ISBN #: 978-0805091816
Page Count: 272
Copyright: October 8, 2013
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
(Taken from back cover)
This fortnight’s trip to Spain is the first time Dermot Lynch, a retired bus driver and recent widower, has left Birmingham in many years. When he finally arrives at the gates of his son Eamonn’s crumbling development, it is not what he had imagined. But despite its faltering exterior, Dermot finds something beautiful and nostalgic in the development’s decline - reminiscent of his childhood in Ireland. Soon he is the center of attention in the tiny clan of expats where paranoid speculation, goat hunting, and drinking are just some of the ways to pass the long, sunny days in this strange paradise. As the happenings within the gates take a peculiar 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.
When Dermot decides to holiday at his son, Eamonn’s, neither he, or Eamonn can foretell the changes about to take place in their lives. Living in a state of depression, Eamonn is pining away for his love, who left to think things over, and Dermot, still adjusting to the death of his wife, is searching for a deeper connection to his son. The deserted, neglected community cause both to take a long look at the past as they grow into an awareness of themselves and each other.
I loved the idea of this book. The interpersonal look into a man and his grown son, awkward at interacting, yet both in need of each other. Using flashbacks from both perspectives, we see how the men have reached the point in their lives and how they learned to cope. The community’s neighbors throw in a bit of color to the narrative, although I didn’t quite feel how they added to the overall storyline.
I felt the nostalgia and longing within the pages, but wrestled with the back and forth of the time line, along with less than necessary additions. Some of the plot seemed superfluous, as it had nothing at all to do with the relationship of the two men. I finished the book with more questions than answers, but Dermot’s personality shined through as the saving grace of this story. I’d say, overall, it was enjoyable enough, but a little too hurried in the end.
*A physical copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.