Tapas and wine for everyone!

A review of The Vacationers by Emma Straub

Who am I to argue with The Washington Post, The New York Times, NPR, and E! Online and their lists of best summer reads? So, I'm just going to proclaim this as my novel of the summer, too. I know, I know, summer's just started and there are many, many books that people are reading, but I'm sticking with this one. It's just that kind of book.

The Vacationers is about a group of friends and family meeting up for a summer vacation in Mallorca. I want to go there. Right now. After reading about this spectacular place and the amazing food and weather, I am besotted. That is the number one reason why this book is perfect for summer. It's about taking a summer vacation to a place that's better than any place I will visit this summer. 

Also, the friends and family are just right. They are like my friends and family. They are charming. They are loveable. They are flawed. They are jerks. They are beaten down. They are hopeful. They are closing chapters and starting new ones and embarking on adventures. All of it. For all of them. And they are also swimming and eating tapas. And drinking lots and lots of wine. The combination of these things provides perfect fodder for reading during the (mostly) rainy, humid, unbearable summer weather we've been having.

Emma Straub is a 2009 graduate of UW-Madison's MFA program in fiction writing and has been a featured author at the Wisconsin Book Festival for the last several years. Her debut novel Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures was published by Riverhead Books in 2012.


I LOVED this book and have been recommending it all summer as the perfect beach read. If only I had a rich friend with a beautiful island home to use for two weeks :) Emma Straub is a wonderful storyteller and I love her honest look at family and marriage.