school and eagerly looking forward to college- where she can reinvent herself and leave behind some bad high school memories. Bobby, their son, brings his much older (and very unliked) girlfriend, Carmen, and some secrets of his own on the trip. Lawrence and Charlie round out the group- friends of Franny and married, they are hoping to adopt a baby and eagerly await news on that.

As the group begins the vacation, it’s revealed that some know what Jim did and some do not. Carmen knows Bobby’s secret (but not all of them) and no one seems to know much about Sylvia- except that she had graduated and is looking forward to college. The days go on and secrets are revealed. Tensions between various folks in the group resurface and there is a question of how they will all  survive the 2 weeks together.

Two weeks in Spain, in a private area of town, sounds like a dream. But for the Posts and friends- the dream may not be as sweet as you would think. Or… will the best part of the trip be the chance to discover more about each other and make some life choices?


Traveling With T’s Thoughts

This is my first Emma Straub book and I was unsure what to expect. Others had told me that I was in for a treat- and I must say they were mostly right. Emma Straub has a habit of dropping little bits of the story, the good bits, the shocking bits and then waiting several pages to drop more. This worked, because while I suspected a secret or 2, following the bread crumbs led to a bigger payoff of satisfaction,

The writing- the way Emma Straub phrased things- intrigued me. I was definitely digging some of her turns of phrase. The setting- Mallorca, Spain- well, I’ve never been there, but after reading about- the crystal water, the food and more- I’m ready to book a trip.

The characters… Ahh, those characters. Ok, so Franny had reason to be mad for most of the book. I got it. I really did. But, sometimes, she was unlikeable and I was just ready for her to make a choice and be done with it. Sylvia was angst filled at times (but really- who at that age isn’t?) and while I was curious about her desire to reinvent herself- her story was not the most compelling. Bobby and Carmen- their story is an advertisement for why women should not date significantly younger men.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was a quick read- and one that I did enjoy. It had many good moments, and did have some draggy moments; but I do think most would enjoy. If you enjoy a family saga- then this book may be the one for you!


*This book was sent to Traveling With T by Putnam Books in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are mine alone.


Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,

T @ Traveling With T

T Traveling With T pic sign off



4 thoughts on “The Vacationers by Emma Straub

  1. I really like authors who leave you breadcrumbs, especially if I don’t feel like the author is being manipulative with information they hold back. If I feel like a character whose perspective we got really would have thought about whatever the secret was, that feels fake to me. But when done well, this slow reveal of bigger and bigger secrest can really make a book work for me.

  2. Books in the Burbs says:

    Great and balanced review!! It’s hard when to embrace a character and their flaws, if the character stays in limbo for most of the book. I’m all for blue waters, though!! That sounds divine!

    • Yes! For me, she did stay in limbo just a bit too long. I kept expecting her to make some big change or something (or maybe I just wanted her to).

      It’s worth a read- it really is. There is def enough good stuff about the book! Thanks so much 🙂

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