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The Vacationers

3.14  ·  Rating Details ·  49,348 Ratings  ·  5,287 Reviews
An irresistible, deftly observed novel about the secrets, joys, and jealousies that rise to the surface over the course of an American family’s two-week stay in Mallorca.

For the Posts, a two-week trip to the Balearic island of Mallorca with their extended family and friends is a celebration: Franny and Jim are observing their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, and their da
Hardcover, 292 pages
Published May 29th 2014 by Riverhead Books (first published 2014)
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Alison Waldmann I totally agree. I struggled to finish this book and didn't enjoy it at all. I really disliked the characters. They were ALL so cold, rude, shallow,…moreI totally agree. I struggled to finish this book and didn't enjoy it at all. I really disliked the characters. They were ALL so cold, rude, shallow, selfish, judgmental and one-dimensional, save for the gay couple who were really the only some-what likable characters in the book. It was sad that Carmen couldn't have been given more depth. I felt like I was reading a lame story about a bunch of jerks. The author's way with words was excellent however. (less)
Beth I quit at page 155. The characters do not evolve. The story goes around and around day by day. I kept waiting for something to happen but nothing. Its…moreI quit at page 155. The characters do not evolve. The story goes around and around day by day. I kept waiting for something to happen but nothing. Its a shame because the idea of the story was great, just fell flat.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jun 10, 2014 Meghan rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, awful-people
I kept reading in the hopes that someone would drown.

Or maybe at the end of the book the plane would crash and the whole detestable, wealthy, privileged family would die on their way home from Mallorca, where their dream vacation in a giant private house near the ocean had been marred by secrets coming to light and infidelity.

Really, the only character I liked here was Carmen, the personal trainer girlfriend of the older son, who commits the unpardonable sin of being ten years older than him, w
Michael Jensen
Jul 16, 2014 Michael Jensen rated it it was ok
I confess to being utterly baffled by this book. I'm not referring to the book itself, which had a minimal plot that was very easy to follow. I'm referring to the critical reaction to The Vacationers. It had glowing reviews and seemed to be on every summer reading list. After reading it, I can only shake my head in wonder and ask why. Mass hallucination? Bribery? All the critics were friends of the writer? I don't know what else would explain this book being anointed this summer's must read.


Jun 24, 2014 JennE rated it did not like it
I do not know why I kept reading this book. It's basically a book about a family on vacation in Mallorca...Some of the members have cheated outside their respective relationships at one time or another and all the resentment/secrets finally come to light.. and not even in any exciting events. they just talk about it.That's. it.
Nothing really "happens" in this's like attending one big boring family reunion where you get seated beside your seventh cousin twice removed and all they do is d
Jenny Roche
Jul 25, 2014 Jenny Roche rated it did not like it
I guess I'm going to miss saying "god I hate this book" every 10 minutes. I can't stand it anymore. I just realized I have two chapters left and it hasn't stopped sucking once. Throwing in the towel.
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

3.5 Stars

“Secrets are no fun for anyone. Keep that in mind.”

When my husband asked what I was reading about over the weekend, the answer was simple: Nothing. He followed up that response with, “uh oh so it’s a 1 Star book then?” I surprised him by saying no and here I am giving The Vacationers a solid 3.5. I still stand by this being about “nothing” when compared to most other books I read, but I remember a certain television show whi
Sep 24, 2014 Jess rated it did not like it
This book was about as satisfying as eating a 12 pack of sugarless cinnamon gum for Sunday dinner.

This is the tale of Franny: a short, fat, petty shrew of a woman who goes on vacation with her gay (of course!) best friend and his partner; her philandering husband Jim; her spoiled, useless children; and Carmen, poor, poor Carmen. Franny is using their 2 weeks in Mallorca to decide whether or not to stay in her marriage to her cheating, unemployed, albeit tall, husband.

Franny toys with the idea o
Jul 19, 2014 Corey rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, read-in-2014
A beautifully written boring story
Feb 13, 2014 Oriana rated it really liked it
Well this was just an absolute delight.

I will admit that I was hesitant; although I had high hopes, I didn't love Emma's previous book, Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures, so I didn't expect to be reading her again any time soon. But my own vacation snuck up on me, and suddenly I was staring down three long flights and nine days at the beach, with not a thing on my shelves that I was thrilled about. A quick last-minute dash to the Strand turned up a proof of this, and here we are.

