A slow-paced entertaining holiday read that delves into human relationships bringing home the truth that no matter where we are in the world, our lives' baggage travels there too. (Has a Woody Allen feel to it).
Sixty-year-old Jim Post, recently 'retired' from his job and his writer wife Franny have booked a gorgeous house (with a swimming pool) in the mountains of Mallorca, Spain, for a two-week vacation with their children and very close friends.
Having planned and booked the trip before 'the incident', they decide to go ahead with it anyway feeling in the case of Jim that 'two weeks away would make him feel he had made a change and chosen this new, free life, like so many people his age did.' As for Franny, the choice of Mallorca 'was less cliche than the South of France and less overrun by Americans than Tuscany." But what she mainly wanted to do on the trip was to 'please everyone'.
Jim and Franny's eighteen-year-old daughter Sylvia has just finished school and is desperately waiting the Summer out to go to Brown's and finally "be somewhere where the name Sylvia Post came without the ghosts of the girl she'd been at sixteen, at twelve, at five, where she was detached from her parents and her brother and she could just be, like an astronaut floating in space, unencumbered by gravity". Recovering from heartache and betrayal she soon finds solace in the young dashing Spanish tutor Joan (pronounced Joeahhhn) that Franny has hired for her to perfect her command of the language and things slowly seem to be looking up for her for a while.
Also joining the Posts is Jim and Franny's immature 25 year-old son Bobby who is 'waist-deep in swampy Floridian real estate' who is hoping to come clean to his parents about his life and gather enough courage to ask for their help. Tagging along is his 'albatross of a girlfriend Carmen' who is if nothing an exercise fanatic who is desperate for Bobby to marry her. Franny's dear friend Charles and his husband Lawrence join them as well. They are desperately waiting for news from an adoption agency that has assured them that circumstances were looking 'promising' and they'd soon have a baby in their arms. All at the time when Charles was feeling 'that their shared dreams of having a family would soon go the way of the dodo'.
The Posts 'hadn't vacationed like this in years', and with each and every one of these 'Vacationers' with secrets and confessions, relationships are tested and loyalties challenged. The Post's two-weeks' promised respite in sunny Mallorca could see them return home with more than just a suntan to show for it.