3.5 Stars My first Monica McInerney novel, and such a compelling and delightful read, full of wonderful and likeable characters and a family saga that was entertaining and real and a book I really looked forward to picking up each nightThe Wilful and eccentric Lola Quintan is off on a trip of a lifetime taking her beloved grandaughter and great - grandaughter with her. More than sixty years after emigrating to Austrialia, she's keeping a secret promise to return to her Irish homeland to confront hurtful reasons why she left Ireland as a young woman and to put the past to rest.
Beautifully written and wonderful sense of time and place as the setting takes place in The Clare Valley wine region in South Australia and Ballymore Eustace in Kildare. A family saga, with family secrets and intrigue that makes a novel like this wonderful Autumn by the fire reading. I fell in love with the characters of Lola and Bett and of course Des, we all know a DES who means well but just becomes too familiar and yet no one has the heart to tell him when he is overstepping the mark as Des is the type to take offence easily.
I believe that Lola has featured in other books by Monica McInerney but The trip of a lifetime read as a stand alone novel and I felt that the author gave me enough background information on the family to keep me satisfied.
A very realistic story, perfectly paced with terrific characters that made me wonder why I have not read this author's work previously as I really enjoyed this novel.
Readers who enjoy Maeve Binchy novels or family saga style novels should check this book out as its an easy and very enjoyable read.. My thanks to Penguin Books for an opportunity to read this Novel in return for an honest review