And my goodness,
A quick summer read following vapid, detestable characters who try to escape their problems but ultimately have to face them while on family vacation. Basically exactly what you expect it to be. It delivers on drama and wraps up nicely. Perfect for making you feel a little bit better about yourself too.
May 09, 2014 Kimberly rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ron Charles
Feb 03, 2014 Ron Charles rated it really liked it
Emma Straub’s “The Vacationers” is so much fun that I’d be willing to housesit her cat. A romantic comedy that evokes the classics, the story opens at the start of the Post family’s much-anticipated two-week trip to Spain. “The Posts hadn’t vacationed in years,” Straub tells us, “not like this.” Franny Post, the all-controlling wife and mother, “the maypole around which the rest of the world had to dance and twirl,” has spent months planning every detail, which, of course, guarantees a tour of f ...more
Jun 02, 2014 Kristina rated it did not like it
The Vacationers by Emma Straub is a book that was hyped last year as the perfect beach read. I don’t read books based on seasons, but I guess if the definition of a “beach read” is a novel filled with shallow characters, clichéd situations, and the faintest hint of racism, then The Vacationers is the perfect beach read. Note: the plot in this book is extremely predictable and there are no “ah-ha!” moments, but I discuss pretty much everything. So if this is going to bother you, stop reading.

Mary Ronan Drew
Jul 05, 2014 Mary Ronan Drew rated it it was ok
By the author of the disappointing Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures. I was skeptical about the book because of my experience with Emma Straub's earlier novel. And rightly so.

I borrowed this because 1. hope springs eternal, and 2. (blushes) there were more people on the library waiting list for this book than any of the other books I had been investigating, 32. When will I ever learn?

The people are unlikeable - I think (they are poorly portrayed), the plot is almost non-existent, there is no loca
Remy Kothe
Jul 10, 2014 Remy Kothe rated it it was ok
Very thin, even for a summer read. Thin on plot, thin on characters...too cliche. The book read almost like a story pitch for a movie. I had expected it to be a little more fun. Ah well...
Jan 10, 2017 Vanessa rated it liked it
3.5. Appropriately I was reading this book while on vacation so it was the perfect backdrop for my holiday reading, this didn't require gamuts of concentration so if your after a light holiday read this is the perfect pick. The story revolves around a family trying to reconnect with each other, each one of them heading into different directions in their day to day lives they have somewhat detached from each other and each have their own secrets, while on vacation to Mallorca these secrets start ...more
Apr 07, 2014 ☮Karen rated it really liked it
I read this book over the course of 24 hours. I feel like I have been on this beautiful vacation and back again, with an engaging family and their two friends. I simply adored this book. First off, what a wonderful vacation spot, Mallorca Spain. I found this lovely island on the map, and just as I suspected it is the actual home of Rafa Nadal, who I'm sure was the inspiration for the tennis star mentioned in the book, by a different name. Secondly, the characters were well drawn and loveable, mo ...more
Apr 10, 2015 Pamela rated it did not like it
Book club or not, I just can't hang with these spoiled, dysfunctional, nauseously annoying and shallow wannabe A-Listers. After reading several reviews voicing similar opinions, I wondered how this book made so many "Must Read" summer lists. And then I thought - Ah, the power of marketing: making dandelions smell and sell like roses. Fleecing the masses. Case in point: Pet Rocks.
Feb 02, 2014 r.b. rated it it was amazing
My favorite thing about this novel is the love Emma Straub has for her characters. It emanates from every page like a balmy Mallorcan breeze and before you know it, you love the Posts and friends, finding it sad to say goodbye when The Vacationers ends.
Larry H
Apr 13, 2014 Larry H rated it really liked it
Other than holidays and weddings, there's nothing quite like a vacation with family and friends to hit all the right buttons on the dysfunction scale. No matter how idyllic, relaxing, and/or fun the plans seem like they'll be, some type of crisis, tension, or anguish (if not all three) is sure to arise, and turn everything at least slightly topsy-turvy.

And so it goes in Emma Straub's newest novel, the fun, breezy, The Vacationers. New Yorkers Franny and Jim Post have planned a two-week vacation
Jun 05, 2015 Cathleen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
The kindest thing I can say is that I am not the audience for this book.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Mar 29, 2016 Jenny (Reading Envy) rated it liked it
Shelves: read2016
I chose this book from the library shelves because of the cover and the title - I was going on vacation and wanted some lightness to add variety to the books I was bringing otherwise. This one is so light it could almost float away! It is the story of a dysfunctional (but rich) family on a vacation in beautiful, idyllic Mallorca. Right before leaving, the patriarch has revealed his affair with an intern at his magazine, which has led to his premature "retirement."

