The Vacationers An Interesting Book Filled With Great Character Development



Every summer, people typically start looking for a great summer read. This past week, I got the opportunity to read Emma Straub’s “The Vacationers.” The book was an interesting read, full of great character development. 

The basic premise of “The Vacationers” is that a family is getting ready to take a two week trip to Mallorca, Spain. While this may not sound like the most exciting premise for a novel, consider the following:

– Patriarch Jim has recently lost his high profile position at a major magazine for having an inter-office affair.  He cheated on matriarch Franny, who is less than forgiving.

– Daughter Sylvia has recently made some bad choices at a high school graduation party that got posted on Facebook. She is trying to put those in the past and also has the goal of losing her virginity.

– Brother Bobby lives in Florida with girlfriend Carmen, who is significantly older than him and not well received by his family. While he puts up a good front, he has recently made some bad business choices and is in significant debt.

– Franny’s best friend, Charles, rounds out the vacationing crew with his husband, Lawrence, who badly wants a baby even though Charles is less than thrilled with the idea.

As you can imagine, what ensues over these two weeks includes a lot of self exploration for each character, a good deal of catharsis, and definite drama/conflict.

The book was definitely captivating, but the thing I liked most about it was that it seemed to be an interesting exercise in character development. As a reader, you could tell how carefully Straub had considered each character, and by the end of the book you felt like you knew them.

If you are looking for a good summer read, definitely check out this New York Times bestseller.