Monday, June 02, 2014

Summer Reading Sorted!

It's June! The time when probably most of us are starting to think of what to do for the summer holidays. Where to go, what to visit, who to meet, how much overtime to put in, what to pack and who's going to pay for it all. The list goes on and on so that by the time the much-planned-for date has arrived, the luggage checked in, the obligatory duty free tour completed, it's safe to presume that most of us will be collapsing into the plane's seat in what could only be described as a zombie-like state. 

Two hours and a couple of drinks into the flight, enabling you to emerge from afore mentioned comatose state, you reach for the book you 'chose' at the airport newsstand. You know, that book you absently grabbed while doing a headcount, trying to pay for chocolates that will do zero to tame the already excited children and still trying 'calmly' to explain to a wailing Tommy that "No, you don't need to buy ANOTHER giant M&Ms dispenser to add to the million dust-accumulating ones we have at home' while fishing for your boarding pass that seems to have relegated itself to the furthest corners of your handbag, to present at the pay counter; all while trying to punch in your pin number. The same book that as you flip open to start reading now find that it's in a language you don't speak or it's a sequel to one you haven't read. 

Sounds familiar? Well, throughout June I'll be cramming in as many titles as possible for you to choose from. You'll be so well-prepared this summer break with your reading choices all sorted BEFORE you get on that plane. There are some cracking books being released between June and August that you do NOT want to miss. Everyday-except on weekends- through the months of the Summer I will be highlighting new titles that I have either read personally, or that friends, family and followers of BookFabulous have recommended.

Following the old adage of 'One man's trash is another man's treasure' I will list each and every recommendation that I receive on BookFabulous allowing you to choose from a whole range of titles. Be sure to get your recommendation listed here by getting in touch either by email or on twitter. If you like, let me know why you enjoyed the book, why you think it would be a good holiday read, would it be best for a beach or city break, and if it changed you in any way. I look forward to hearing from you.

To kick off June, here's today's title:

Released June 5 by Picador.
The Setting: Mallorca, Spain.
Verdict: 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.

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