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Search tags: Monica-McInerney
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review 2017-09-08 00:00
The Trip of a Lifetime
The Trip of a Lifetime - Monica McInerne... The Trip of a Lifetime - Monica McInerney 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 night

The 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
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review 2016-10-16 22:53
Hello From the Gillespies
Hello From the Gillespies - Monica McInerney

I took my time reading this novel as it was a calm read. I liked that it was a book that I could read for a while and put it down and still remember the characters and the storyline later on. The story stayed with me, my mind was thinking about the characters and their daily lives but I wasn’t anxious and restless to finish the novel which was a great feeling. I don’t get this feeling very often when I am reading so I cherished it. I thought the middle of this novel dragged on a bit but otherwise, I thought there was a lot to celebrate inside this novel. I already talked about the way the story carried throughout the novel and I felt this was a big plus. The drama contained in the novel was a rollercoaster, having your highs and your lows and since this novel is centered on a family, it fit.   I really enjoyed the ending and there was no way, I would have ever predicted that ending to occur.


There was a lot going on in the novel but there were times when I felt time stood still. The grown children have all returned home as their lives have not panned out how they thought they would and now they have returned home to get themselves back on track. They noticed that their mother and father are not the affectionate people they used to be so they put a plan together to try to put the spark back into their parent’s marriage. Father is upset and frustrated. Alone, he feels that hope is obtainable in the future. Mother feels she is missing something in her life and wonders if this is the life that she was supposed to lead? Perhaps she missed something. A doubt grows in her mind and her mind wanders to what type of life she could have been leading all these years. It is time for mother’s yearly Christmas letter where she jots down her words, using happy, fictitious claims making the stories more glamorous than they really are, sending them off to all her family and friends. This year however she decides to type out the truth, the whole truth but before she can delete it she is called away and the words hang in there in cyberspace. Her husband sees her letter on the computer and he knows how important it is to her to send it off on a particular day, so he pushes the send button without reading one word of the letter. Yes, the truth is out there and it cannot be retrieved.


This novel was entertaining, filled with family drama that makes you think about your own family. Each character adds their own flair to the mix and they all strive to be a part of something bigger. Yet they are all part of a family, a unit that works together and stays together.

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url 2015-11-14 00:23
Hello from the Gillespies
Hello From the Gillespies - Monica McInerney

Hi Everyone


Want a book for the holidays?  They are only 6 weeks away.  I cant wait.  They may be still a month away but it comes around so quickly and by then it is normally summer here.  Got to be worth being excited about.  Anyway... Here is a good holiday read.  Skip on over to my blog (click this link) and check out my review.

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review 2015-06-06 02:20
The House of Memories by Monica McInerney
The House of Memories - Monica McInerney

Read by Angela B.: A straightforward storyline. Following a tragic accident Ella flees from Australia, ending at her uncle's in London to escape her grief. Through the lovely story he helps her to see that she is not the only one still hurting and heartbroken and after two years on the run brings her back to those she loves.

A very easy read which brought tears to my eyes.

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review 2014-12-10 06:27
Hello from the Gillespies
Hello From the Gillespies - Monica McInerney

This story takes place on a sheep station in the Australian outback. It’s a credit to the author’s ability to set the scene that I was able to fully imagine this place, given that I would be hard-pressed to name a time I even knew of the existence of an outback sheep station.


I should probably disclose that I am a fan of Monica McInerney, having already read her books The Alphabet Sisters, and Family Baggage. When I saw this new book offered on NetGalley, I jumped on it. Once I began reading, the conversational tone drew me in, and the tale of this mildly dysfunctional family kept my attention. McInerney is a fun writer, and I find her stories balance out the tragedies of everyday life with humor and kindness. So yes, there are improbabilities in the plot, and there are a few characters who didn’t really ring true to me, but overall, there is the sense of family, and that deep care has been taken with this story.


Besides that, the plot of this book revolves around a common fear — that the email or letter you finally wrote, just to make yourself feel better, and never, ever to be mailed has been sent on it’s merry way to a hundred people of varying degrees of acquaintance. That, and the fact that in this case it’s one of those equally beloved and hated “Christmas letters” makes it even better.


So yes, there are lots of opportunities for fun with this premise, and McInerney does have some laughs. Ironically, I liked her daughters a whole lot better on paper (in her truthful letter) than I actually did when they ended up at her house. Having survived a childhood in the wilds of the outback, these girls are unbelievably ill-equipped to manage their fairly unencumbered lives. To put it mildly, they are a bunch of babies. This might have been fine for 18 – 20 year olds, but they are all closer to thirty here, which didn’t seem to match how they acted. In any case, this is a minor quibble in what amounts to a fun and interesting read. I enjoyed learning more about Australia, especially since we are seeing it through the eyes of an outsider, a transplant who has claimed the land as her own. And for me, Australia is Monica McInerney’s land, and I am happy to consider her my guide through the wilds of the outback.

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