Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings #46

It's Friday . . . time to share excerpts from one of my current reads with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.
Today I'm featuring:
 The Vacationers: A Novel 

Author Emma Straub was a panelist at this year's Library Journal Day of Dialog for Librarians, a pre-BEA event.  The session, Drop-Dead Gorgeous Fiction II: Six Key Authors, was a lively discussion about their careers, backgrounds, and sources of inspiration.  The panel was comprised of Emma, Jules Feiffer, Lev Grossman, Marlon James, Lily King, and Jane Smiley.  It was extremely interesting to hear their candid comments, and I came away with a signed copy of this book, from which I am sharing some excerpts.

BeginningDay One
Leaving always came as a surprise, no matter how long the dates had been looming on the calendar.  Jim had packed his suitcase the night before, but now, moments before their scheduled departure, he was wavering.
Page 56: ""Sylvia doesn't have any secrets.  That's what's so wonderful about her.  She's the first teenager on the planet to just be happy.'"
From barnesandnoble.comAn 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.
Which book are you reading now or about to start?
Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings #46 was originally published by Catherine for This post cannot be republished without attribution.    


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