The Floating Feldmans by Elyssa Friedland

Book Summary


A family vacation dredges up a boatload of trouble in the next witty, insightful novel from the acclaimed author of The Intermission.

Sink or swim. Or at least that’s what Annette Feldman tells herself when she books a cruise for her entire family. It’s been over a decade since the Feldman clan has spent more than twenty-four hours under the same roof, but Annette is determined to celebrate her seventieth birthday the right way. Just this once, they are going to behave like an actual family.

Too bad her kids didn’t get the memo. 

Between the troublesome family secrets, old sibling rivalries, and her two teenage grandkids, Annette’s birthday vacation is looking more and more like the perfect storm. Adrift together on the open seas, the Feldmans will each face the truths they’ve been ignoring—and learn that the people they once thought most likely to sink them are actually the ones who help them stay afloat.


Media Reviews

“Friedland’s plot owes a lot to miscommunication and secrets being conveniently revealed at key moments. This doesn’t make for the most natural narrative flow, but her skill at depicting familial tensions is top-notch.” – Publishers Weekly

“There’s also some sharp commentary about the pitfalls of cruises, and even readers who’ve never been on one will feel positively claustrophobic as they read about the cramped cabins the Feldmans stay in….A fun look at family drama on the open seas.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Long a master of insightful books about modern life and relationships, Friedland turns her formidable talents to the family cruise.  Uproariously funny, yet heartfelt and true, The Floating Feldmans will have each reader seeing her own family fun and foibles in the choppy waters, laughing and crying at the same time to the very last wonderful page.” – Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris

“An intelligent, insightful, touching novel about the secrets we keep and the family that loves us anyway.” – Abbi Waxman, author of Other People’s Houses

“Elyssa Friedland’s premise is perfect. Take three generations of an estranged family, put them on a boat—a forced cruise to celebrate the matriarch’s 70th birthday—and let the dysfunction fly. A pleasure to read.” – Laurie Gelman, author of Class Mom

“Such a smart, honest look at the modern American family. Elyssa Friedland has written a book that feels both up-to-the-minute contemporary and, somehow, absolutely timeless.” – Matthew Norman, author of We’re All Damaged and Domestic Violets

“All aboard! The Floating Feldmans is for everyone whose ever thought their family is absolutely crazy … but loves them anyway. Sibling rivalries and skeletons in the closet all come to a head in this fun, quirky family saga.” – Georgia Clark, author of The Bucket List

The Floating Feldmans was a blast; funny, moving, and immensely readable. Friedland’s all-you-can-eat buffet of quirky characters walk right off the page and into your heart.” – Jonathan Evison, author of This is Your Life Harriet Chance!


Elyssa Friedland

Elyssa Friedland is a graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School and lives with her husband and three children in New York City. The Floating Feldmans is her third novel.

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