‘The Vacationers’ by Emma Straub

The VacationersstarstarstarI spent the last week in “armchair” Majorca, enjoying the sort of relaxation, culture and cuisine that only a European island can offer. ‘The Vacationers’ is a romantic comedy, slightly reminiscent of the classics. The Post family is on vacation, packing along flip flops and sunscreen, but also a number of issues and a basketful of secrets.  It certainly is not about “getting away from it all” when they have carried all of their troubles with them. They begin the two week get-away seriously self-deluded that everything is ok, while clearly the cracks are beginning to form and dysfunction is oozing out.

The book started out with a delicious tension lurking just beneath the surface of the pool. But it got downright boring and lost momentum when nothing much every happened, despite the steamy beach scene left to the very end. I wouldn’t consider that a spoiler because almost every good beach read has a steamy scene somewhere, no? One reviewer darkly quipped, “I kept reading in the hopes that someone would drown!” And the insertion of a Rafael Nadal Tennis Centre (under a pseudonym of course) was the final straw in the beach basket – much too cliché. I find it curious that this novel has received many stellar reviews and has topped a number of bestseller lists. Although the story has some original elements and I did enjoy parts of it, I would not highly recommend it.

One response to “‘The Vacationers’ by Emma Straub

  1. I like the way you describe the Post family as carrying “a basketful of secrets.” I did enjoy the book, but then, I am not one for action-packed novels. I like the comfortable, lingering quality of the book, but I can see how it might have been disappointing to others. Thanks for reviewing!

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