The Trip of a Lifetime by Monica McInerney

Book Review: The Trip of a Lifetime

“The Trip of a Lifetime” by Monica McInerney is an engaging, sometimes sad and often funny story about a family coming to terms with the past and their different perceptions of their family history.

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About the Author

Another great read from one of my favourite Australian authors, Monica McInerney.  She is the master of relating the intracasies of ordinary family relationships with both empathy and humour.

The settings for most of her novels combine her South Australian upbringing and her current home in Dublin with her Irish husband.

McInerney’s best seller, “The Trip of a Lifetime”  is set in the wine growing region of  South Australia’s Clare Valley, with the storyline fluctuating to the central character’s Irish origins.


About the Book

“The Trip of a Lifetime” is the latest release in the “ABC series”, telling the story of the Quinlan family.  Whilst I greatly enjoyed reconnecting with the family and their zany matriarch, the book would also be enjoyable as a ‘standalone.”

It is an engaging, sometimes sad and often funny story about a family coming to terms with the past and their different perceptions of their family history.

‘I always thought memories were unchangeable. Set in stone, shaped by the years. But there are always others too, ones you haven’t let yourself remember . . .’

Octogenerian Lola Quinlan is the eccentric and wilful central character. You can’t help but love her antics in dealing with her family. From her zany dress sense, to the somewhat manipulative tactics she uses to impart her wisdom and often to get her own way.

More than sixty years after arriving in Australia from Ireland, Lola is feeling the pangs of nostalgia and a desire to return to her homeland one last time.

Lola raised her son Jim as a young war widow, together building a successful accommodation business now run by he and his wife Geraldine.

As the story unfolds, McInerney examines the intricate rivalries, emotions, resentments and secrets which exist within families. From the somewhat strained relationship between herself and her daughter-in-law, to the sibling rivalry between their adult daughters Bett and Carrie and her own relationships with her grandchildren and great granddaughter.

Lola organises a trip to Ireland, convincing her  granddaughter and great granddaughter to come along for the ride to rediscover her past and confront the truth of their family history.

The trip does not quite go according to plan, as the story unravels the layers of secrets and half-truths which have covered up her bittersweet past. Lola finds that memories and the truth about the past are not always black and white and that she is not the only one carrying secrets from the past.

I thoroughly enjoyed “The Trip of a Lifetime”. You will laugh and you will cry as you read the engaging tale of the Quinlan family. You will certainly want to go back and read the earlier books in this series.

The Trip of a Lifetime by Monica McInerney

The Trip of a Lifetime by Monica McInerney

Published June 28th 2017 by Penguin

Kindle $12.99

Paperback $19.99

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