Monday, September 25, 2017

The Trip of a Lifetime

This is another book by Monica McInerney about Lola Quinlan and her family. We have met members of this family previously in The Alphabet Sisters and Lola's Secret. After living in Australia for more than sixty years Lola decides to visit her home country, Ireland, again and plans to take her granddaughter, Bett, and great-granddaughter, Ellen, with her. Bett has to reorganise family and work commitments to go on this trip of a lifetime but finally agrees while thirteen year old Ellen is excited about the adventure. Bett has previously lived in Ireland but has never visited the area where Lola lived and hopes that the trip will provide answers about Lola's early life. On arrival in Ireland it is soon obvious that Lola is reticent about confronting the memories of her past.

This is a story about family and family secrets. Family jealousies and tensions arise as not everyone is pleased with Lola wanting Bett and Ellen to accompany her. The book also deals with the relationship between Bett and her sister Carrie and the memories they have of Ellen's mother, Anna.

The setting of the book is in the Clare Valley in South Australia as well as in Ireland. In the Valley there is excitement about a television program being shot in their area and the resultant publicity it will mean for local business and tourism. Consequently there are parallel stories for the reader to enjoy.

Those who have read the other titles making up the Lola Quinlan Saga will thoroughly enjoy this sequel but the book can also be enjoyed in its own right. I thoroughly enjoy reading novels by Monica McInerney and this one did not disappoint.

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