On Being Disappointed By A Book

Recently, I was disappointed by a book by one of my favorite authors. It felt like a betrayal as I read it and especially once I was finished. For me, reading an author is like having a relationship. Each chapter is a good date and finishing a book is another step towards the ring and walking down the aisle.

By now, you are probably dying to the book and author. And since you have been so patient to this point, I will reward your curiosity –The Vacationers by Emma Straub. Her Modern Lovers is one of my favorite books! In fact, I have recommended it already here:

So, when I found that I could access her 2014 book, The Vacationers, on the Libby app (huge plug for Libby – it is so user-friendly and you can access thousands of audiobooks and e-books on your phone or tablet all by plugging in your library card number), I was thrilled. I had a ten hour drive and knew it would be a wonderful road-trip companion.

In reality, it was a fine road-trip companion. The characters felt flat and the plot was slow. I did like the structure which hopped from character to character and gave each space to share their angst and inner thoughts. The book followed a family and their friends as they vacationed in Majorca. It explored marriage and relationships and the how the passing of time impacts both; it had all the potential to be great, but really just left a lot to be desired. I enjoyed the last chapter where Straub wrapped up (albeit, much too neatly) everyone’s story, but that wasn’t enough to carry the book for me.

As I drove back into town, I contemplated my next step. Usually, I wouldn’t immediately begin another book by the same author I had just finished, but in this case, my love affair with Straub caused me to jump right back in with her. Thus, I’m currently plowing through Other People We Married and will absolutely let you know how it stacks up.

I’d love to know what you do when you read a book by an author you love and it leaves something to be desired. How do you get over your book heartbreak?

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