Monday, 5 August 2013

Mr Lynch's Holiday Review

Mr Lynch’s Holiday
Catherine O’Flynn

Publisher: Viking

Welcome to Lomaverde - a new Spanish utopia for those seeking their place in the sun. Now a ghost town where feral cats outnumber the handful of anxious residents. A place of empty pools, long afternoons and unrelenting sunshine. Here, widowed Midlands bus driver Dermot Lynch turns up one bright morning. He's come to visit his son Eammon and his girlfriend, Laura. Except Eammon never opened Dermot's letter announcing his trip. Just like he can't quite get out of bed, or fix anything, or admit Laura has left him.Though neither father nor son knows quite what to make of the other, Lomaverde's Brits - Roger and Cheryl, Becca and Iain - see in Dermot a shot of fresh blood. Someone to enliven their goat-hunting trips, their paranoid speculations, the endless barbecuing and bickering. As Dermot and Eammon gradually reveal to one another the truth about why each left home, both get drawn further into the bizarre rituals of ex-pat life, where they uncover a shocking secret at the community's heart.

Eamonn Lynch is stuck in Spain, in a village that was never completed due to financial difficulties and the global recession. He’s lost his job and his wife has just left him when his father Dermot visits unexpectedly. There are many differences between Eamonn and his father – not just generational, but aspirational as well. Eamonn works with computers, an area than befuddles his father, a retired bus driver. Dermot arrived in the UK from Ireland and considers himself Irish while Eamonn thinks of himself as English. Dermot can’t understand his son’s inability to do little jobs round the house. For the two weeks Dermot and Eamonn struggle to reconnect as father and son and as two people with very different lives.

This is a very different read from my normal fantasy and paranormal stories. It just covers the two weeks of Dermot’s holiday, his first visit abroad and the extraordinary people who have also been left behind in this incomplete village. There are some amusing characters that will bring a wry smile or two, but this is less a comedy novel than a view into the difficulties and expectations of moving abroad, of your own children, of your parents and of the changes life throws at you. Does a change of scenery improve your life? Because no matter where you go, you’re there.

I read this in a day and found the writing involving. The scene of this deserted ex-pat new community is quite haunting and stays with you. However, I found the ambling pace a little slow for my tastes and the soul searching a little tiring. I enjoyed the book but I didn’t feel excited by it. This is a good contemporary story asking questions and exploring how life doesn’t always meet expectations.

Recommended for fans of Emily Barr and Jojo Moyles. 7 out of 10


  1. Yeah I am not sure at all about this one

  2. It sounds like something I would think I would like and then get involved. Hm... will have to check this one out. I like exploring life kind of books.