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.
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"Mr. Lynch's Holiday contains no sliver of light. Its characters are simply living in suspended animation. Imagine a merry-go-round with no music, where the horses have been replaced with blocks of cement, and it goes around and around so slowly and so torturously. That's what Mr. Lynch's Holiday felt like to me. It's elegiac, but too much of that can sink a book." - Rory L. Aronsky
"Like her characters, O'Flynn has an eye for the beauty to be found amid squalor and chaos. " - Publishers Weekly
"Starred Review. Overflowing with warmth and compassion as well as a sly humor, this skillful novel will appeal to fans of Richard Russo and Francine Prose." - Booklist
"Starred Review. As she did so wonderfully in her first two novels...O'Flynn brings compassion, charm, and understated humor to a story that will appeal to devotees of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Helen Simonson's Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. - Library Journal
"A low-key vignette of family life, appealing but not memorable." - Kirkus
"Brilliantly rendered O'Flynn's tender portrait of an Irish emigrant of the hard-done-by, hard-working generation of the 60s and 70s a "proper Paddy", as Dermot calls himself balancing the books of his life with such generosity and intelligence, is a lovely thing." The Guardian (UK)
"A simple story but, thanks to a balance of humour and pathos, a delightful one A rare love story between a father and a son." Telegraph (UK)
"O'Flynn writes with brilliant wit and warmth about people cast adrift in contemporary wildernesses..." - The Times (UK)
"Ms. O'Flynn is a remarkable and original writer tenderness, warmth, thoughtfulness and comic genius are words that are flung around a lot, but it's more than that. She flinches at nothing." - Observer (UK)
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Catherine O'Flynn grew up in Birmingham, England and has had various jobs: teacher, secret shopper, web editor, and now novelist. What Was Lost draws on her experiences of working at record stores. She spent some time in Barcelona, Spain before moving back to Birmingham, where she currently lives and works. Her first novel was met with incredible critical acclaim. The novel was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, and the Orange Prize for Fiction, shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, and won the First Novel Prize at the Costa Book Awards. In 2008, she was named the Newcomer of the Year at the Galaxy British Book Awards. Her second novel, The News Where You Are, was released in 2010.
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