We all have family vacation or holiday stories- many with enhanced memories, amusement, hilarity, or regret.  The Vacationers by Emma Straub invites the reader along to a family vacation in Mallorca. For much of the novel, the narrator is the teenage daughter – the only uncoupled person on the trip. The three couples – parents, son & girlfriend, and gay best friends- are each working through a crisis in relationship. Planning to lose her virginity is the concern of the teen, whose handsome Spanish tutor  seems a perfect prospect.

This is a fast read with yummy food descriptions, scenic Mallorcan notes, and characters who reflect different cultural backgrounds. The characters are well-drawn and memorable, but I like a richer interior life in my fictional characters- especially those in the midst of life changes.

If you liked Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead, you will appreciate The Vacationers.


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