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.
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
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.
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...
Light Summer Read
Perhaps, if they are looking for an uncomplicated story about family interactions.
I have not.
I think there is something for everyone - the mother who is over-self confident, the husband who has lost himself, the teenager who is exploring her sexuality, the son who breaks away but does not find success, and the gay friend who enables the mother. Adoption, affairs, and a holiday in Spain are all added to the mix.
This was a book club choice. I don't think I would have chosen it on my own. That said, it was enough of a story to keep me listening.
Fun book to listen to. It's well written and funny - I laughed out loud many times. The characters are wonderful and I loved everyone of them. Kristen Sieh helped with that giving them each a voice. Great summer read, but also a great anytime read.
This is fairly entertaining during relaxing times in the summer. The story itself is very predictable and the character development quite shallow... a rather forgettable story but entertaining enough while sitting at the beach or relaxing in the sun
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