Dermot Lynch is looking forward to his first taste of abroad. A retired bus driver, recently widowed, he is flying to Spain to visit his son and see the new life he has made for himself.
Eamonn Lynch, one of only a handful of settlers in a half-finished, new build ghost town is dismayed to learn he can no longer hide the truth from his father about what has become of his great escape.
An immigrant once himself, Dermot is frustrated by his son’s apparent inability to make a go of it. He wonders why Eamonn spends so much of his life staring at his laptop; how he earns his living and what on earth he has done with his girlfriend Laura.
For his part Eamonn is perplexed by his father’s early rising, his random conversational topics and his boundless enthusiasm for DIY.
Dermot soon finds himself the centre of attention in the tiny community of ex-pats where paranoid speculation, rambling, goat-hunting, and drinking it seems are just some of the ways to pass the long days.
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 isolated community.
‘The dialogue is perfectly pitched, the characters cliché-free … but what is most meaningful about this is that it is a rare love story between a father and a son.’
‘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, and more than enough on its own.’
‘O’Flynn writes with brilliant wit and warmth about people cast adrift in contemporary wildernesses.’
‘O’Flynn is concerned with the layers and crevasses of the past and how easy it can be to cover over them, to build something shiny and new that anchors itself in the landscape, whether it belongs there or not…Here she gives us another utterly winning protagonist: one Dermot Lynch.’
‘O’Flynn writes terrifically about disappointment and denial, skipping easily between the present and moments in Eamonn and Dermot’s past that explain how they became who they are…Mr Lynch’s Holiday excels in exploring the strangeness of being the outsider and the stories people tell themselves to survive.’
‘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.’
‘Like Jonathan Coe, O’Flynn has a gift for catching recent social history in her fiction, and this is a cuttingly down-to-earth book about families, expats and the experience of being Irish in Britain in the 1970s.’
Buy Mr Lynch’s Holiday