Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Vacationers

beach read (noun)
bēCH/ BrE//riːd//
 A book you can take on vacation, which is good enough to engage you, but not serious enough to require your utmost attention

The weather is getting warmer, school is wrapping up, and pools are opening soon. It is officially beach read season! You don’t have to go to a beach or on vacation to enjoy the simple pleasure of a good book. Your personal definition of a beach read might differ from the next person, but the key elements are really just a good book devoid of intricate details and storylines that you can easily drop or pick up as your activities change. 

I recently read The Vacationers by Emma Straub, which was recommended to me by a friend. It’s a tad heavier than your usual beach read due to some of the subject matter, but, at the same time, it is light, uncomplicated, and refreshing.

In the book, Franny and Jim take their troubled marriage and a group of family and friends on a trip to Mallorca. Originally, the trip was intended to be a celebration of Franny and Jim’s thirty-five year marriage, but recent events have caused their relationship to hit the skids. Instead, the beautiful vacation becomes an event to be survived by the seven people involved. Turns out Franny and Jim aren't the only two on the trip with relationship issues.

You might find yourself smacking your forehead in response to some of the characters’ decisions or lack of action, but there is little else to disturb you in this funny and well-paced book. The backdrop of the beautiful house and landscape in Mallorca, paired with Franny’s zest for delicious food, give it a very small touch of Eat, Pray, Love appeal. At one point, Franny even considers embarking on the same type of life affirming journey. One review called this book "delicious," which is a very fair assessment. Overall, a very smart and delightful read.

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