Nestled in a picturesque corner of southern Australia, the Valley View Motel has been run by the Quinlans for years - and nobody adores the place more than Lola, the family's lovable and mischievous Irish-born matriarch. So when she insists that her relatives spend their Christmas elsewhere, the close-knit bunch can't help but be a bit curious. Lola has always had a knack for clever schemes; after all, she once shyly reunited her three feuding granddaugters, whom she nicknamed the Alphabet Sisters. And with the holiday season fast approaching, Lola decides it's time to stir up some extra excitement.
Plotting in secret and online, Lola thinks it would be fun to invite a select group of strangers to stay at the motel for Christmas. Will these guests become friends, ignite sparks, fall in love? As she count s down the days until their arrival, Lola's own family dramas threaten to upend her best-laid plans. Yet amid moments of humour, heartache, and unexpected twists of fate, Lola finds that she's the one who's in for the biggest surprise of all.
The central character Lola is an eccentric grandmother who lives in the families motel, works in the local charity shop and enjoys nothing more than spending the odd hour surfing the internet. She's very much the lynchpin of the family who they all turn to for advice, especially granddaughters Bett and Carrie, in their hour of need.
Normally the family would all come together to spend Christmas together at the motel but this year Lola convinces them all to go away and take a much needed break leaving her to enjoy the solace of her own company. But little do they know what she has planned...
Lola's Secret deals with a lot of complex issues such as sibling rivalry, jealously grief and depression but in a witty and touching manner.
It might have helped me to have read The Alphabet Sisters beforehand as there were the odd references to events that were covered in that book but it wasn't essential and it didn't deter from the story within this book. This was a charming read and I'll definitely be looking to read some more of Monica's books in the future.
I'd like to thank Lizzie at Midas PR for sending me a copy of Lola's Secret to review.