I feel like Emma Straub created
May 11, 2014 Jessica rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads, reviewed
Before diving into this, I wasn't sure what to do expect. I won this through a Goodreads giveaway, and I haven't read anything by Emma Straub before. My thought process went a little something like this: Oh excellent, another book I might read halfway, struggle through it, and eventually give up on it. The reason behind this caution might have stemmed from my sister. She read it first, while I finished up with another book, and promptly abandoned it shortly after reading a few chapters. Now, usu ...more
Aug 10, 2014 Dianne rated it liked it
More wry and observant than fluffy, a vacation read with a little bit of a bite. Jim and Franny Post from Manhattan take a family vacation to Mallorca to celebrate their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary - although at the moment, they aren't exactly speaking. Accompanying them are their angsty but droll teen-aged daughter and shiftless grown son, the son's older girlfriend who no one likes, and Franny's gay best friend and his husband. Everyone has a secret or a "situation," and the story is told ...more
Jul 01, 2014 Snotchocheez rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

(Curious how this is the second consecutive novel I've read (the other being Susan Rieger's The Divorce Papers) whose marketing wizards compare it to Maria Semple's Where'd You Go, Bernadette. Like Gone Girl for the suspense world, it's almost like ...Bernadette's evoked as a measuring stick every time they try to market a "light-and fluffy comedy" title. Given Emma Straub's The Vacationers and Rieger's novel bear almost no resemblance whatsoever to ...Bernadette, you can't help but har
Jordana Horn Gordon
Jun 01, 2014 Jordana Horn Gordon rated it really liked it
So, when you go to a Nancy Meyers movie, you go not because you want to be surprised, or thrilled, or changed in any way. You go in expecting to see amazing interiors, well-known actors playing almost precisely the kinds of parts for which they are renowned, and a smooth-moving romantic plot. That's what you're going to find in The Vacationers. A family 'in crisis' goes to Majorca for a two week vacation, along with the requisite gay couple who are their witty urbane friends. Is the teenage daug ...more
Jul 07, 2014 Margaret rated it it was ok
Vacationers is no vacation at all. Unless your idea of vacation is waiting for the cheater to get decked, the annoying mother to get her due, or the sulking virgin to find her Romeo. I usually don't review a book before my book club has talked about it but our gathering is 2 weeks out and I want to get this book behind me.

I just can't do books where I don't like the characters. This family was believable, their predicaments realistic and their faults quite human. But they aren't fun to be around
Aug 27, 2014 Nadine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Is it possible to have a family full of drama bring no drama to a book at all???? I had been waiting on this book for nearly 6 weeks. Supposedly it's the "hot" book this summer. Yet after reading it, I can say that I honestly have NO idea why. Why are people reading this book? I'd rather do laundry. The only thing that kept me going was the positive reviews.... I kept hoping something riveting would happen.Just the opposite. It lacked everything. There was not a single likable character, There w ...more
Jun 04, 2014 Sarah rated it liked it
The infamous family beach/European vacation sounds great in theory but it can be miserable in reality. In Emma Straub's The Vacationers, the Posts (mom Franny, dad Jim, adult son Bobby and college bound daughter Sylvia) with friend Charles and his husband Lawrence are on a Spanish island for a two week holiday. Each person brings extra baggage: pain, fear, embarrassment and lust. Relationships are on the rocks and the desire for something new can bring happiness or destruction. No family is perf ...more
Vanessa Werle
Jun 02, 2014 Vanessa Werle rated it liked it
Easy to read...fluffy summer book with everything wrapped up at the end-which I don't necessarily like because life isn't that way. But it's an enjoyable book.
Oct 26, 2013 Edan rated it really liked it
This book is a wonderfully pleasurable read. I love Emma's prose--it's buttery and smooth and precise and funny and fluid and fun to read. I loved being in Mallorca, in this magical house with its magical swimming pool, eating such magical food and watching the Post family in all their functional dysfunction. (Ha, I was in California eating leftover Chinese food but I was somewhere else entirely!) I really liked Bobby Post's girlfriend, Carmen; she is so different from the other bookish folks, s ...more
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The Bookly Club: August Book Review 1 3 Sep 02, 2015 07:37AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #128 The Vacationers by Emma Straub 1 3 Jul 20, 2015 07:55PM  
South Shore Readers: Discussion: The Vacationers 13 29 Jun 28, 2015 07:06AM  
Food & Fiction: New Food & Fiction Title! 3 51 Feb 19, 2015 12:38PM  
Food & Fiction: Your Last Vacation 11 38 Oct 05, 2014 09:13PM  
  • Lay It on My Heart
  • Casebook
  • The Blessings
  • Astonish Me
  • Cutting Teeth
  • The Possibilities
  • Friendship
  • The Engagements
  • The Hopefuls
  • Catching Air
  • The Last Summer of the Camperdowns
  • You Are One of Them
  • The Actress
  • The Rocks
  • The Story Hour
  • The Girls from Corona del Mar
  • Single, Carefree, Mellow
  • Arts & Entertainments
Emma Straub is the New York Times‒bestselling author of The Vacationers, Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures, and the short story collection Other People We Married. Her fiction and nonfiction have been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Elle, and Condé Nast Traveler, and she is a contributing writer for Rookie. Straub's work has been published in fifteen countries.
More about Emma Straub...

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“Families were nothing more than hope cast out in a wide net, everyone wanting only the best.” 20 likes
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