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 daughter, Sylvia, has graduated from high school. The sunlit island, its mountains and beaches, its tapas and tennis courts, also promise an escape from the tensions simmering at home in Manhattan. But all does not go according to plan: over the course of the vacation, secrets come to light, old and new humiliations are experienced, childhood rivalries resurface, and ancient wounds are exacerbated.
This is a story of the sides of ourselves that we choose to show and those we try to conceal, of the ways we tear each other down and build each other up again, and the bonds that ultimately hold us together. With wry humor and tremendous heart, Emma Straub delivers a richly satisfying story of a family in the midst of a maelstrom of change, emerging irrevocably altered yet whole.
©2014 Emma Straub (P)2014 Penguin Audio
Anglophile. Prefer only British fiction and mysteries. Good translations of Italian, too.
I am not an editor, but I wish the initial narrative lived up to the rest of the book. I did not finish this book. I read too much to ask for a return credit. I kept hoping it would pick up and develop, but it only got more boring as it went along.
I probably would, as I liked the descriptive prose of Majorca and travel in general. I just wish the main character had sustained the initial interest.
The reader was okay enough, given the lameness of the last half of the book. I wish it could have concentrated more on the main character's career and food, etc.
Not relevant. I do not watch movies.
I had very high hopes for this novel. I love novels that take place in other countries. I just fel that about halfway through, the author gave up or something and did not follow through with the character developments. Such good characters, too! It just was not adequately completed. I would have liked more about the gay couple, for example. It was hard to see why the older gay man even liked the married woman so much s she was pretty boring and unlikeable.
Wife, mom of one amazing son, and I have the second best job in the world, working in a bookstore :)
The narrator Kristen did a good job, but the story just lacked substance, nothing connected you to the characters to like them. It really was a novel about nothing and no I will not read another Emma Straub novel.
I liked how she could easily change from one character to another with accents, voice change, very well done.
Disappointment. I spent a credit on this and I had to listen to this for a book club.
I truly cannot recommend this book. Not even as a fluffy summer read.
A highly entertaining read — clever & witty enough to occupy me for a day. Some readers apparently thought these characters were too predictable, but that predictability served the satire as far as I was concerned. And along the way, as in the best satires, I got to internally ponder questions that interest me like: what's it REALLY like being rich and owning a townhouse in Manhattan; do I need to spend some time in Majorca; can marriages survive infidelity; how do children deal with their parents and vice versa; what should you do with a 30 something son who's a lunkhead; should 55 year olds have babies; do people need to lose their virginity in Europe before starting college, why didn't I do that?, how do you cook a meal with very little in the cupboard; how do type A people who are fired for not being able to resist that provocative intern suddenly handle all that free time? You know - the serious stuff.
the shifting POV
Hello! I'm a full-time nurse, part-time reader, chef, gardener and stylist! Love all my hobbies. Oh, and mother to Marley (shih-tzu) and Sam
This is a quick listen so there is not a lot of commitment to the book or to the characters. The characters are not well explored and I didn't find myself attached to any of them. I thought the premiss was a good one and it could have been a fantastic book had it dug a little deeper into the thoughts and feelings of the characters.
It is okay, just okay.
The story seemed flat.
None of the characters was particularly sympathetic or likable, so I didn't really care about anyone.
Yes, her narration was fine
i like to read. i like to listen.
what a satisfying novel.
family has turmoil. family goes on two week vacation to Mallorca. family forced all together to confront turmoil. family comes out the other side.
i rooted for this family. i wanted everything to turn out ok. every single character was spot on...each of them had parts to love, and parts to hate. just like a regular family. the writing was easy, floating along between characters unraveling all the complexities of each of them...
I like mysteries, classics, and good non-fiction. Much of my audible listening takes place when I am working out and sweaty, so I like good plot-driven thrillers.
There was little substance. The characters were mainly stereotyped wealthy New Yorkers. The plot is that their smugness gets a little bit rattled, but then they can return to "Eliteness".
It has changed my opinion about the kinds of books reviewed and praised by the NY Times. I will do much better "due diligence" before I invest in books again.
I think that the narrator was just fine; she could not have done much better with the flimsy material.
I would have said: "DO not publish this book". Or I would have given it some sort of Trigger Warning: Wealthy Smugness to Ensure"
It's a summer romp. And I should have stuck to the genres I can trust and the authors I have tested.
Kristen was a good narrator - on the other hand Emma's book was so boring.
From page one to the end.
Shallow characters - I never really cared what happened to any of them with the exception of Bobby's girlfriend. Thank goodness for her she walked away from this awful cast of characters called a "family." Without a doubt the most pathetic portrayal of a young girl's loss of chosen lost of virginity, totally void of any feeling. Emma claimed the daughter was a virgin yet wrote her first love scene as though she has been around the block more than once.
There was no story completion in any of the plots.poor character development and an awful ending
She was fine
Disappointment .after great review as good beach book it was very weak
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