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Extended Audio Sample The Vacationers: A Novel, by Emma Straub Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Emma Straub Narrator: Kristen Sieh Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The Vacationers is 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “I would read anything Emma Straub writes. She’s a natural talent and a gorgeous and witty storyteller, who makes each sentence look not only easy, but perfectly real. I came to care so deeply about every single character in this great novel that I found myself unable to go to sleep at night until I was certain they had all landed safely. And they will linger with me, this richly imagined family, long into the future.”

    Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of The Signature of All Things

  • “Witty, big-hearted, and packed with wisdom, this novel is a breezy read that sneaks in its emotional wallops and leaves you smiling for days.”

    Maria Semple, New York Times bestselling author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

  • The Vacationers is a beautifully told story that walks the tightrope of family angst and connection with hilarity and truth. Get ready for the Post family drama, where the near empty nest collides with the dreams of the new generation. Emma Straub’s writing is deft, clear and wise in ways that will surprise and delight you. It's a beyond the beach read. It's Ms. Straub at her dazzling best.”

    Adriana Trigiani, New York Times bestselling author of The Supreme Macaroni Company

  • “Charming and absorbing, this is a novel that demands to be read in long, satisfying gulps.”

    Maggie Shipstead, New York Times bestselling author of Seating Arrangements

  • “Expertly observed…offers such psychologically astute portrayals of the characters that it is hard not to feel fondly towards even their least appealing quirks. It’s a delightful, breezy read in every way but one—it’s a vacation that’s hard to leave behind.”


  • “[A] warm, witty story.”

    Good Housekeeping

  • “Delicious…richly riveting…The Vacationers offers all the delights of a fluffy, read-it-with-sunglasses-on-the-beach read, made substantial by the exceptional wit, insight, intelligence, and talents of its author.”

    People (four stars)

  • “Those who love novels featuring sly humor, sun-drenched islands, and family drama will fall fast and hard for this one. A nearly perfect read, beach or otherwise.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “There’s nothing more addictive than a darkly funny dysfunctional domestic drama. Straub’s novel–set during a fraught family vacation in Mallorca–is pretty much the perfect beach read.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Here’s the funny thing about family: there’s no one you love more than your relatives, and yet they’re also the people who push your buttons the most. Emma Straub has captured this dilemma in her pitch-perfect second novel The Vacationers…The novel is warm--not just for the sunny beaches that surround Mallorca, but for the compassion and humor that Straub imbues in her characters. The Vacationers is a summer read for sure, but you’d be hard pressed to find a smarter one.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Gorgeously written…the novel’s joy and humor are infectious. Straub may be an heir to Laurie Colwin, crafting characters that are smart, addictively charming, delightfully misanthropic, and fun…When I turned the last page, I felt as I often do when a vacation is over: grateful for the trip and mourning its end.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Set down on the idyllic island of Majorca in the Mediterranean Sea, the Posts confront that universal complaint of vacationing families everywhere: There is nothing to do but get on one another’s nerves. Still, that’s plenty of activity for Straub to spin one beguiling scene after another, exposing spots of annoyance slathered with sunscreen. Much of the comedy springs from the tension between being required to have the best time in the world and wanting to stab someone with an ice pick…In these pages—so funny, so wise and, yes, even so sweet—she’s created the best feel-good story of the summer.”

    Washington Post

  • “A psychologically astute comic novel…Picturesque and filled with the solvable problems of the privileged, this is the kind of novel Franny or Sylvia might take on a trip to read poolside. It’s good company.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Emma Straub puts the fun back in dysfunction.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • The Vacationers takes readers on an affecting, funny ride.”

    Miami Herald

  • “Few writers can infuse a sentence with as much wit as Straub can. . . . A near-perfect high-brow summer novel.”


  • “A novel that is both a lot of fun to read and has plenty of insight into the marital bond and the human condition.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Spongy and dear, sharply observed and funny, Straub’s domestic-drama-goes-abroad is a delightful study of the complexities of family and love and the many distractions from both.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “The pacing is quick but satisfying and the characters themselves feel genuinely complex, interesting, and knowledgeable…A pleasant, readable journey.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Straub’s second novel is perfect vacation reading, combining a warm-weather locale with complicated family drama…Secrets and longings are revealed, and relationships shift into new configurations—with unexpected hopefulness in the story’s conclusion. Verdict: An examination of fidelity, passion, and the vagaries of relationships, this is summer reading with some sizzle and seriousness.”

    Library Journal

  • “Audiobook listeners have all the luck. Narrator Kristen Sieh has transformed Emma Straub’s entertaining summertime novel into a thoroughly captivating listen… Sieh’s pleasant, clear narration moves the story along, and her chameleon ability to inhabit anyone from a Puerto Rican aerobics instructor to an older male New Yorker adds nuance and meaning to what might otherwise have been a simple confection.”


  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, May 2014
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the June 2014 Indie Next List
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for June 2014
  • A June 2014 Entertainment Weekly “Must Read”
  • A BookPage Top Pick, July 2014
  • A BookPage Best Book of 2014
  • A Pop Sugar Pick for 9 Audiobooks to Listen to on Your Next Long Roadtrip
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