Vacationers (Straub)

Discussion Questions
1. Franny and Charles have been friends for a long time. How does their close relationship affect other people on vacation with them?

2. From the outset, the Posts aren’t too fond of Carmen. Do you think she is treated fairly or unfairly by her boyfriend’s family?

3. How does Bobby and Sylvia’s relationship as adult siblings evolve over the course of the novel?

4. At the start of The Vacationers, Jim and Franny’s relationship is on the rocks, and it later comes dangerously close to falling apart. Is it possible to rebuild trust once it’s been lost?

5. This is a story about what we try to conceal from others, even from those closest to us, sometimes even from ourselves-and what we choose to show them instead. Have you ever felt like you’ve had to put on a good face for others?

6. What was the last vacation that you went on, and who did you go with? Did it give you a different perspective on your day-to-day life at home?

7. Do you think Bobby handled his financial difficulties the right way? Should he have kept these problems to himself or come clean to his family sooner?

8. The infidelity in Charles and Lawrence’s relationship is dealt with in a way that markedly contrasts with the other instances in The Vacationers. Does infidelity always have to be a big deal in a relationship?
(Questions issued by the publisher.)

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