The Vacationers by Emma Straub

Emma Straub

The Vacationers

I just did something I almost never do: I repeatedly put a book down so it would last longer… THE VACATIONERS by Emma Straub, is a wonderful book full of fun and laughter, and family angst.

I don’t know if any of you have ever gotten    your entire family together for a vacation, but we did. First of all, it’s like herding cats just to get everyone to commit to going somewhere at the same time. You’re dealing with conflicting schedules, people who may have money woes, people who want to bring people along you may not be so keen on having. But when it finally happens, it’s, well, a vacation you will never forget.

Franny has been planning this vacation for a long time. Her baby girl has just graduated from high school and will be going away to attend college at the end of the summer. Her oldest child is Bobby, who lives in that hedonist place (Florida) with a long-time girlfriend who is known as a cougar in some corridors. And there’s Charles who is Franny’s best friend in the whole world. Charles is married to Lawerence, and yes, they’re gay. The whole deal almost gets flushed down the pooper when Franny’s husband Jim crosses a big line in their relationship. And here they are celebrating 35 years of wedded bliss.


Emma Straub

It’s difficult to write with a witty pen. Plus, write well. Emma Straub has blown it out of the water with THE VACATIONERS. I loved this novel! Every single beach bag should have a copy of this hilarious novel tucked in it. Yet, funny is not all this book has. The story will hit a nerve with everyone, in some way or other. And talk of sense of place. ……

When couples have a baby it seems like it’s the hardest part of raising a child. Yet, what they do not realize is that it is only the beginning. We hurt when our children hurt. We feel their loses, their broken hearts, and their ups and downs throughout their entire lives.

Marriage is supposed to be forever.  But it’s so easy to get a divorce these days. So many couples just give up. Every marriage has its ups and downs. Everyone has their own secret life. There is so much about your loved ones you do not know. And probably shouldn’t.  Straub has nailed family life. She seems young to have all this knowledge.  And where did she get such a fabulous sense of humor? I applaud the wittiness of the clever writing. Yes, I am standing and clapping out loud!

This warm and captivating new novel by Emma Straub is one of my favorites, ever. Her characters already feel a part of my literate life. And I love the way the story comes together at the end. No tying up loose ends here. Straub has sewn this tale together carefully, mindfully using each situation to move toward a satisfying culmination. It was an absolute joy to read it happening. I can’t wait to see what she is going to write next. Kudos, Emma Straub, you have managed to make me laugh while entertaining me with a great story.

My finished hard copy came from the wonderful people at Riverhead Books. You guys have a real winner here! Thanks a million.


4 thoughts on “The Vacationers by Emma Straub

  1. I would love to learn how you read all of these books so quickly – yes, I’m sure you are a fast reader, but do you ever listen to them on tapes? Thanks again for a good review.

  2. I don’t listen on tape. I do not read all the giveaways. I am not obligated to do it. And I don’t have time. But I do accept only books for giveaway that I believe my readers will enjoy. When I find a book as wonderful as THE VACATIONERS, I slow way down and enjoy the read.

  3. I didn’t get the sense of warmth that you did but I ended up liking it more than I expected to. It seemed very genuine in the telling and I liked that they characters were rough around the edges. Not perfect or trying to be perfect.

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