Monday, November 5, 2012

TLC Book Tour Book Review: Lola's Secret

Author: Monica McInerey
Title: Lola's Secret
Publisher: Ballentine Books
Publish Date: Oct 16, 2012
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: TLC Book Tours and the publisher
Book Blurb: 
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 slyly reunited her three feuding granddaughters, 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 counts down the days until their arrival, Lola’s own family dramas threaten to upend her best-laid plans. Yet amid moments of humor, heartache, and unexpected twists of fate, Lola finds that she’s the one who’s in for the biggest surprise of all.

Review: This book is my first "holiday-ish" read of the year. It is the kind of book I love. It's Lola's story, but her story is intertwined with those staying at the hotel as well as her family.

I loved Lola. She was the perfect eccentric quirky grandma.

In reading Lola's Secret, I can see how some may compare her to Maeve Binchy, but I think that comparison while flattering, does Monica a disservice. Sure there's an Irish heroine whose story is deeply rooted in family, but the writing styles of these two women are very different.

I love Maeve Binchy, but I never found myself laughing while reading one of her books. That's not the case with this one. Lola's antics had me giggling more than once. Even when things are not going well, there's a lightness in the book.

However if you want to keep the comparison alive, both women write stories about characters that you want to know. I'd love to know Lola, and even her two granddaughters, Carrie and Bett. There strange feud-like competition was hilarious. These characters felt real, like they could be your neighbors or co-workers.

One of the things I enjoyed the most is that the heroine, Lola, isn't a young woman. You get her story, and not looking back through the years, as she is at 84. She's spunky, intelligent and full of life and humor. She's a character you don't want to to miss.

The plot is far from predictable too. She gives away 3 rooms at the motel for Christmas but things don't go the way she planned them at all.

I absolutely loved this book. It is actually a sequel to The Alphabet Sisters, which is the story of Anna, Carrie and Bett, a book now on my must read list, as this one should be on yours

Rating : 5 flowers

Author Info: 
Random House Reader's Circle on Facebook
Monica's website:

Monica's Facebook:


Peppermint Ph.D. said...

Lola and I just didn't click :( and the hotel guests change of plans was bizarre to me? I'm glad you enjoyed it though :) Thankfully there are enough books in the world to keep us all very busy :)

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

This sounds like a wonderful read for the upcoming holiday season!

Thanks for being on the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.

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