Why we love it: Hugely anticipated, Monica McInerney’s latest novel The Trip of a Lifetime has just hit bookshelves all across Australia, and its bittersweet, life-affirming story is a see-saw of emotion – you’ll be laughing in one breath, crying in the next.
If you don’t already know the Quinlans, then get ready to befriend an eccentric, surprising, and unwieldy family. Although The Trip of a Lifetime is a standalone piece of fiction, if you’re itching for more by the end you can read Lola’s Secret and The Alphabet Sisters – as all three books are based around the same characters.
The Australian-born writer has continued the Quinlans’ larger-than-life legacy, and the layers of drama and tension, submerged just beneath the surface, are at turns hilarious, explosive, and big-hearted.
85-year-old Lola Quinlan, head of the family, decides it’s time to embark on a journey to Kildare, Ireland, her homeland, for the first time in more than sixty years. Despite her close relationship with her granddaughters, Bett and Carrie, and son Jim, she’s withheld the details of her past, and twisted those she couldn’t hide away. But now she’s ready to face her past and keep a secret promise she made all those years ago.
As Lola, Bett and Lola’s great-granddaughter Ellen join Lola on her overseas adventure, a TV series starts filming in their wine region community, in Clare Valley, Adelaide, sparking widespread excitement. Carrie is offered a major opportunity to cover the biggest entertainment news stories to hit the town, with chaos ensuing and bringing an amusing side story to the novel.
But the family’s matriarch is the most fascinating evolution in the book – someone so loud, yet so quiet. What is she searching for on the other side of the world? And, more importantly, who?
Once you meet the Quinlans, there’s no turning back: The Trip of a Lifetime will quench the thirst of fans waiting for another instalment, and inspire a new obsession for those who are just getting to know them. If you haven’t discovered McInerney yet, now is the time to do so.
Monica McInerney is the author of the internationally bestselling novels A Taste for It, Upside Down Inside Out, Spin the Bottle, The Alphabet Sisters, Family Baggage, Those Faraday Girls, At Home with the Templetons, Lola’s Secret, The House of Memories, Hello From the Gillespies, and the short story collection, All Together Now. Those Faraday Girls was the winner of the General Fiction Industry Awards. In 2006 Monica was the ambassador for the Australian Government initiative Books Alive, with her novella Odd One Out. Monica grew up in a family of seven children in the Clare Valley of South Australia and has been living between Australia and Ireland for more than twenty years. She and her husband currently live in Dublin.