Mr Lynch’s Holiday is the charming and comic new novel by the bestselling and prize-winning author of What Was Lost and The News Where You Are, Catherine O’Flynn.’I’m looking forward to seeing you and Laura and getting my first taste of “abroad”.’ Eamonn Lynch stares at the letter announcing the imminent arrival of his father, Dermot. His first thought is: I’ll make an excuse, I’ll put him off. But it is too late. Dermot is already here, in southern Spain, and soon he’ll discover that Eamonn lives in an unfinished building site; that Laura’s left him; and that it’ll be just the two of them, father and son, for two long, hot weeks.Dermot doesn’t entirely recognise his son; how can he stay quite so long in bed? And where is Laura? Eamonn doesn’t seem to know quite what to make of his father’s arrival. On the other hand his neighbours – pushy and domineering Roger and Cheryl, smug but disillusioned property developers Becca and Ian – see in Dermot a respite from themselves. Swept up in the British expats’ ceaseless barbecuing and bickering, both father and son slowly discover the truth about each other and the family past. But at the same time they uncover a shocking, unacknowledged secret at the heart of this defiant but beleaguered community.Mr Lynch’s Holiday is a very funny and moving story about the clash of generations; about how families break apart and come together again; about how living “abroad” can feel less like a long holiday and more of a life sentence.
This book is beautifully written and the characters of Dermot and Eamonn are perfectly drawn. It looks at the problems arising from emigration, but more importantly the complexities of relationships and human behaviour.
A running theme through the book seems to be the rediscovering of oneself, which I enjoyed. I loved O’Flynn’s humourous and often spot on take on the world around us and the way people react and interact. I laughed out loud on numerous occasions.
I think this would make a perfect holiday read.
I received an advanced copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.