It has been about a week or so since I finished reading the Birchbox Book Club’s first novel: The Vacationers. The book happened to show up on my doorstop the same time my monthly goodie box arrived, with a vacation theme, nonetheless. (Are you trying to tell me something, Birchbox?)
Recently, my reading list has included the latest book-to-movie stories. I’m late to the Harry Potter book trend, I suppose, but I just started The Half-Blood Prince, so I’m so close to the end! Just before reading The Vacationers, I read Catching Fire — and plan to read Mockingjay before the movie is released. So, this is the first time in a long time that I’ve been introduced (and had the chance) to read a “not-a-movie” book. (Maybe I should say “not-a-movie-YET” because I can see the potential.)
Without trying to give too much away (because you should read it!), I’d love to share some of my thoughts on this novel by Emma Straub. The heat of the summer is the perfect time to start this book, especially when all your daydreams of getting away to a tropical paradise are at the peak of the season. The story is set in Mallorca, a beautiful island in Spain with Mediterranean beaches and Catalonian charm. Luckily, I live in Florida. So, when I had the strong urge to go to the beach, I was able to tow my book and sunscreen to a sandy spot and pretend that the Spanish I heard was actually coming from a native Mallorcan. The Vacationers follows several intertwined stories about the Post family and their friends who decide to take one last big trip together before the youngest daughter heads off to college. It’s a breezy read (again, perfect for lazy summer days) that gets you flipping to the next page to see if the family dynamic can make it through a short two-week vacation. While this isn’t necessarily a deep, thought-provoking book, it is heartwarming and quite lovely. It’s my first time reading Emma Straub’s writing, but she does an excellent job getting you connected to each character and caring about his or her progress throughout the tangles of life. I think that was my favorite part while reading — it was more than just one story. It was the story of a family, of children becoming adults, of a married couple trying to make things work, of relationships needing to make tough decisions, of adoption, of adultery, of blooming desires, of fading love. It made me a believer in vacation therapy. There’s hope in getting away from the stress of everyday life to help you realize what is truly important — the people you love.
So, if you’re heading out to the beach or are about to hop a plane to an exotic summer vacation (envy!), pack this book for those quiet moments you get to yourself. If you’ve already read The Vacationers, I’d love to hear your take on the story! Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
*Please Note: This post is a personal review of The Vacationers. A copy of the book was supplied by Birchbox for blog post; all opinions are my own.*