Jim simply raised an eyebrow, before pulling out a chair and sitting down opposite his mother. ‘I was talking about you with Bett and Carrie today. We’ve all agreed it’s not too late to change your mind…About you sending us away and taking charge of a fifteen-room motel on your own for five days. At Christmas. At the age of eighty-four.’
Lola Quinlan is no normal eighty-four year old. If she isn’t helping her son and daughter-in-law run a country motel, she’s running the local charity shop, or sorting out tiffs between her adult grand daughters. But this Christmas it seems she may have gone one step further. Her son, Jim, is heading off for a holiday, and Lola will be in charge of the motel in his absence. She’s come up with a plan to fill the motel with guests. Never mind that Jim has no idea what’s going on – Lola is looking forward to the company. First, though, she has to see if she can get her two granddaughters speaking to each other, and sort out her great-granddaughter’s problems with her father. And perhaps calm the waters at the charity shop where the newest volunteers is trying to take over.
While Lola tries to help everyone around her, the guests sh’s invited to the hotel for Christmas are also needing to work through their own problems, and closer to home the rest of Lola’s family have their own demons to face, most particularly the loss of Annie, Jim’s daughter, four years before. Lola might want to fix everything, but it just might be that those around her can help her, too.
Lola’s Secret is a warm tale of family, of friendship and of acceptance of the past. Each character is cleverly wrought and although Lola is the glue that binds the story, the individual trials and dramas of the other characters are also well developed. There are tears along the way but ultimately this is a feel-good book as the characters work through issues and events which will be familiar to most readers.
Lola’s Secret, by Monica McInerney
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