Saturday, April 05, 2014

2014 book 73

Emma Straub's The Vacationers
Straub's second novel--after Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures--will be PERFECT beach reading for the more literary-minded set this summer. Which I absolutely mean as a compliment. It centers on a family vacationing in Mallorca--Franny and Jim and their troubled marriage (the details of which are revealed in a timely manner); daughter Sylvia, about to start college and determined to lose her virginity; Franny's best friend, Charles, and his husband Lawrence, who are trying to adopt a baby; and adult son Bobby and his older girlfriend, who none of the rest like (very unfairly, in this reader's opinion). The writing here is strong--particularly descriptions of beaches and other local color--and the interactions feel realistic, and if it all wraps up more-or-less neatly, well, that's why it's a good beach read. Bobby is kind of a weak link, but all the other characters are great and I enjoyed this very much. A-.

A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book will be released in May.


Christina said...

I love that we discussed this today and agree on all major points. Especially Bobby.

Alicia K. said...

I feel like I should say "poor Bobby" but he's just so EH.