Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lola's Secret Was Not For Me!

Lola's Secret
Author Monica McInerney
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At the Valley View Motel in South Australia's picturesque Clare Valley, eighty-four-year-old Lola Quinlan is up to her usual mischief. She's sent her family away for Christmas and invited a number of mystery guests to come and stay. But who are all these people, and why aren't they spending the festive season with their own loved ones? As the big day draws closer and Lola's personal family dramas threaten to unravel her plans, she discovers that at a special time of year, magic can happen in every family – especially your own. From the bestselling author of At Home with the Templetons comes a funny, sad and moving novel about memories and moments and the very meaning of life.

Review: It's not often that I don't finish, or post a semi-review about the book, but sadly Lola's Secret fell into this category for me.  Here are a few reasons, why I didn't push through to the very end...
  • I am familiar with Monica McInerney's writing style - but based on synopsis, was willing to give her another try.
  • Slow start due to multiple background depicts/set up of multiple characters mundane life details
  • Tedious, every day reality.  A dull daily life voyeurism.
  • Basically the same premise, different house
  • The boring side of the human condition 
I read McInerney's At Home With the Templetons and had a similar experience. So why try another novel by the author? Well, I read the synopsis and thought perhaps, I might like this book more than the previous read by the author. You never know, it could be and should be different, right? Why not give her a second try?  However, this was much of the same. A slow start that involves multiple mundane details about a variety of characters and their daily life, which leads them to all gathering at the same place, a hotel. Yes, this could be an interesting premise, but the Mcinerney rather depict the boring, every day details that bond people, rather than create an interesting complexity. Sure, I can appreciate the true to real life approach - but it doesn't necessarily make for interesting or entertaining reading. 

I suppose this ultimately comes down to why the reader is reading a book in the first place. What do you wish to get out of it?  For me, it's not simply to glimpse a look into another way of life (despite the details), but to find a connection and be entertained. Although, I could connect with the characters, their lives did not entertain in a way of escaping from my own ordinary, boring, and mundane happenings of my daily life.  Even though these people gather, not much happens beside introspective reflection and general analyzing of the human condition. 

Now, if you enjoy pondering the more mundane aspects of the human condition, you'll probably like McInerney's writing style and novel premise. It just doesn't appeal to me. I can appreciate it, but rather not invest too much of my reading time taking this journey. Since I already gave full attention to a previous novel by this author, once I saw this was more of the same (with different gathering characters), I determined to put it aside.  

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*ARC provided by Penguin courtesy of Amazon Vine

More by the author


  1. Eh, sounds boring... not to mention I am not in the mood for extraneous details and a slow build. Thanks for reminding me that it is okay to put down a book... I sometimes get caught up in finishing just for the sake of finishing.

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