Mr. Lynch's Holiday
By Catherine O'Flynn
(Henry Holt and Co., Hardcover, 9780805091816, 272pp.)
Publication Date: October 8, 2013
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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A sophisticated and touching novel of a father and son reconnecting in a foreign place, from the award-winning and bestselling author of What Was Lost
Retired bus driver and recent widower Dermot Lynch grabs his bags from the bus's dusty undercarriage and begins to climb the hill to his son's house. It is Dermot's first time in Spain and the first time he's been out of Birmingham in many years. When he finally arrives at the gates of the crumbling development, Dermot learns that Eamonn, only one of a handful of settlers in the half-finished ghost town of Lomaverde, has fallen prey to an alluring vision and is upside down in a dream that is slipping away.
But Dermot finds something beautiful and nostalgic in Lomaverde's decline--something that is reminiscent of his childhood in Ireland. Soon he is the center of attention in the tiny group of expats where paranoid speculation, goat hunting, and drinking are just some of the ways to pass the days. As the happenings in Lomaverde take a strange turn, father and son slowly begin to peel back their pasts, and they uncover a shocking secret at the heart of this ad hoc community.
With the depth, grace, and wry authenticity that have characterized Catherine O'Flynn's previous work, Mr. Lynch's Holiday gives us a story that again shimmers with "the power of good old realism" (Jane Smiley, The LA Times) about love, connection, and a father and son finding each other exactly when they need it most.
Catherine O'Flynn is the author of the bestselling debut novel, What Was Lost, which won the Costa First Novel Award in 2007, was short-listed for The Guardian First Book Award, and was long-listed for the Booker Prize and the Orange Prize. Her second novel, The News Where You Are was an Indie Next List selection and was shortlisted for the 2011 Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original. She lives in Birmingham, England.
Humor is [O'Flynn's] métier, and Mr. Lynch's Holiday is a charmer, smart and occasionally spooky... [A novel] about finding one's life, finding one's home, finding one's family. It's also about never fully knowing the people we love most.
There are few authors who could write in such perspicacious terms about the scarcely satisfied yearning of the British middle classes
Like O'Flynn's best creations, the more ordinary [Dermot] seems, the more extraordinary he's revealed to be.
"Lovely…[A] father-and-son story that somehow manages to be as funny and warm as it is sly and unsentimental."
A beautiful portrait of a relationship between father and son, infused with O'Flynn's clever ear for dialogue, and sophisticated questions surrounding memory, identity, and belonging.
O'Flynn offers trenchant commentary on capitalism even as she balances the comic and tragic aspects of disillusionment. Overflowing with warmth and compassion as well as a sly humor, this skillful novel will appeal to fans of Richard Russo and Francine Prose.
O'Flynn writes with brilliant wit and warmth about people cast adrift in contemporary wildernesses...
O'Flynn is good at mild comedy, humorously illustrating idiosyncrasies in her characters as Mark Haddon and Roddy Doyle do…O'Flynn is delightful