Friday, June 3, 2022


Vacationland by Meg Mitchell Moore
6/14/22; 384 pages

Vacationland by Meg Mitchell Moore is a highly recommended family drama.

Louisa McLean and her three children have arrived at her parents’ summer home in Rockland, Maine. They plan to spend the summer there while Louisa's husband, Steven, stays in Brooklyn to work. Louisa, a history professor on a sabbatical from NYU, has to finish her barely started book while watching the three kids, but this is proving difficult. Martin, Louisa’s father and retired judge, is suffering from Alzheimer’s and Annie, her mother, is worried about her husband and their finances. The children, Mattie, 12, Abigail, 10, and Claire, 7, have their own issues they are dealing with.

At the same time Kristie Turner arrives in Rockland after her mother’s death. She is deeply in debt and is planning to find work but more importantly she wants to talk to Martin about a secret her mother shared with Kristie before her death.

The characters come to life in this family drama. They are all fully realized characters with a depth of emotion, secrets, flaws, and fears. Chapters alternate from the point-of-view of Kristie, Louisa, her family members, and the housekeeper. Also included in the narrative are wonderful letters from Abigail to her father. The highlight of Vacationland is the character development and the look into their lives and thoughts.

The writing is excellent and it captures the lives of these people perfectly. The plot is predictable, but the characters and atmosphere created will keep you reading. This is a perfect choice for summer reading. It explores complications, secrets, and hurt in a family, but tackles their various issues with understanding, love, and, ultimately a sense of acceptance. The ending is satisfying and will leave you with a warm, fuzzy feeling.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins.

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