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.
'An awesomely talented writer' Jonathan Coe
'A tenderness and warmth seep through . . . an astute and thoughtful writer, and her warm take on the world is pleasing' Sunday Times on The News Where You Are
'Darkly funny' Independent on Sunday on The News Where You Are
'A comic genius . . . entertaining and often thoughtful' Daily Mail on The News Where You Are
Catherine O'Flynn was born in 1970 and raised in Birmingham, the youngest of six children. Her parents ran a sweet shop. She worked briefly in journalism, then at a series of shopping centres. She has also been a web editor, a postwoman and a mystery shopper.
Delightful ... a rare love story between a father and a son
Catherine O'Flynn was born in 1970 and raised in Birmingham, the youngest of six children. Her parents ran a sweet shop. Prior to the publication of her first novel she did a variety of jobs including journalist, web editor, record shop manager, post woman, teacher and mystery shopper. Her debut novel, What Was Lost, won the Costa First Novel Award, was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, The Commonwealth Writers' Prize and The Southbank Show Literature Award. It was longlisted for the Booker and Orange Prizes. She was named Waterstone's Newcomer of the Year at the 2008 Galaxy British Book Awards. Her second novel The News Where You Are, published in 2010, was shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize, an Edgar Allen Poe Award and was a Channel 4 TV Book Club selection.